38800 Grand River Ave
Farmington Hills,  MI  48335-1526

United States
  • Booth: 1345

The EMAG Group covers the entire spectrum of machining processes in the metalworking industry. Active in the automotive, oil field, power generation, aerospace and large equipment industries, EMAG is a trendsetter in the field of vertical turning and multi-functional production machines. The leader in vertical pick-up lathes, EMAG has integrated its pick-up principle into a wide array of technology-specific machines offering world-class manufacturing with a minimal footprint, short chip-to-chip times and unsurpassed quality. Our focus is on complete processes that allow the customer to machine everything in a single set-up.

EMAG Group Technologies
• Turning
• Milling
• Grinding
• Hobbing
• Laser Welding
• Electro-Chemical Machining
• Induction Hardening
• Heat Shrink Assembly

The German based company is an important partner in the realization of complete manufacturing lines worldwide with their North American headquarters in Metro-Detroit.

 Press Releases

  • Vertical production machines are EMAG's territory. It all began with the VSC series, which laid the foundation for the successful machine concept of the vertical pick-up turning center. This machine concept runs through nearly the entire product range of the manufacturer, and it takes on its latest form in the VL series.

    VL machines are part of EMAG's modular standard series. As the term suggests, these machines are built on a common machine base but allow the use of an extremely wide range of technologies, similar to the modular platform systems seen in the automotive industry. There are now modular machines available for turning, gear hobbing, and chamfering processes; for grinding (chucked parts and shaft parts); for induction hardening; and also in special designs for laser welding or PECM technology. Essentially, they are available for virtually all the technologies offered by the EMAG Group.

    Automation Included

    The machine base of these modular machines is made out of MINERALIT® polymer concrete. This material has exceptional vibration damping properties, which is the basis for the machines' excellent process quality. The machine base supports a compound slide rest equipped with an X-axis and a Z-axis, which allows the working spindle to move. The working spindle is the heart of the pick-up automation system which is an essential part of every modular machine. It includes a parts storage unit in every machine, from which the pick-up spindle loads and unloads itself independently. This lowers non-productive time to an absolute minimum as there are only a few seconds between the machining processes. An optional measuring probe can be installed directly alongside the loading position, allowing time-optimized measuring of the parts. The designers have thought of everything to make these machines as efficient as possible.

    The VL Series—the Modern Approach to Turning

    The vertical pick-up turning centers of the VL series were developed particularly for the production of precise chucked parts. There are now five versions of the VL machine to cover the widest possible range of parts. The smallest machine is the VL 2, designed for chucked parts with a diameter of up to 100 mm. It is followed by the VL 4, VL 6, and VL 8 machines which allow for an increase of 100 mm in diameter with each model increase (see image). These additional models allow the VL series to cover workpieces up to 400 mm in diameter. Each VL machine is equipped with a tool turret with up to twelve (driven) tools for the machining of chucked parts. This turret is exceptionally dynamic; it’s very fast indexing cuts non-productive time to a minimum, which in turn reduces cycle times. The machines can also be equipped with a Y-axis in the turret for the machining of complex shapes. This greatly expands the number of possible applications of the machines. The fifth machine in the set is the VL 3 DUO with dual spindle.

    VL 3 DUO—Two Machining Areas Ensure Productivity

    The VL 3 DUO is the first dual-spindle machine in the VL series. Its parts capacity places it between the VL 2 and VL 4, allowing high-productivity manufacturing of chucked parts with a diameter of up to 150 mm. It's no coincidence that the majority of transmission gearwheels fall into this size category. Every aspect of the VL 3 DUO has been designed for high-volume production, which makes it the ideal solution for the machining of gear blanks that have to be churned out by the millions. The VL 3 DUO is pure performance. Including the parts storage unit, the VL 3 DUO has a footprint of no more than 13 square meters. That space houses the automation system, the parts storage unit, and two complete machining areas, each with its own working spindle and its own 12-station tool turret. This machine is ideal for production in two clamping operations – machining both sides of a workpiece in OP 10 and OP 20, respectively. Of course, the part needs to be flipped over between the two operations. With the TrackMotion automation system, EMAG has found an ingenious solution for this problem.

    TrackMotion—Modular Automation Solution for Modular Machines

    The TrackMotion automation system has been specially designed for modular machines and drastically simplifies the connecting of multiple machines. The example of the VL 3 DUO makes this very clear. The TrackMotion automation system is made up of two components: a track, which is a kind of rail routed behind the work area of the machines, and the TransLift, a gripper system that runs along on that rail. This NC gripper, which is programmed directly through the machine's control, provides the transportation of parts between the machines, as well as to and from the storage unit for raw and finished parts. The gripper has a Z-axis so it can also store the parts three-dimensionally, on top of each other, in stackers. This allows a huge number of parts to be stored in a very small space. The gripper also functions as a flip-over unit, turning the TrackMotion into a genuine all-purpose solution for the automation of modular machines.

