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Dirt and oil everywhere

Thick energy tube for combination machine for milling and drilling

In this machine tool, extremely high demands are made on the energy supply system for the main spindle. Dust, dirt and drilling fluid account for maximum loads from the outside. From the inside, heavy hydraulic hoses in particular affects the stability. The manufacturer relies on the very thick plastic energy tube for supply so that the performance data of the universal machine remains correct in the long run. This protects and routes all cables and hoses.

"The continuous dirt accumulation poses the biggest challenge for the deep-hole drilling and milling machine," says Thomas Gemeinhardt, Managing Director of the Auerbach Maschinenfabrik GmbH in Vogtland Ellefeld. "In addition,
the performance data of the machine tools increase, but the availability of interior space remains the same.
"To supply energy to the main spindle reliably, Auerbach uses the new energy tube "RX" in its multi-function "AX-TLF" type, which combines the milling and deep-hole drilling systems in one machine." It is almost 100 percent tight and ensures safe cable protection even in continuous use.

Milling and deep-hole drilling systems in one

The company Auerbach Maschinenfabrik GmbH has been manufacturing machine tools for over 60 years. As a result it doesn't restrict itself to traditional milling machines any longer. Thomas Gemeinhardt: "Our customers want multi-functional machines. As a result, our specialty today is the combination of conventional milling techniques with modern deep-hole drilling systems in one machine. "The resulting "AX-TLF" type series not only saves purchase costs. Also, the necessary set-up times can be reduced because the complete machining is possible with only one clamping. The machines can, depending on the design, machine workpieces with drill diameters from 6 to 65 mm (in special cases up to 100 mm), whereby in one move drill depths of up to 2.100 mm (in special cases up to 3.000 mm) are possible.

The Vogtland site employs 86 employees, including twelve trainees. In addition there are 18 employees in the TIXBO Tiefbohrcenter GmbH, who develop customized solutions on in-house Auerbach machines and conduct training courses. "We are particularly proud that we could keep our staff in the economically difficult times.


The "AX-TLF" type series of the Auerbach Maschinenfabrik GmbH, Ellefeld, combines conventional milling techniques with modern deep-hole drilling systems in one machine.


We feel well equipped for the future," says Gemeinhardt. Quality is top priority at the company. "With our high-quality machines, we want to constantly maintain our position as a special supplier in the market," says the Managing Director. "For this we have our own development department to implement specific customer requirements. We place value on the traditional German engineering quality - 'Made in Germany'. " This also applies to the selection of suppliers.

The new plastic energy tube

The new plastic energy tube "RX" supplies the main spindle of the machine tool.

Five basic machines,

The "AX-TLF" type series consists of five basic machines,
which serve as a platform for numerous variation options. This modularity pays off. In addition to the traditional mold-making and tooling, the combination machines are used in, among other things, the aviation and aerospace industry, general mechanical engineering, solar industry, apparatus engineering and the petroleum industry. This wide-ranging spectrum of applications brings more than the most varied machining demands. Even the choice of materials is wide, ranging from soft graphite through aluminum and standard steels up to high-strength stainless steels and titanium alloys. Thus, for example, a machine tool was developed for the petroleum industry, which implements in a titanium alloy in one move holes with a diameter of only 5 mm at a drill depth of 1.500 mm without exceeding tolerances.

The rounded design of the energy supply system simply makes the chips bounce off.

The rounded design of the energy supply system simply makes the chips bounce off. In addition, the pin/hole connection elements and the stop dogs are covered, so that no chips can stick there.

Graphite, drilling oil, continuous dirt accumulation

"Our machines have a very versatile use," says Thomas Gemeinhardt. In general, they can handle all types of materials. The requirements for a machine vary accordingly, such as the components used. For one, dirt accumulation plays a major role. Graphite, for example, is machined dry and is extremely abrasive and lubricating. If it is not exhausted, the entire environment would be black in the shortest time. Or the topic deep-hole drilling, where a lot of drilling oil is used. This creeps in everywhere and is extremely aggressive. Another option is, for instance, the minimum quantity lubrication. It only works with customers who machines a defined material. Here, lubricated air cooled at high pressure is used for deep-hole drilling. Due to the atomized oil, the particles fly through the work area before they settle everywhere.

While supplying energy to the main spindle, the plastic energy tube lies always in the immediate chip area. This means that hot chips remain partially on the tube and it is exposed to continuous dirt accumulation and drilling oil. In the process the machines, depending on orders, work in three shifts seven days a week. In addition to the extreme environmental conditions, there is a particularly small bending radius of 100 mm. And taut hydraulic hoses that are as hard as an iron bar increase the pressure within the energy supply system.

New "RX" energy tube

"Due to increased milling capacity, we had sought an even more robust solution for the energy supply for a customer as part of a retrofit with new built-in pressure hoses. We could find it very quickly," recalls Thomas Gemeinhardt. Since that time, only the "RX" energy tubes in the size 40 are used in the combination machine for milling and drilling. "Our universal machine tool needs to assert itself in a tough competition. Improvements are in the details," says Auerbach's Managing Director, Thomas Gemeinhardt. "Accordingly, we are constantly improving the performance data of our machines. We are currently developing, for example, a water-cooled spindle. Here, the machine is equipped simultaneously with sealing air, which means we must lay two more cables. " Therefore, here, the new large RX size with an inner height of 73 mm should be used to ensure energy supply.

Hydraulic hoses increase the pressure inside the energy tube.

Thick, taut hydraulic hoses that are as hard as an iron bar increase the pressure within the energy tube.

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