Retrofitting with the TNC 320 – New Life for a Classic Machine
With CRS-Licht-Formtechnik in Ludwigsfelde in Brandenburg, Germany, a retrofit with a state-of-the-art TNC 320 has breathed new life into a solid machine classic. The old, but greatly valued milling machine now not only produces faster and more cost-effectively, but also offers completely new production possibilities.
CRS-Licht-Formtechnik manufactures lamp covers made of plastic through blow molding. The tools required are produced in their own workshop by a Hartkämper milling machine whose 26-year-old control system repeatedly caused downtime. The retrofit with a current TNC 320 opens completely new possibilities for the company, because the new control now enables them to manufacture shapes that are more complex. For toolmakers Jens Sommer, for example, contours with different radii and inclinations running into one another are no longer a problem: “Now I’m just faster at programming.” Because he always programs directly at the control, the many cycles help him now. “Before I had to type all that in myself. Now the programs are ready with just a few keystrokes.”
Jens Sommer very quickly learned to use the new control. By using his own initiative and working with the manual, he was soon up and running. He praises the new control: “I work much more relaxed now with the straightforward operating panel and the detailed screen.” Another advantage for him is the DXF converter, which can extract contours directly from drawings. This facilitates the programming of the usually rounded contours typical of lamp covers.
This retrofit was particularly attractive to CRS for other reasons as well: the existing encoders could stay installed because the TNC 320 understands their output signals. Not only that, but the whole makeover took only two weeks.