    Modern Manufacturing with VL Machines

    EMAG's VL series of vertical pick-up turning centers offers a whole range of machines where everybody can find the perfect tool for their application. Whether as standalone machines, or linked with other modular machines, the VL series promises state-of-the-art production of chucked parts with top of the line quality, at rock-bottom unit cost.

  • “Component quality” is a buzzword often mentioned in gear manufacturing. However, at Humbel Gear Technology in Switzerland, it is particularly important: The gears and transmission components developed and produced here are used in motor sports or serve as prototypes to enhance electric drives—extremely challenging fields of application with rather small batch sizes. A “standard” measure of component quality is not enough in this case. The Swiss specialists have recently expanded their machine inventory to include a VL 4 vertical turning center from EMAG. Ultimately, the integrated pick-up automation system was decisive in making their investment decision: At Humbel, it provides a boost in productivity and at the same time guarantees the required component quality in the main machining operation. After the first few months in operation, the Swiss specialists were “surprised by the machine’s stability and performance.”

    When asked to describe the company’s particular expertise and unique selling points in a nutshell, Alex Humbel, General Manager at Humbel Gear Technology, doesn’t think twice: “‘Precision’ is the deciding word for us. At our main location in Switzerland, we produce very sophisticated gears and transmission components, which really require the highest quality.” Simply listing the industries in which its customers operate already hints at the reason for this: Humbel gears are, for example, used in Formula 1 and Formula E, in aerospace, in various fields of mechanical engineering and even as prototypes for new electric cars. Perfect surfaces and high component stability are essential—not massive unit volumes: Batch sizes of 200 parts are the higher end for the Swiss location. The company essentially distinguishes itself by a high level of vertical integration, including all the relevant processes from turning, gear cutting, and grinding to cubic machining and electrical discharge machining all the way to hardening. “We have developed into a highly specialized, full-service provider and, in addition to customer and application-specific manufacturing, we also offer gear development,” concludes Alex Humbel to sum up the development of the family-owned business, which was founded as a “gear factory” back in 1928.

    Centralized Automation Solution

    The specialists have recently invested in several machines from EMAG: Three of them are installed at the two subsidiaries in Romania and in the Czech Republic. A fourth machine is located at the main location in Kradolf, Switzerland, about 20 kilometers from St. Gallen. The fact that this is a VL 4 pick-up turning center may surprise industry experts. After all, this machine is more often used to process large batch sizes. In contrast, at Humbel, the VL 4 is used to soft machine only about 50 to 200 flange components, before the next component change. Why did Humbel decide to invest in this machine? “We have already been using EMAG technology for quite some time,” says the Managing Director. “Above all, it is the integrated pick-up automation system that convinced us. This approach enables us to increase our productivity even with smaller unit volumes. At the end of the day, once the machine has been configured, the overall process requires little manpower and still runs reliably. Moreover, the EMAG automation solution is designed in as simple a manner as possible. Many alternative automation concepts from other suppliers seem more complicated to us than the EMAG solution and therefore also too fault-prone.”

    Turning Provides the Basis for Quality

    The required component quality also played a part in the investment decision, because the turning center must establish an ideal basis in the main machining operation for all subsequent processes. “If we obtain a high quality at this stage, it is easier to design the subsequent grinding processes and thus to guarantee perfect results,” says Pascal Wanner, responsible for implementing the technology in EMAG machines at the Humbel Group. “We are able to guarantee this initial quality in the process with the VL 4.” Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Humbel frequently is facing material challenges. For example, the motor sport components are manufactured from high-alloy case-hardened steels, which are relatively difficult to machine. In this and similar contexts, the specialists benefit from the machine’s additional configuration details. For instance, the machine base made from Mineralit® polymer concrete reduces vibrations during the milling process and thus ensures longer tool lives. Additionally, the main spindle is fastened to the front of the machine with a compound slide rest and enables dynamic movement in the X and Z-axes. The 12-post tool turret is also suited for driven tools and features very short indexing times. “The machine’s stability and performance surprised us. Our infeeds and feed rates are actually higher than we expected,” comments Pascal Wanner.

    The Machine Fits the Strategy

    The compact VL 4 including the O-belt automation and Fanuc CNC control unit have been in use at Humbel since April 2018. EMAG’s sales partner Suvema AG, headquartered in Biberist, Switzerland, provided targeted advice regarding equipment and configuration. The company has been handling the sales of EMAG manufacturing systems in the alpine republic since 2016. “We highly value comprehensive service and also know the requirements of the local production industry. Based on this, we are able to more effectively introduce EMAG technology to the market,” explains Daniele Corso of Suvema AG. The fact that the gear and transmission specialists at Humbel are satisfied with the overall performance of their new machine is evident considering the investments in a VL 3-DUO turning center and VL 8 for the Romanian location as well as a VL 8 and a VMC 450 (yet to be delivered) for the Czech location. “Especially in Switzerland, our strategy remains to produce particularly sophisticated components,” says Alex Humbel. “However, we do not only consider ourselves to be a manufacturer of single parts, but we also have an eye on complete transmission assemblies for the future—for example, in the areas of motor sports and e-mobility. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the VL 4 open up all kinds of opportunities for us.” 

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