11/20/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Schaeffler and DMG MORI Develop Hybrid Process to Manufacture Rolling Bearing Components

The companies are developing production processes using a Lasertec 65 3D hybrid machine tool. 

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As part of a cooperation project between the two companies, Schaeffler and DMG MORI are developing additive manufacturing processes to manufacture rolling bearing ocmponents made of graded materials. The project utilizes DMG MORI’s Lasertec 65 3D hybrid, which integrates laser deposition welding with five-axis milling. 

Schaeffler is expanding its own in-house area of additive manufacturing to include the powder bed process for the first time with a Lasertec 65 3D hybrid, which it uses for the production of components made of metallic materials. The company selected this machine in part because of its high build-up rate and flexibility of materials. In addition, integrated five-axis simultaneous machining enables the production of components in finished part quality in a single setup, a feature in which Schaeffer sees potential for serial production.

The Lasertec 65 3D hybrid is equipped with two powder feeders and enables targeted control of the change-over from one material to another during laser deposition welding. According to DMG MORI, this results in graded materials with a smooth transition between the different material properties. The toughness and hardness of the material can be regulated in the build-up process and optimally aligned to the specific requirements of the individual application.

Schaeffler and DMG MORI are testing suitable materials in the cooperation project, with the aim of advancing the development of additively manufactured rolling bearing components in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding. Schaeffer’s focus of attention here is on realizing optimized products that offer added value for end customers.

“This strong partnership brings about fascinating synergy effects in the production of additively manufactured components,“ explains Patrick Diederich, responsible for advanced technologies at DMG MORI and managing director of Sauer GmbH.

Schaeffler has also been active in formula E for many years and is working  on further improvements for electric drives within the framework of its strategy “Mobility for Tomorrow”. The use of material gradation here on the Lasertec 65 3D hybrid results in exciting opportunities for development. Magnetic and non-magnetic materials could, for example, be combined through gradation and the properties adjusted to the component as required.

Schaeffler also plans to integrate the Lasertec 65 3D hybrid into production of spare parts, small series and single parts. 

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