Automated Tube Finishing – MLW200 3Z

NS Máquinas will exhibit in Tube Düsseldorf with a bigger booth and more machines for you to demonstrate. We invite you to visit us in hall 5 booth E25 from 20-24th of June to know everything about our solutions for tubes:
ML100 for surface finishing with an integrated Yaskawa robot.
MP100 for mirror polishing.
OD120 for tube end deburring.
TDM100 for tube and flat bar drilling.
FG170 ZK for rectangular tubes and flat bars surface finishing.
It will also be possible to test our DM1100 C for metal parts edge rounding from the deburring machines line.

Automated Tube Finishing: Increased Productivity for Large Diameters

The MLW200 3Z wet tube finishing machine is one of NS Máquinas’ most recent developments for automated surface finishing on long, large-diameter tubes. This machine can handle tubes from Ø20mm up to Ø205mm.

Equipped with the ML Planetary System, which is incorporated in all NS Máquinas ML models, the MLW200 3Z can ensure that vibration will be minimized by having the abrasive belts rotate around the tube while the feeding rollers are transporting it through the finishing heads. This is what makes the machine ideal to finish long, large-diameter tubes. As opposed to what happens with centerless systems, on a planetary system there is no contact roller grinding against the tube, meaning it will not rotate. This keeps surface temperatures to a minimum, preventing material distortion.

Despite being designed to process mainly round tubes, planetary systems also make it possible to finish other products such as oval, tapered or drilled tubes, as well as D-shaped profiles. Replacing the abrasives is also less time-consuming on a planetary system. On a planetary machine, the feeding systems are integrated into the machine body, which makes adjusting them easier than on a centerless system, where the finishing head and the feeding systems —which usually consist of complex roller tables— are independent pieces of equipment which must be separately adjusted. A planetary system, when combined with a program storage feature, also gives you the possibility to finish only certain sections of the tube and decide which stations will perform by selecting the respective parameters on the dedicated touchscreen.

Even though the MLW200 3Z is a three-station machine, NS has solutions that can go anywhere from one up to six finishing stations, both dry and wet. Machines up to three stations can be either dry or wet, whereas models with four or more stations are usually wet, as the latter tend to generate more heat on the surface of the tube, which needs to be offset by a water-cooling system. A multi-station design means that you can go from a rough surface to a fine, spotless, and uniform finish in one single pass. The fact that there is no need to put the same tube through the machine twice allows you to benefit from considerable productivity gains.

The MLW200 3Z can come complete with automatic loading and unloading systems that enable the entire finishing process to be executed without an operator. This increases the machine’s productive flexibility in the sense that it allows the operator to multitask. After loading, the operator is free to perform other tasks which are often complementary to those of the machine because they contribute to the overall production process.

This is the case with the NS Máquinas bundle-type loading and unloading system, where tubes are placed in batches on the loading table and then transported automatically through the finishing stations to come out ready on the other side, where rubber clamping rollers will bring them to an unloading station. The bundle-type system affords great savings both in terms of handling costs and processing time for six- or even twelve-meter tubes.

As an extra, a machine equipped with automatic loading and unloading systems can benefit from further automation with the use of a powerful and user-friendly mobile touchscreen control panel where the main functions can be actuated, or predefined polishing parameters selected for repeated use. These parameters can be easily programmed and stored in the system. Doing so does not require any special technical or industry knowledge, which means that the machine can be operated by any user with only basic training on how to work with the software.

A different kind of automatic loading and unloading system, the conveyor-type system, is also available. While requiring an operator to place the tubes one by one on the loading table, this system has the advantage of keeping the tubes completely separate from each other, both at the loading and at the unloading station, thereby preventing any type of scratch and ensuring a perfect finish.

The ML product line has machines for a wide range of diameters, with models that can go up to Ø310mm, from diameters as small as Ø5mm. One of the reasons ML machines stand out is their operational flexibility on simpler models, but more complex versions have their own benefits. The more automated an ML is the more autonomously it will be able to work, which affords tremendous productive advantages.

Different levels of automation are available to serve the needs of a great variety of applications, from small workshops to multi-shift productions where the machine needs to run around the clock.

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