ITB Innovation, a French company domiciled in Autechaux in the Département Doubs near the Swiss border, designs clamping systems for turning and milling centres. It has its own wire EDM machine department comprising two machines, a MV1200R and a MV2400R.
Innovation in the service of productivity
“Thanks to our innovative capability, we have managed to gain an excellent position on the market. For many projects, we’re the only company capable of proposing a technical solution,” the management of ITB Innovation stresses. The company has specialised in the development and design of clamping systems adapted to customer needs and component complexity. It works for national and international companies in the automotive, medical and aerospace sectors. Clamping systems are essential for customers, as they enable them to boost their productivity and performance and raise their standard of quality in the production of large and medium series.
The clamping systems of ITB Innovation are capable of handling several blanks at the same time (multi-part clamping). The fixtures consisting of solid plates are equipped with the hoses and connecting elements required by the hydraulic or pneumatic systems used for operating the various clamping elements. These are not visible at first glance, as all the hydraulic elements are accommodated in the interior of the workpiece support. At ITB, the systems are not only fully functional, but also superlatively designed. The ITB team produces numerous standard and customised clamp components.
These differ according to the type of workpiece (turbo engine component, pump housing, aircraft component) and call for the use of patented clamping flanges and specially arranged, adjustable stops. This is the only way of clamping parts with high repeat accuracy. When surface parts have to be produced, ITB Innovation develops and builds clamping systems capable of applying the necessary force so that the part is held in the interior, particularly in boreholes and chambers, with the aid of hydraulically or pneumatically controlled expanding mandrels or slides. ITB’s specialists have also developed and built a standardised multi-part clamp for turrets and a zero-point clamping system. The company serves subcontractors, and as an equipper it supplies its equipment to big names in machine tools. For the management, the company’s success is mainly attributable to its extensive range of products and services. “We offer our customers the ideal strategy and a solution that meets their clamping requirements perfectly. Our clamping systems are designed to boost productivity. We develop the matching technology, build the necessary equipment, machine the parts and assemble them. Then we test the system as a whole under production conditions and measure and document performance.”
“Our customers expect our clamping systems to operate with precision and wear-free in hundreds of thousands if not millions of clamping cycles,” the management stresses.
Higher speed and precision from the MV Series
In the summer of 2014 the company finally decided to invest in wire-cutting machines, choosing the MV1200R and MV2400R from Mitsubishi Electric. The selection criteria cited by the company included its wish to expand its production capacity and benefit from specific technical advantages: “The wire EDM machines of the MV Series from Mitsubishi Electric are both faster and more precise than the machines of other manufacturers – these are the decisive factors that swayed our opinion during a product demonstration at Mitsubishi Electric Europe’s headquarters in Ratingen on our business trip to Germany.” Thanks above all to the generators of the new generation, the machines achieve very high cutting speed. The Powermaster system automatically optimises generator performance in accordance with the production parameters (workpiece thickness etc.).
Highly innovative direct drives with tubular motors, in combination with length measuring instruments with optical data transmission, ensure very high precision. For safety reasons and in its efforts to ensure tolerances under 0.01 mm in the long term, ITB Innovation has set up its wire-cutting machines in an air-conditioned room. The dependability of the MV2400R and MV1200R machines is confirmed by the management: “With the automatic wire threader, several machines can be operated simultaneously during the day and at night they can run without supervision – an advantage that is worth 4,000 productive hours per year for us.”
Outstanding cost-benefit ratio with highly innovative technology
Quick and efficient trainingOn the strength of their thorough knowledge of EDM, two technicians at ITB Innovation were taught at the new machines after attending a brief training event at Delta Machines, Mitsubishi Electric’s exclusive distributor in France. Only a few days later, they were operating the machines in production. According to the management, this is largely attributable to the ease of operation of the CNC Advance control’s user interface. The workpieces being machined are programmed in the company by the technicians with the ESPRIT software on an external system. Then the data are transferred to the machine via a LAN. The operator makes a few additional entries, clamps the blanks and starts cutting. Thanks to the highly intuitive user interface and automatic alignments, these processes can be performed more easily on the wire-cutting machines from Mitsubishi Electric than on the machines of other manufacturers. Finally, there’s one more argument in favour of the MV1200R and MV2400R: “We believe that these machines offer the best cost-benefit ratio. In our company these machines are particularly profitable because they are operated at the same time as other machines and in two work shifts. What’s more, they are equipped with highly innovative equipment. And because we are convinced that innovation is the key to a company’s prosperity, we were instantly impressed by Mitsubishi Electric.”
Name and place of company:
Number of employees:
Design, production and assembly of individual clamping systems for series production
5 ZI la Craye
25110 Autechaux, France
Tel +33 (0)38156 0636
Fax +33 (0)38156 0637
Deputy Managing Director
ITB Innovation in Autechaux
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Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
D - 40882 Ratingen
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 6120
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7600
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7700
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7500