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New Bar Feeders Anchor a Global Expansion Strategy

Sept. 1, 2011
LNS products marked by user friendliness, reliability, energy efficiency, productivity
The Express 332 S2 is designed for greater rigidity, flexibility and user friendliness.
The new Alpha ST320 S2 is designed for maximum reliability and long production runs.
The Alpha SL65 S is designed especially designed for short bar stocks.

LNS Group is introducing three new bar-feeding machines at EMO Hannover 2011 this month: it reported that the Express 332 S2, the Alpha ST320 S2 and the Alpha SL65 S have key attributes in common: user friendliness, reliability, energy efficiency, and maximum productivity.

Switzerland-based LNS also will present new designs for chip conveying and coolant management, all reinforcing what it said is a “global expansion strategy.” The group develops, builds, and distributes conveyors, coolant systems and other peripherals for machining operations, and has eight production plants located in North America, the U.K., China, Taiwan, Turkey, and Italy, as well as Switzerland. It has installed more than 120,000 bar feeders worldwide.

“We are optimizing worldwide distribution channels for the complete product line to leverage a global expansion and to underline our position as the world market leader in automating machine tools,” stated Thomas Boehmer, CEO of the LNS Group. “The recent acquisition of the Italian air filtration specialist Fox IFS was an important step – both into green technologies and on the way to a faster expansion.”

The global expansion is being fueled by LNS’ research and development teams. “We put our highest efforts into R&D, both in bar feeding and the chip conveyor and coolant management (CCM) sectors,” Boehmer continued.

Optimizing productivity
The first of the new bar feeders to be introduced at EMO will be the Express 332 S2, and update to the Express 332 series for handling long bar stocks, launched in 2001. “It was now time not only to refresh the product, but to redesign it from scratch,” according to Carlos Muniz, LNS global product manager for bar feeders. The Express 332 S2 combines the best elements of the Sprint and Express series and improves the design’s rigidity, flexibility and user friendliness.

In the new Express series, LNS adapted insights gained from its Sprint family of bar feeders and used the mechanical-beam concept to increase stability, optimize dynamic behavior, and provide “perfect” guiding. A fast diameter changeover makes the bar feeder very flexible.

“We redesigned and optimized the bar feeder, but we also kept its philosophy and all the features that made it so successful,” Muniz said. The Express 332 S2 is equipped with a color touch screen, making it easy to control the shape, diameter, and feed length, and to troubleshoot process delays. All elements are compatible with the Express 332. The 32-mm segment especially targets machine shops serving medical, electro-mechanical, hydraulic, aviation, and automotive industries, LNS indicated, and like all its bar feeders the Express 332 is fully CE compliant. “We cooperated with external consultants to perform risk analyses for all machines and optimizing them,” Muniz reported.

Proven in thousands of applications
New to the global bar feeder market is LNS’ follow-up to the successful Alpha ST320. “The S2 is highly reliable and economical. It can easily handle long production runs without any problems or downtimes,” said Muniz. The LNS R&D teams kept the concept and underlying technology of the entry-level bar feeder, but increased the rigidity. “We changed the core of the machine, installed a more rigid front rest, simplified the bar selection, improved the guiding zone with aluminum profiles, and added a much stronger remnant extraction,” he continued. “All of that makes the machine more rigid.”

LNS indicated the Alpha ST320 S2 is designed for maximum reliability and long production runs, whereas the Express 332 S2 is more flexible.”

A third new design is the new Alpha SL65 S, developed to be simple, reliable, and economical, and especially suited for short bar stocks. “Operating with long bar stocks can cause problem, when those bar stocks are not completely straight, when cheaply manufactured, or transported without care,” Muniz explained. “An ‘un-straight’ bar stock creates vibrations, causing problems with surface finish and tool life.

“The solutions are either to reduce the rotating speed, which would minimize productivity, or to cut the stock in shorter parts and produce in full speed,” Muniz continued. The Alpha SL65 S was developed specifically for short bar stocks. The bar feeder is intended to be easy to handle, from the loading rack and the remote control all the way to the diameter changeover.

Green innovations
In addition to the new bar feeders, LNS Group will present innovations for chip disposal and coolant management (CCM.) “The new CCM products convince with optimized efficiency and reduced energy consumption,” according to Jamie Towers, global product manager CCM.

The patent-pending Turbo MH250 operates with only one motor and belt, filtering all chip types and shapes as well as all kind of materials. Energy consumption has been cut by 50%, making it one of the most environment friendly filtering conveyors on the market, according to the developer. Due to its versatility, ease of maintenance, energy efficiency and reduction of downtimes, the Turbo MH250 is a cost-effective solution.

Another LNS innovation is the PowerStream VP high-pressure coolant system (HPC.) “With the PowerStream VP, we complete our HPC product range,” commented Towers. The plug-and-play unit allows programmable variable pressure outputs, making the product flexible and energy efficient. “The system does not create excess flow which wastes energy and creates excess heat,” he said. “In tests, customers were able to reduce energy consumption drastically.”

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