German Pioneer in Micro Machining Opens Its US Subsidiary


KERN Precision Inc., Webster/Massachusetts brings a new generation of hydrostatic machining centers to the USA - offering positioning accuracies up to 0.3 microns (0,00001 inch).

The European market leader in High Precision Machining centers KERN Micro- und Feinwerktechnik, Murnau/Eschenlohe, Germany expands to the US-market with their new 3-5 axes machining centres:

o KERN Micro - positioning accuracy ± 1 micron (0.00004 inch)
o KERN Evo - positioning accuracy ± 0.5 micron (0.00002 inch)
o KERN Pyramid Nano - positioning accuracy ± 0.3 micron (0.00001 inch)

The High Precision CNC Machining Center type KERN Micro is the newest variant evolved from the previous bench type model with a new design:

o Polymer concrete machine base for better vibration absorption
o Ergonomically design of the machine frame and cover
o Encapsulation of the tool changer

The KERN Evo distinguishes itself by the following features:

o Polymer concrete monobloc design
o Z-axis is separated from X- and Y-axis to minimize possible vibrations
o Weight movement in Z-axis only 30 kg (overall machine weight 3000 kg).

This little weight ensures the reduction of possible vibrations to a minimum.

o Half-round design for optimum operator comfort
o Completely enclosed automatic tool changer
o Vector-controlled spindle 500-50,000 rpm, 6.4 kW (S1)
o Guaranteed spindle runout < 1 µmo Active measuring sensor for stabilization integrated into the Z-axis
o Positioning accuracy of the axes according to VDI/DGQ 3441 ±0.5 µm
o Positioning tolerance according to VDI/DGQ 3441 ±1 mm
o Heidenhain control iTNC 530 smarT.NC
o Ethernet interface included
o Full 5-axis simultaneous dividing head can also be retrofitted

More than 150 machines of this type have been supplied worldwide.

For larger workpieces the Nano Precision Machining Center type KERN Pyramid Nano was developed. This machine is a new dimension in machine tool production with regard to accuracy and surface finish. The KERN Pyramid Nano has a positioning accuracy of 0.3 µm (300 Nanometer) and KERN guarantees accuracy on the NAS test piece of ±1 µm. In order to hold this accuracy special techniques are used, like i.e.:

o special type of machine frame of KERN Armorith® material(for extreme vibration dampening)
o hydrostatic guideways
o hydrostatic drives
o five integrated cooling circulations with highly intelligent temperature managemento special spindles, spindle run-out < 1 µm
o special spindle compensation programs for thermal and dynamic effects
o automatic tool changing up to 96 positions
o automatic workpiece changing up to 20 positions or more

An interesting point to consider is the fact that with hydrostatic guideways and hydrostatic drives incorporated in the machine, there is no metal contact in the moving parts of the axes. An oil-film of 15 µm ensures maximum dampening for fantastic surface finishes. Surface finishes of Ra 0.035 microns can be achieved.

Gary Zurek, CEO of this sales, application and service base, states two main reasons for this expansion:

1. KERN wants to support its growing customer base in the USA with US-based sales, application and service support.

2. KERN is absolutely convinced that there is a huge requirement in the USA for high tech machining centers that offer a high degree of quality and cutting edge technology that no other machine tool builder can currently offer.

Gary further states: "Many shops are frightened by the low cost competition from the Far East. With the incredible accuracies and surface finishes that can be achieved with the KERN machining centers no fear from competition is necessary anymore."

Burkhard K. Rother, Managing Director of the German headquarters added: "We in Germany had a similar situation with the increasing number of low cost neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe. But our rapid business success shows that producing top quality always pays - and this refers to our own job shop as well as for the production of our machining centers. The company's business has increased by 100 % over the past four years time.

The KERN machining centers are used to machine a wide variety of materials, sometimes as exotic as beryllium, titanium, ceramics, hardened steel, electrodes copper/graphite etc. But, of course, also standard materials from aluminium, brass, copper up to different steel alloys with hardnesses of over 60 HRC can be machined.

Special KERN machine designs allow the use of cutting tools as small as 10 microns (0.0004 inch) in diameter utilizing its vector controlled spindles that range from 500 rpm up to 50,000 rpm. In addition, KERN can also offer spindles up to 160,000 rpm.

The main industries KERN Precision Inc. will be focussing on are: Tool and Die, high tech job shops, medical devices, air and space, defence, electronics and a wide range of special applications for which the new technical manager Norman Chapdelaine will be responsible.

For more information, please contact Kern Precision, Inc. 28 Town Forest Road, Webster, Massachusetts, 01570. 508-943-7202, or visit us online at www.kernprecision.com. Email: info@kernprecision.com

Author:
Burkhard K. Rother
Managing Director of KERN Micro- und Feinwerktechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
Email: mtsales@kern-microtechnic.com
www.kern-microtechnic.com

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