Press  | 06/09/2016

CV joints finish-hardened in just three steps

The automotive industry cannot do without induction hardening. The precision and reproducibility of the induction hardening process makes it difficult for the automotive industry to do without it. It can also be integrated perfectly into the production process. Having said that, the machining of CV joints for homokinetic joints has – up until now – been dominated byvery large, difficult to operate linear systems that require a large number of steps to machine the component. “The great many different operations and set-up changes mean that the process is open to many possible errors. Furthermore, these machines also require a colossal effort to set-up”, explains Andreas Endmann, Divisional Manager ‘Technical Sales Hardening Systems’ at eldec, Dornstetten. “It’s for this reason that we have developed a completely new process for the hardening of CV joints – one that has been simplified and noticeably streamlined.”

A smaller footprint
The VLC 100 IH induction hardening is not only completed on a much smaller footprint, it is also clearly more streamlined, as the whole process now requires just 3 (instead of the previous 8) steps and is finished in one set-up. The CV joint is collected and transported into the machining area by the pick-up spindle and positioned with a focus on precision. Equally precise, is the infeed movement of the inductor coil, which is responsible for the hardening of the shaft component of the joint. This inductor coil is positioned above the workspindle and is lowered onto the workpiece. The second inductor coil – for the bell section – is stationary below the work spindle. This design allows for the hardening process to be carried out, trouble-free, in a single step. 

Faster servicing
The machine requires up to 80 percent less components than conventional linear machine systems. This cleverly designed system is also easier for the user to configure – speeding up all service processes. Its technology also incorporates its own automation and is easily integrated into the overall production process. “We expect a lot from this solution”, concludes Mr. Endmann. “For one, it’s a textbook example of the opportunities opened up by the combination of induction hardening and pick-up technology, as this approach can also be used for other components. On the other hand, many users are still using an ultimately unproductive solution for the hardening of their CV joints, where we offer a robust alternative with unmistakably greater dynamic and safer production processes.“