To define an angle head’s optimum time of maintenance in crankcase manufacturing, MTU Friedrichshafen uses the BENZ operating hours counter. The digital indicator supports MTU Friedrichshafen in carrying out preventive servicing more efficiently and reduces to a minimum possible disruptions in the production process, such as those caused by the breakdown of units.

In crankcase manufacturing, machining with precision to the nearest hundredth is an absolute must. This places high demands on the technical features of the tools used. Parameters such as concentricity, stiffness, etc. directly impact the machining quality of parts. Tools that are used often or in diverse processes have to be checked and serviced regularly to guarantee their functionality and precision. But when is the right time to do it?

Ricci Martin, who is responsible for tool planning at MTU Friedrichhafen’s crankcase manufacturing, asked himself that precise question.

MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, a core brand of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of large-bore diesel engines with an output power of up to 10.000 kW. The engines are used in agriculture, trains, ships, and emergency power generators. Such engines are characterized by being extremely robust, having low fuel consumption and favorable emission values. Before a raw part turns into a ready-for-assembly crankcase, three machining centers and seven different settings are necessary. During fully automated machining, tools mill the surface of the work piece. Therefore, MTU Friedrichshafen relies on BENZ angle heads.

Due to the amount of angle heads and the resulting frequent tool changes, the operation times of the angle heads could only have been monitored via the machine control, requiring enormous research and documentation efforts. As a result, MTU regularly sent its angle heads to BENZ’s service department, even if an angle head was only rarely used. This less-than-ideal situation forced Martin and the technology specialists from BENZ to look for an easier solution for monitoring operation times. The result is a digital operating hour counter that is directly integrated into the angle head’s housing. As soon as the spindle starts turning, the counter is activated. Users benefit from fast, exact data of an angle head’s operating time, directly at the unit. This requires strict monitoring of the unit and implementation of efficient preventive maintenance.

“Thanks to the operating hours counter, we know at once if an angle head achieved the recommended operating time,” said Martin, describing this technology’s advantages. “We are able to better plan inspections and to avoid possible failures in our production process.”

For him it is clear that all MTU angle heads will be upgraded with the new counter. “In the future, an operating hours counter for sure will become a standard feature.” he said. “It is an easy but comfortable solution that reduced our expenditure on testing and maintenance significantly.”

About BENZ Tooling and BENZ Inc.
More than 30 years of experience in developing and producing CNC machine tool accessories make BENZ GmbH Werkzeugsysteme one of the leading system partners in the metalworking, woodworking and composites industries. The sophisticated product portfolio reflects high quality and innovative precision engineering. It includes static and live tools, exchangeable units, such as angle heads, multi spindle heads, modular quick-change systems and large drilling heads, as well as 2-axis CNC-NC heads. A combination of modern management and advanced, innovative engineering has transformed this traditional tooling company with over 250 employees into an innovative, growing enterprise.

BENZ Inc. is the technological leader for the production of innovative machining heads for the metalworking industry. The company manufactures tooling in Germany and offers sales and support for the United States and Canada through its subsidiary, BENZ Inc., from its North Carolina headquarters.