A NEW GENERATION SHOWS OFF ITS SKILLS
Passing down knowledge and skill from one generation to the next is just one of the guiding values of Wandfluh AG in Frutigen in the Bernese Oberland. Founded in 1946, the family business develops, manufactures and distributes innovative hydraulic components worldwide. All the turning, boring, milling and grinding that goes on in the company’s training shop calls for a high-performance machining fluid – just the job for Swisscool 8000.
Wandfluh AG is currently training 32 apprentices in eight different occupations at its main facility. With a focus on “general mechanics” (16 apprentices), the company is ensuring that knowledge gets passed down to future generations.
CRIMPING MACHINE PROJECT
At the end of the four-year program, trainees carry out individual projects that require them to apply a wide range of the skills they’ve learned. Axial conduits – the elements at the core of a solenoid valve – are “crimped” on crimping machines. The assignment is to build a crimping machine to make the crimping process simpler and more reliable. Based on detailed drawings, the general mechanic trainee’s task is to produce the base block and adaptation along with other components, using a variety of the latest equipment including CNC milling machines and lathes along with CAM software for producing the CNC programs.
CRIMPING IS FOREVER
Of course nothing truly lasts forever, but crimping – a process in which two components are joined together by means of physical deformation – creates an extremely durable bond. The pieces are joined by flanging, compression, gathering or folding, making crimped joints quite difficult to undo. The crimping machine’s function is to perform the crimping by means of twelve hydraulic pistons. Their operating pressure is approximately 300 bar.
7 COMPONENTS MADE OF 6 MATERIALS
Future general mechanic Thomas Schranz’s project, described above, is actually quite similar to building a prototype. Nothing exists as a standardized production process; everything is new. The seven different components of the crimping device, for example, are made of six different (steel) materials. These require different processes to work and one creative approach after another to execute with the available machining equipment.
JUST RIGHT: SWISSCOOL 8000
MOTOREX has been Wandfluh AG’s reliable, innovation-driven lubrication partner for many years. The latest development in machining fluid from MOTOREX is Swisscool 8000. The thing that makes Swisscool 8000 successful is its pioneering polymer technology. This high-performance universal coolant-lubricant delivers perfect results for all machining processes, even with hard-to-work materials.
TOOL IN USE
Today the crimping machine built by Thomas Schranz is in active service on Wandfluh AG’s assembly floor. Not only did his individual project demonstrate his abilities as a future general mechanic, it also brought a tangible benefit to the training center, further enhancing the value of his work.