MTI at IMTS 2016: Double-Ended Rotary Axle Machine

Topics: Rotary Friction Welding, Automotive, Direct Drive Friction Welding, Axle Machine, MTI On The Road

Posted by: Bob Besse on Sep 13, 2016 6:00:00 AM

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The 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show is going on right now (September 12-17, 2016 in Chicago, IL) and MTI is here! We’re in the North Building, B Hall (Fabricating & Lasers), Booth N-6014 and it’s great talking with colleagues in the manufacturing sector about our friction welding technologies. Specifically, MTI representatives are talking about our newest machine we’ve introduced: the double-ended rotary axle machine.

MTI and Innovation: Perfect Together

MTI customers are helping us drive positive change in manufacturing every day. Our latest innovation — a double-ended rotary axle machine — is a perfect example. Based on input from our customers, we’ve engineered a solution that uses advanced technology to increase efficiency, control, and cost effectiveness in axle production.

What We Heard

Our customers in the automotive industry asked MTI for enhanced production capabilities such as:

  • Post-weld, finished axles that require no further machining
  • Ability for a single machine to process drive or trailer axles
  • Automated axle-length adjustability, to eliminate manual software changes

In response to these requests, MTI engineered a double-ended rotary axle machine that accommodates all of these needs, and more. In fact, it meets drive and trailer axle industry standards, so you can match your industry’s demand on capability and capacity.

How We Did It

The challenge: to build a unique solution that would offer maximum flexibility, and maximum accuracy.

The result: a fully automated machine that leverages rotary friction welding technology to provide work cell automation.

The MTI double-ended rotary axle machine provided:

  • Improved production capability with new quick change part contact tooling that reduces change-out downtime on the machine
  • Easy scheduling of multiple axle production runs on a single machine
  • Ability to deliver fully finished axles for various applications, all with precision part accuracy

Additional details — like independent mandrel clamp controls that help minimize distortion, and enhanced spindle positional control —improved flash debris removal also help make the production process easier, and the parts even better. Plus, the machine itself is work cell-ready, so we can drop in robots, or engineer a linear overhead gantry to fully automate the process including spindle destacking and axle orientation on the input to the machine.

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Direct Drive Friction Welding

The MTI double-ended rotary friction machine was designed with our customers’ needs in mind. We applied our knowledge of friction welding technologies to the right application. In this case, it was Direct Drive Friction Welding, which is the standard for axle production. Here’s how that process works:

  1. A single part is rotated while the other stays stationary.
  2. A low friction force generates heat at the weld interface.
  3. A second friction forge force is applied to generate more heat to further soften materials.
  4. Energy input is decreased; full forge load is applied, causing soft material at the weld line to extrude.
  5. Forge force is maintained to allow the part time to cool.

MTI Can Solve Your Problems

MTI has used the friction welding process for near net shape manufacturing of parts since the start and has now proven the ability to produce quality parts by friction welding with additively manufactured parts. With these techniques among the several friction welding options applied by our expert engineers every day, MTI has the knowledge and know how to solve your manufacturing problems. We’ll build a machine that makes your part, we’ll make the part for you, or we’ll help you make the part even better.

Ask us about it at IMTS!

MTI’s newest, most innovative double-ended, direct drive, rotary friction welding machine can increase your throughput with little or no scrap, increase your revenue, and decrease your operational costs. Stop by our booth at IMTS and let’s talk about it! The MTI team is in Booth N-6014 in the North Building, B Hall (Fabricators & Lasers).

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About MTI

In 1926 our founder, Conrad Adams, may not have been able to visualize all the great things ahead for his family’s small tool and die company. However, he could see a bright future solving problems for his customers. Through hard work and a steadfast dedication to solving their most challenging manufacturing problems, the little company from South Bend, Indiana became the world-leader in friction welding technologies, providing engineered solutions from golf putters to jet engines. Today – nine decades and four generations later – MTI’s commitment continues with a solid succession plan and a vision for GREATNESS in place for the next generation.