Innovative metalworking solutions
Process chain automation
For over 125 years the name KALTENBACH has been synonymous with quality, performance and reliability in the steel and aluminium processing industry. The German company based in Lörrach, Baden-Württemberg, was originally renowned for its innovative circular sawing machines.
Today it offers a complete range of metalworking products. Through the development of pioneering technologies, the engineering firm has forged a reputation in specialist areas such as steel fabrication and steel service centres. KALTENBACH is a market leader in its field, with over 120,000 machines installed worldwide. STÖBER supports the Lörrach-based engineering firm with modern drive concepts such as those used in the development and manufacture of its KF 2606/12 plate processing centres for steel fabrication, machine and equipment engineering.
Long associated with the manufacture of sawing and drilling systems, profiling and plate processing cenrtes, today the KALTENBACH Group is making a name for itself as a producer of modern shotblasting and preservation systems. The company has benn in the hands of the same family since it was founded in 1887 and, while stoll headquartered in Lörrach, it now has production plants in Hengelo in the Netherlands and Burnhaupt in France. The Group also has nine sales and service subsidiaries as well as agents in over 50 countries to carter for ist customers around the globe. KALTENBACH attributes its leading global market position largely to its innovative designs and high standards of quality.
The engineering firm also benefits from a high level of vertical integration, starting with product development and systems engineering, moving on to component production and assembly and finishing with commissioning, maintenance and servicing.
Underpinned by years of experience, circular sawing machines, universal circular saws and automatic saws for steel and aluminium are the main focus of production. This sector also includes circular saws for profiled steel and band saws.
However, the traditional saw business forms only part of the product range. Today the company offers machines designed to transport, drill, punch, shear, cut, weld and treat the surfaces of steel parts. The Lörrach-based engineers rely on innovative, integrated solutions with seamless automation for machining profiles and sheet steel. The aim is to significantly enhance productivity in the machine engineering, plant engineering, steel fabrication and steel service centres through the use of rational design concepts.
KALTENBACH has et a new trend in sheet steel processing with the new KF 2606/12 series. The processing centres are tailored precisely to the needs of the steel fabrication industry and steel service centres as well as equipment and machine engineering. These efficient machines can be used to process sheet steel, metal strips and flat steel for end plates, base plates and gussets.
Sheet steel can be drilled and cut in a single clamping operation. The first step always involves a machining process and the second a thermal cutting process.
With up to 2 drilling units and 4 gas cutting units, the processing centres are capable of machining sheet steel up to a width of 2600 mm, a length of 12,000 mm and a thickness of 100 mm fully automatically. Each axis is equipped with an automatic tool changer with 6 tools. This enables the KF 2606/12 to sign, mark, drill, centre, countersink, mill, thread-cut und cut in a single pass.
After machining, the system then transports the workpieces to the automatic sorter. No manual intervention is required. The processing centres score extra points for their integrated gas cutting units. These make for extremely efficient sheet steel processing. KALTENBACH offers efficient plasma cutting units for sheet steel up to 50 mm thick and autogenous gas cutting units for thicknesses of up to 100 mm for the new KF 2606/12. In addition, all KF-machines are designed to minimise material waste by using common cut and cross-cut technology to ensure that plates are nested very economically and scrap is kept to a minimum.
KALTENBACH uses a modern, dedicated software package to operate the machinery and equipment. Programming is carried out either directly at the machine using the touchscreen or externally by the Work Scheduling department.
STÖBER keeps things on the move
KALTENBACH uses modern drive systems manufactured by STÖBER in many systems and machines to satisfy their exacting standards of quality, reliability and performance. Servomotors with planetary gear units are used in the new KF 2606/12 series plate processing centres to ensure optimum torque when positioning the spindle during drilling operations. Compact gear units with a torque of 32 Nm bring the tool changer with tools weighing up to 12 kg into the exact position. Servomotors by STÖBER with planetary and helical bevel gear units also ensure that measurement carriages are precisely positioned.
„Our customers demand high standards of quality, machine availability, positional accuracy and repeatability in all positional axes. We pass on these requirements to our suppliers”, explains Kaltenbach’s Director of Development.
The collaboration between KALTENBACH and STÖBER began in 2000 initially with just a few units and has been expanding steadily ever since. Apart from quality and reliability, it was the compatibility with the control units used by Kaltenbach which first attracted them to STÖBER. And since STÖBER was able to simulate different control units perfectly, the engineering firm soon found that it had access to a large selection of high-performance drives.
Another deciding factor for Kaltenbach is hat STÖBER supplies a complete range of servomotors and gear units. It is much easier for the KALTENBACH designers to install optimally matched drive units than to source every component individually, combine motors and gear units and test them. All the parts of STÖBER drives fit together perfectly. Problems are avoided because the electrical performance data are compatible and the interaction between the engine and the control system satisfies KALTENBACH's high standards.
The advice and support provided by STÖBER is one of the reasons why the experience has been so positive. „Whenever we have turned to STÖBER for help with an application, the drive has never let us down,“ says Director of Development at KALTENBACH.
One particular benefit for KALTENBACH is the very wide variety of different drives and gear units, which provide optimum results even in small batch numbers.