Large DMG MORI 5-axis milling machine investment gears up Titanus Slew Rings for new business

No matter if your work is in Gear Manufacturing, Machine Construction, Tool & Mould Construction, Energy Technology or Aerospace, a clear trend is the creation of highly complex, high precision & quality workpieces of large dimensions.

Titanus Slew Rings (TSR), formerly known as Titanus Engineering, was founded in 1975 by Renato Casagrande as a general engineering concern. In 1985 a strategic decision was taken to focus and further specialise the company’s production facilities towards the manufacture and reconditioning of slew bearings. The company was renamed Titanus Slew Rings (TSR) and moved to a facility in Meadowdale, Isando.

Slewing bearings are widely used on many types of machinery for a variety of industries. Slewing bearings can accommodate axial, radial and moment loads. They are typically used in hoists, stackers, reclaimers, shiploaders, rock crushers, pelletising mills, excavators, amusement park rides, vehicle turntables and displays, truck-mounted cranes, tower cranes, and solar panels, as well as in rotating bridges. The slew bearing drives in heavy machinery enable higher torque, speed reduction and rotational functions.

The new DMG MORI DMU 210 P five-axis milling machine with gearMILL software that Titanus Slew Rings has purchased

Slewing rings have a compact design, which facilitates ease of use and can be manufactured with internal or external gear teeth, with ball and/or roller raceways. Generally slewing rings are manufactured to customer specifications in alloy carbon steel material. Where weight consideration is essential, such as in aerospace or military applications, slew bearing are manufactured from aluminium and fitted with hardened wire raceways. This typically achieves a weight saving of 60% over standard steel slew bearings.

Another strategic decision
The company took a strategic decision in 2013 when it was selected by the SKA Organisation, as a local manufacturing partner to supply slew bearings for 63 of the 64 antenna positioners for the South African MeerKAT radio telescope, which form an integral part of the project.

This involved moving into a new 12 000m² under roof, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Tunney, Elandsfontein. The facility was purpose built to suit production workflow requirements. The Directors wanted something completely different in terms of architecture for industrial premises. The design of the new building was mainly a consideration of form following function, in an attempt to introduce as much natural light as possible into the working area. The building is further equipped with a 289 KWp roof mounted solar installation that seamlessly integrates with Eskom supply as and when required. Structurally it has been built to easily accommodate heavier cranes. The company has seven cranes that have a load lifting capacity of 50 tons and a height of 12,5 metres under hook, more than enough capacity to accommodate large components such as the slew rings to a maximum OD of 6 500mm.

An example of what can be milled on the DMG MORI DMU 210 P five-axis milling machine

The company has ten CNC vertical borers capable of machining slew rings and components from 300mm in diameter to 6 500mm in diameter. Some of the vertical borers are also equipped with live spindles allowing multi-tasking in a single setup, resulting in greater accuracy and efficiency.

You-Ji model VTH5000ATC+C-II CNC vertical lathe
When the company moved into its new factory in 2014 a You-Ji model VTH5000ATC+C-II CNC vertical lathe, purchased from Machine Tool Promotions, was added to its machining capabilities. The table diameter is 5 000mm with a maximum swing of 6,900mm and a component height of 3 200mm. The table features a hydrostatic bearing, allowing for a maximum table load of 100 tons. Ram features include a live spindle and it can accept a range of axial and radial milling heads, automatically loaded from the attachment changer.

Additionally TSR has ten gear cutters capable of cutting internal and external gears and are able to offer gear cutting services to customers, including the manufacture and reconditioning of girth gears. The maximum size external gear that TSR can gear cut is 7 100mm in diameter and on the internal range they can cut a maximum of 4 000mm in diameter.

With the introduction of the new machine Titanus Slew Rings are now able to do the complete machining of milling and turning operations in one clamp. Titanus Slew Rings have also calculated that the machining of a component that would normally take two weeks can now be done in two days on the DMU 210

New DMG MORI DMU 210 P 5-Axis milling machine with gearMILL software
“We at TSR believe it is fundamental to embrace new technology in order to remain competitive and relevant in our field of precision engineering. With our latest addition, a Deckel Maho DMU 210 P, we have the capability to perform 5-axis simultaneous machining of components to the highest level of precision,” said Director Marco Casagrande.

“The DMU 210 P provides its users with significant added value as regards optics due to the huge viewing panels of the new DMG design, an optimised work area on the XYZ that measures 2 100mm x 2 100mm x 1 250mm, an integrated motor spindle (HSK100) of 12 000rpm, rapid traverse speeds for the XYZ of 60/40/40m/min, a 60 pocket tool changer, 5-axes simultaneous processing through a Heidenhain TC 640 control, a NC-rotary table with controlled B-axis, thermo-symmetrical construction, as well as 3-point support for quick installation, gantry design with vertically traversable crossbeam with hydraulic weight compensation for high precision and dynamics, short and continuous throat depth of the milling head (not plunger construction) and B-axis with improved interference contour and built-in cable track.”

“Where component weight is concerned, we are talking about machining components up to
8 000 kilograms.”

Complete machining of large components
“The new machine allows us to perform 5-sided and/or 5-axis simultaneous machining, including turning, in one set-up. The combination of milling and turning guarantees maximum precision and shorter machining times. The innovative applications are supported by numerous helpful options and features in both the software and hardware.”

In February 2017 the editor was invited to attend the DMG MORI Open House event at Deckel Maho Pfronten, Germany and took this picture of Titanus Slew Rings’ machine in the assembly bay

“In conjunction with that, we have propriety DMG MORI gearMILL software, allowing the milling of most types of gear forms, including spur, helical, double helical, bevel, spiral bevel and worm gears, both in the soft and hardened condition.

“The advantage of a machine of this size is that both a large gear and its matching pinion can be manufactured on the same machine. This means the pair is manufactured as a perfect fitting match without deviances being introduced due to manufacture on differing machines. Moreover, the precision and repeatability from this machine means that once a set is manufactured future spares (either gear or pinion) could be ordered individually and not as matched sets.”

Standard tooling for Gear machining
“DMG MORI’s gearMill CAM software programmes multitasking machines for a variety of gear operations, including 5-axis simultaneous machining of spiral bevel gears. The software does not require a solid model of the gear and can programme the gear with data from the part print. The software visually applies profile modifications such as profile and lead crowing. Gears can be machined using a 5-axis process or the Invomilling process, and standard tools can be used independent of the geometry of the gear profile.”

Using DMG MORI’s gearMill CAM software DMG MORI DMU 210 P five-axis milling machine eliminates any requirements for special tooling

“A big advantage when using a DMG MORI DMU 210 P 5-axis milling machine to manufacture a variety of gears such as spiral bevels, spur, helical and internal gears is the use of standard tools. No specialist tools are required.”

Capabilities beyond gear manufacture with TopSolid CADCAM software
“Although the DMG MORI DMU P210 is incredibly well suited to gear manufacture, by purchasing a high end CADCAM software package such as Topsolid, TSR has ensured that it is well equipped to manufacture any high precision, complex parts. Industries that TSR will focus on servicing in the future are the aerospace and military and those that require specialised rotating equipment. This is in addition to the industries that we already service with our other high-tech equipment.”

“We continually drive our business toward specialised engineered solutions. Our clients are coming up with unique gear designs as well as complex machining requirements – we need flexible equipment to address these needs. While, we successfully meet the high-quality demands of our clients, there’s always a push to exceed their expectations,” said TSR Director Marco Casagrande.

For more information contact Retecon Machine Tools on TEL: 011 976 8600 or visit or contact Titanus Slew Rings on TEL: 087 310 2880 or visit