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How to choose the transfer system that best suits your needs?

Jan 13, 2021 5:00:58 PM

Transfer system consist of several automatic machining operations working in parallel to produce a finished part, ready for assembly. The simultaneous and high-speed processing is ideal for high-volume production.

Multiple operations can be carried out on cylindrical workpieces, including cutting to length, turning, drilling and threading in the radial or axial direction, inner and/or outer chamfering, knurling, reaming, milling of grooves, reducing, and even geometrically complex shapes.


turning center for cutting and end-machining cylindrical workpiecesIn a turning center, multiple work stations operate in parallel to guarantee the high productivity typical of the automotive sector.


Use of turning centers in the automotive sector

Turning centers are widely used in the automotive sector and any industry with high production volumes.

Since the process is not affected by manual repositioning errors of the parts, which are clamped during the entire working cycle, turning centers guarantee precision and repeatability, making it possible to achieve the high process reliability CPK standards typically required in this sector.

Although turning centers are traditionally purposed for large production volumes, new market logic aims to produce smaller batch sizes by reducing changeover times and integrating with MES and ERP systems.

In the case of automotive applications, cylindrical parts are used in the chassis, braking system, steering, suspension, transmission and gear systems, such as reducers and differential. For instance, bushings, pins, shafts and any other revolving parts where various machining processes are required.

Efficiency optimizations have made it possible to create turning centers that are not only highly productive, but also able to guarantee a certain level of flexibility and technological diversity. This allows manufacturers to meet their customer’s lead time and per part cost, while offering a "Tailor Made" approach for higher value-added applications.


A part made with CNC radial head mounted on transfer.A component made with BLM GROUP EM80 transfer system equipped with CNC radial heads.


Here are some tips for choosing high-productivity turning center

Productivity is the essential element to look for in a turning center and it is precisely the feature that distinguishes it from lathes or CNC multi-axis milling machines. Here are some features that, in terms of productivity, offer the added value you should consider when choosing a new system.

All-electric technology: Modern turning center systems are equipped with brushless motors with CNC control. This not only provides higher speed and precision, but also reduces maintenance and eliminates the manual adjustments generally necessary in systems driven by DC motors.

Loading system: Given the high productivity, automatic loading is of paramount importance. The high productivity transfer systems that produce cut and machined parts from tube or bar automatically load the tube from a bundle, cut it to size and transfer it to the 3-position rotary transfer, all automatically without operator intervention.

Unloading system: As with loading, managing the removal of machining debris and unloading of finished parts must be fast and efficient. A system equipped with a converyor system for chip collection and separate exit routes for finished parts is ideal. Finished parts and debris can be collected in bins and exchanged without ever stopping production.

When the batch size is particularly large and the production rate is in the order of hundreds or even thousands of parts per hour, the machine must be equipped with efficient chip ejection, cutting fluid recycling systems, and a fully enclosed work area. This makes it possible to reduce manual cleaning interventions as much as possible and avoid machine downtime.

Working area of a high-productivity turning centerCutting area of the BLM GROUP BC80 transfer system.


Fast production changeover

Fast production changeovers allow, especially to subcontractors that work not only for the automotive but also for other sectors, to be efficient even when batch sizes are reduced.

This requires machines that are easy to operate and program and also allow new operators to quickly learn how to get the most out of the machine.

With systems equipped with brushless motors, manual adjustments are almost completely absent. This not only makes changeover faster, but eliminates the risk of human error, improves safety, and maintains machine integrity.

Having the ability to process a variety of materials is another element that simplifies the start-up of new production. An integrated cutting parameter database for all the common material types helps the operator select the best machining parameters.

It is no longer necessary to rely on the operator's experience. The experience is built into the machine. It determines the best parameters for optimal process conditions and minimal tool wear to quickly start production.

When producing parts from tubes or bars, make sure the machine is able to cut and process different part lengths for broader manufacturing capabilities and market reach.

These features help subcontractors diversify their business, which is especially helpful when one industry is experiencing a downturn.

To efficiently manage production changes, order and material management with MES and ERP systems has become more and more common. Look for machines capable of interfacing with these systems to guarantee the best OEE.


OEE in CNC turning centersOEE is globally recognized as the index of the good use of a system and is obtained by multiplying availability, quality and productivity.


BLM GROUP transfer system for tubes or bars


EM80: The flexibility of a lathe and the productivity of a transfer machine.

The EM80 is an integrated system for cutting and end-machining parts from tubes or bar stock, which combines the flexibility of a lathe with the productivity and robustness of a turning system. It is equipped with a specific cutting unit with two/four axial spindles and a radial unit.

The EM80 makes it possible to carry out a wide range of jobs with just one clamping operation, including cutting to length, deep axial drilling (in the case of solid bars) with coolant distribution from the center of the drill, internal and external turning and chamfering, threading, knurling, reaming, CNC machining of complex profiles, radial drilling and milling.

The EM80 is the most efficient and cost-effective solution available on the market for 24/7 production of end-machined parts up to 80 mm in diameter and from 10 to 600 mm long.



Find out more about EM80


BC80: up to 2200 parts per hour, cut to size, chamfered and verified.

The BC80 is a rotary, high-productivity transfer system for cutting and chamfering tubes and solid bars. It is characterized by fully automatic operation, separate management of scraps and chips, protections for tubes with delicate surfaces, centralized adjustments for changing the diameter, and a simple to use programming interface.

The BC80 is the most efficient and cost-effective solution available on the market for 24/7 production of bushes up to 80 mm in diameter and from 10 to 350 mm long. It can make up to 2200 parts/hour, each one cut to size, chamfered, and measured, starting from a tube or full bar.



Find out more about BC80