Duncan Macdonald Company Ltd, an importer of engineering tools and accessories for the metalworking industry, as well as a local manufacturer of Tapmatic cutting fluids and coolants, has added Swiss manufacturer pL Lehmann’s products to the list of international companies and products that they market in South Africa.
pL Lehmann, based in Bärau, Switzerland, has been developing and producing CNC rotary tables for over 45 years. The company was established in 1960 as a contract manufacturer and introduced its first numerically controlled rotary table in 1974. The family-owned company, which is now run by the 2nd generation, has subsequently continued to develop its products that now encompass applications for 5-axis machining and additive manufacturing (AM), all ready for Industry 4.0 and digital production.
One of the highlights of the company’s history is the powerful and flexible Series 500 – developed in 2009 – which is ideal for the most demanding tasks thanks to its modular design. With the backlash-free, preloaded PGD gear unit – developed in 2014 – pL Lehmann reached another milestone. At EMO 2017, the Swiss rotary table manufacturer introduced, among other items, a new pL-iBox generation that is incorporated into the rotary tables and allows them to be ready for Industry 4.0 and digital production.
pL Lehmann rotary tables allow users to upgrade a vertical machining center’s productivity without incurring the expense of a new machine. The tables are available in four basic models that can be assembled into as many as 240 different configurations. More than 20 different available clamping methods and behind-the-spindle accessories further extend the system’s adaptability.
All pL Lehmann tables consume a minimum of space in the machine work envelope, facilitating optimal tool access to the workpiece. Despite their space-saving dimensions, the tables and spindles offer strong resistance to pull-out torque and axial force while providing high levels of clamping torque. Engineered for low power consumption and light weight, the tables feature IP67 rated enclosures.
The line also offers the industry’s most extensive selection of work holding interface options on the market today. Both single-spindle and multi-spindle pL Lehmann tables are available in 4-axis and 4/5-axis versions. Swivelling-bridge-style 4-axis tables employ the roto-FIX clamping yoke for machining of multiple parts. The tables’ backlash-free preloaded gear drives (PGD) provide both high torque and high rotation speeds, with spindles capable of 35kW to 82kW and cycle times for 90 degrees of 0.34 sec.
Working in tandem with pL Lehmann rotary tables, the company’s swissClamp system allows operators to mount multiple work pieces on machine tool tables for uninterrupted production and unmanned operations. For use with rotary and standard tables on vertical or horizontal milling machines, the Swiss-manufactured swissClamp modules mount on face plates or directly on worktables and extend a shop’s potential part-clamping range from 90mm to 200mm – a 40 per cent increase in work piece capacity within the same clamping length.
Zero-point clamping system for AM
pL Lehmann presented one of its newest products at EMO 2019. The AM-Lock zero-point clamping system is resistant to temperatures up to 500 degrees C and is fully modular. With a zero-point clamping system, the 3D printed workpiece can be placed on a CNC machine, and no time is lost because the exact position must first be determined. After all, the zero-point is known, so the position of the workpiece can be easily determined with a probe.
pL Lehmann products are used on all OEM machines and at EMO 2019 it had applications on DMG MORI, GF Machining Solutions, Hainbuch, Mazak, Bridgeport Hardinge, Saeilo and Gressel machines that were on display.
Duncan Macdonald & Co
Besides manufacturing and distributing Tapmatic cutting fluids Duncan Macdonald & Co also distributes products such as machine lubricants and coolants, tapping attachments, taps and dies, carbide cutters, deburring tools, snaplocks, measuring equipment, multi spindles and end mills.
The company also markets the Grippex automatic bar puller for CNC lathes, which is a cheaper alternative to more expensive bar feeders.
Other products include the Tapmatic TapWriter, which allows you to mark your work piece while you are machining it without the need for a secondary marking operation. Part numbers, date codes and even logos can easily be created with this unique dot-marking tool. Tapmatic TapWriter utilises standard engraving software, but unlike engraving, dot-peen marking does not require the use of delicate cutting tools and high-speed spindles.
Besides Tapmatic and Grippex the company also represents well-known names such as Reime, Henniger, OMG and Diatest.