Vacuum clamping for aluminium plate processing

ID: 1550632
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(businesspress24) - The core expertise of face mill the surfaces. A vacuum generated by Mink claw vacuum pumps from Busch is used to hold them securely on grid tables. In vacuum generation of this type, Alimex has found a highly reliable, clean and energy-efficient solution.

Alimex was founded in 1970. Initially, it only worked on sawing sections out of rolled plates.

At the start of the 1970s, Alimex specialised in sawing plates out of aluminium rolling ingots.
Unlike rolled plates and sheet metal, sawing can be used to produce aluminium plates that have a homogeneous structure and are stress-relieved.
These are essential requirements for many customers in the field of aviation technology, the optics industry, and the solar and semi-conductor industry, when processing materials to form high-quality components.
Today, Alimex supplies customers worldwide with aluminium case plates in various aluminium alloys with sawn, milled and mirror-finish surface qualities.

Standard sizes measure 3 x 1.5 metres, and special formats of up to 5 x 2.9 metres are also available on request.
The alloy EN AW-5083 (AlMg4.5Mn0.7) is most widely used, and produces low-tension precision cast plates with very balanced mechanical properties.
The fine, low-porous cast plates are also homogenised by extended heat treatment and undergo thermal stress relief.
At the customers
A special milling technique means that values below 0.2 micrometres (

Although the standard plate thicknesses are between 5 and 50 millimetres, much thicker plates are also produced.

Alimex uses rolling ingots obtained from different foundries as its raw material, and these are annealed under tension before processing
to eliminate the tensions that were created during the casting and cooling process.

An initial step sees the ingots sawn to size on a vertical band saw, and the plates are then sawn on a horizontal band saw.
Some of the aluminium plates are delivered with a saw cut, though the majority are further processed on one of the three CNC portal mills. The milling heads on two of the mills have a diameter of 1.7 metres, meaning that standard-format plates can be milled on one side using a feed motion.

The third mill has a milling head diameter that mills a maximum width of 2.5 metres using a feed motion.

All three portal mills were originally equipped with oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pumps, which generated the vacuum to hold the aluminium plates on the grid table.
However, Production Manager Najib El Byad was not satisfied with this solution. The maintenance effort for these vacuum pumps was considerable, as the filters for exhaust air and oil had to be changed, and the oil had to be topped up, every three months.
In addition, the oil had to be completely replaced once a year. Some of the fine oil mist that escaped from the oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pump condensed on the mirror-finish surfaces of the aluminium plates watt hours a year.

Busch then suggested to Najib El Byad the use of Mink claw vacuum pumps to hold the aluminium plates when milling. These vacuum pumps generate the retaining vacuum without oil or contact, and as a result the extracted air can be compressed without operating fluids. The contact-free technology in turn prevents wear in the vacuum pump, making the pump almost maintenance-free. Furthermore, contact-free operation enables a high efficiency factor, which again has a positive effect on energy consumption. The benefits could be seen right from the first few months of operation after the new vacuum technology was installed.

Oil-free operation means there is no contamination whatsoever from Mink claw vacuum pump exhaust air. Maintenance is limited to the preventive annual gear oil change. A significantly smaller quantity of gear oil (0.85 litres or one litre) is used than with rotary vane vacuum pumps that need replacement, as the latter require an annual oil change with 5 to 6.5 litres of oil in addition to the quarterly top ups.
The output of the new Mink claw vacuum pumps is precisely configured to provide the required clamping force, meaning that a smaller size was installed on each of the milling machines for standard plate sizes than on the mill for special formats. Both of the smaller Mink claw vacuum pumps are driven by a 3-kilowatt IE3 motor, and the larger one has a 6-kilowatt IE3 motor. As a result, the annual energy consumption for vacuum generation for all three milling machines is 64,800 kilowatt hours, which almost halves the energy costs compared to the previous solution. After more than two years of operating time, Production Manager Najib El Byad is very happy with the investment in the new Mink vacuum technology, which has met all expectations, as well as proving that vacuum generation works very reliably. There have been no faults or downtime whatsoever.

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Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems is one of the world’s largest producers of vacuum pumps, vacuum systems, blowers and compressors.
Its extensive product portfolio comprises solutions for vacuum and overpressure applications in all industries, including the chemical, semiconductor, medical technology, plastics, and food sectors. It also covers the design and construction of customized vacuum systems, as well as a global service network.
The Busch group is a family-owned company and is still managed by the Busch family. Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems has 3,000 employees in more than 60 companies in over 40 countries worldwide. Busch is headquartered in Maulburg, in southwest Germany. This is the location of Busch SE headquarters, as well as the German production facility and German sales company. In addition to Maulburg, Busch also has its own production plants in Switzerland, the UK, Czech Republic, Korea and the USA.

Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems was founded by Dr.-Ing. Karl Busch and his wife Ayhan Busch in 1963. Dr.-Ing. Karl Busch developed the “Huckepack”, which was the first vacuum pump that could be used for vacuum packaging of foodstuffs. The follow-up product, the compact “R 5” rotary vane vacuum pump, revolutionized food packaging. A further milestone represented the development of the “COBRA” screw vacuum pump. In 1971 the international expansion of the Busch group started with the founding of a sales company in the UK. The first production plant outside Germany was established in the USA in 1979.

PressRelease by


Jasmin Markanic

Busch Dienste GmbH
Global Marketing / Marketing Services
Coordinator Global Press & Media Relations

Schauinslandstraße 1
DE 79689 Maulburg
Phone: +49 7622 681 3376

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published by: SabrinaHeinecke
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Date: 07/11/2019 - 04:37
Language: English
News-ID 1550632
Character count: 5821
Firma: Busch Dienste GmbH
Ansprechpartner: Jasmin Markanic Feedback to about Pressrelease-id:
Stadt: Maulburg
Telefon: 0049 7622 681 3376

Meldungsart: Success
Versandart: send
Freigabedatum: 11.07.2019

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