It takes more than technology to convince

Nov 10, 2015 6:05 PM

Philips Austria GmbH is located in the city of Klagenfurt near the famous Wörthersee lake in an idyllic holiday region in southern Austria that advertises itself with the slogan “Holiday at our friends’.”

Philips_Great_Place_To_Work-2015

Established in 1962 and part of the Philips Group since 1970, the former domestic appliances factory became one of five centers of excellence and development for consumer lifestyle products. At the Klagenfurt site, innovative body and hair care, domestic, and health and wellness products are developed. Key components, such as shaving, hair clipper and epilator heads as well as vibrating heads for Sonicare electric toothbrushes are also manufactured here.

Philips Austria is committed to supporting the company’s development into a leading player in healthcare and wellness with innovative ideas and superior quality. This requires ongoing research and the continuous development of future technologies and new products. A combination of many years’ know-how, innovative design possibilities, rapid prototyping and high-precision mold- and toolmaking, and the realization of state-of-the-art production solutions make all the difference here.

In addition to the technical aspects, Philips Austria emphasizes its employees, who benefit from the numerous training courses and health-promoting activities offered by the company. For this very reason, Philips Austria was named Austria’s best employer for the second year running, again receiving the Great Place To Work award in 2015.

New products are being continually developed in three product segments: domestic appliances, body care and key components. A team of 330 highly motivated, innovative engineers from 14 countries develop around 25 new products—from the design studies to the prototypes—as well as the tooling required for their production.

Examples of products and tools:

Visapure_Neo_HaarschneiderThe VisaPure face cleansing device and NEO hair clippers for long hair
Mehrfach_Werkzeug_Schwingelement_01Example of a multiple tool for electric toothbrush vibration elements:
Epilier_Palette_Scherkopf_Palette_Two examples of key components are cutter elements for hair clippers for long hair and epilator heads.
Epilier_Messer_02

The cutter elements for long-hair clippers and epilator heads alone are produced at a volume of 36 million a year, making a daily rate of about 100,000. This results in an enormous number of components. For the production of epilator heads, for example, 2.8 million pincer disks are punched every month.

Stempel_Matrize_03

A production output of precision components of this magnitude can be achieved only with tools that have a superior surface quality and allow reproducible accuracy. Punches and dies are machined from hard metal with wire EDM.

“And also worth remembering: Exchangeable parts for production—with die clearances of less than a hundredth of a millimeter—must fit without first having to be tweaked by hand,” said engineer Günther Freimuth.

Wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM), also known as erosion machining, has been in use at Philips Austria since 1981. It all began with an AGIE DEM 315—in its day a revolutionary wire EDM machine that provided outstanding precision and surface quality. In the 90s, the WEDM machines AC 200D+SF and AC 250HSS, both of which allowed an ongoing, innovative development of wire erosion machining, followed.

In 2001 Philips Austria invested in an AC Excellence 2—at the time, an absolutely high-end WEDM system. To this day, the AC Excellence 2 produces hard metal punches and dies with superior quality. Early in 2014, when a successor for the Agiecut 200C+SF was needed (the Agiecut 200D+SF had provided 23 years’ reliable service and was no longer productive enough), the declared aim was to invest yet again in leading-edge technology.

“So as not to cut ourselves off from market developments, we compared various providers. We commissioned comparisons to determine the benchmark in wire erosion. The differences in both technology and price are sometimes extreme,” Freimuth explained, emphasizing the complexity of the evaluation phase.

In June 2014 the decision was made to purchase a CUT 2000 S with AWC from GF Machining Solutions. The key decision criteria for the CUT 2000 S with AWC were the high precision achieved and surface quality produced, the excellent, short machining times compared to the competition as well as many functional features, such as AWO (automatic wire wear compen-sation), AWC (Automatic Wire Changer), DuoTec (machining methods using different wire diameters), 3D Setup (automatic workpiece plane determination) and VISION Control, with built-in automatic functions.

The CUT 2000 S with AWC paves the way to a new dimension in production engineering.

CUT-2000-S-AWC

In combination with the Duo technologies, the two-wire AWC system allows fully automatic machining of workpieces with different wire diameters: for example, standard wire with diameter 0.20 mm in wire system 1 and fine wire down to 0.05 mm in wire system 2.

Scherkopf_01

The AWC is the perfect feature for producing workpieces with ultra-small internal and corner radii in record time. Some tools used at Philips Austria—such as the embossing tool for blades—have a large number of these small edge radii:

Maschine_&_Leute_03From left to right: Christian Wigoutschnig, Operator WEDM, Dipl.-Ing. Manfred Ladurner, Senior Manager Key Component Manufacturing, Erich Tropper, Operator WEDM, Dipl.–Ing. Günther Freimuth (Manager Process Engineering)

Equipped with diameter 0.20 mm wire on system 1 and 0.10 mm wire on system 2, the CUT 2000 S with AWC offers unsurpassed flexibility and productivity in wire EDM. “In a direct comparison with the wire EDM machines preceding the CUT 2000 S, we were able to reduce the production times for many tools by more than 30 percent,” Freimuth said about initial experiences at Philips with the CUT 2000 S with AWC.

Where previously the smaller-diameter wire had to be used for the full cut, preliminary machining can now be carried out with the thicker diameter 0.20 mm wire. For the subsequent trim cuts, the DuoTec system switches to the thinner wire—automatically and without user interaction. Whether steel or hard metal workpieces: the technology of the CUT 2000 S with AWC allows production at a surface quality of Ra = 0.10 µm and a workpiece height of up to 100 mm.

Furthermore, the CUT 2000 S with AWC offers machining at a previously unachievable level of precision. The dual measurement system guarantees dimensional accuracy in both space and on the workpiece. Christian Wigoutschnig pointed out an interesting finding: “Whereas it was previously possible to occasionally ignore CAD contours with a poor resolution, today every geometry element is represented in hitherto unheard of detail. At a surface roughness of 0.10 µm, even contour transitions of just a few micrometers can be visualized as an optical unevenness on the workpiece.”

It takes more than technology to convince: It is the combination of machine solutions and technical support that make the difference. GF Machining Solutions is a long-standing, competent partner of Philips Austria. It provides Philips with everything that is needed for a successful cooperation and supports its customers in meeting the stringent demands of the market.

 

 

Machines from Philips Austria GmbH:

1 CUT 2000 S with AWC

1 Agiecut Excellence 2

1 Agiecut 250 HSS

1 Agietron Impact 3

1 Agietron Innovation 3

1 DRILL (SD-1)

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Contact

Elke P. Magnin
Media Relations & Communication Manager
GF Machining Solutions
Ipsachstrasse 16
2560 Nidau
Switzerland

elke dot magnin #at# georgfischer dot com