Starrag North America: Leaders In High-Precision Machine Tools

Starrag North America: Leaders In High-Precision Machine Tools

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Udo Herbes, Managing Director, Starrag North AmericaUdo Herbes, Managing Director
“Engineering precisely what you value.”

As a global technology leader in manufacturing high speed, high power and high-precision machine tools for milling, turning, boring, and grinding workpieces of metallic, composite, and ceramic materials, the statement holds a major significance in the way Starrag North America operates. Udo Herbes, the managing director of Starrag, explains, “We evaluate the specific needs that our clients might have and then provide a solution for the entire project by delivering highly productive and durable complete machine solutions which include precise cutting applications, installation, training and support services.”

For Starrag’s clients in the Aerospace industry, the main predicament today relates to delivering quality flight-ready parts within the design tolerance and surface finishes in a time-efficient manner. Starrag, to this end, provides aerospace manufacturing solutions with unmatched throughput, extremely high surface finish, and accuracy. Combined with its program ServicePlus—which elevates the technical availability of these machines to a staggering 95 percent—Starrag ensures that customers can deliver flight-ready parts within their promised delivery schedules. The other pain-point that Starrag mitigates for its clients is labor rates, which have increased dramatically in the last few years. The company provides vast expertise of standard or highly customized FMS solutions. “We have over 600 FMS solutions in the market (worldwide),” says Herbes. This allows Starrag customers to run multiple machines with reduced personnel.

Starrag offers a wide array of machine machining solutions and configurations for the aerospace and other industries. Starrag machines can be configured as horizontal machining centers, large horizontal milling machines, large vertical milling machines, large vertical turning machines, and even machines that can mill / turn / and grind on a single piece of equipment. All can be provided with or without automation that can be completely customized to the customer’s needs. “We are proud of our ability to offer engineered solutions to allow our customers to have optimized solutions for all of their manufacturing needs,” mentions Herbes.

Apart from the aerospace industry, Starrag is an ideal industry partner for the defense, industrial, energy, or transports industry.

We comprehend the specific needs that our clients might have and then turn-key the entire project by delivering highly productive and durable complete machining solutions

With an ability to be a single supplier for a full range of manufacturing needs, Starrag can offer a solution, irrespective of the component that a client might need. The Starrag product portfolio range covers parts as small as a gear in a luxury watch to as large as a nuclear propeller. This also applies to the wide array of materials that customers are required to work with. “Be it hard or soft metals, Starrag machines are ready to perform and also provide full support for your project,” informs Herbes.

Staying true to its core philosophy, Starrag can stay ahead of the competition as its solutions are tailored to the customer’s needs, and are not just a standard product catalog. This enables Starrag to provide the lowest cost of ownership and the largest return on investment to its clients. Another factor that steers the company ahead is its global presence. “We have many customers who discuss solutions with us here in the US, and later the machines will be installed in Asia or Europe,” says Herbes. Many of Starrag’s most successful cases are in the defense industry, with over 50 machines installed in the F35 program alone. One of Starrag’s most successful installations in the commercial and defense aircraft segment is in Grove, Oklahoma, at Orizon Aerostructures. What began as a single machine installation has grown to 10 machines today, including automation, with plans for additional pieces of machines and FMS in the future. The partnership with Orizon and the Starrag team (backed by the prowess of ServicePlus) elevates the technical availability of these machines to a staggering 95 percent— ensuring that Orizon can deliver flight-ready parts within their promised delivery schedules.

Being in the metal/machine tool industry for over 35 years, Herbes understands the nuanced process of machining and has been a key component of the success that Starrag has achieved in the US. Through his decades of international experience in the machining world, he teaches and leads his team so they can better assist their clients in offering the right solution. For the future, Herbes envisions that Starrag will continue to help clients in gaining additional business and which will, in turn, increase the demand for additional Starrag machines. “We value our partnerships with our customers. Building new relationships while maintaining our existing will allow Starrag continued growth in the years to come,” concludes Herbes.

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Starrag North America

Company
Starrag North America

Headquarters
Hebron, KY

Management
Udo Herbes, Managing Director

Description
Starrag North America is a global technology leader in manufacturing high-precision machine tools for milling, turning, boring, and grinding work pieces of metallic, composite, and ceramic materials. The company Provides aerospace manufacturing solutions with unmatched throughput, extremely high surface finish and accuracy. Combined with its program ServicePlus—which elevates the technical availability of these machines to a staggering 95 percent—Starrag ensures that customers can deliver flight-ready parts within their promised delivery schedules. The company provides vast expertise of standard or highly customized FMS solutions

Starrag North America News

Starrag launches the new STC-MTV 5-axis VMC for hard metal machining

With 70 HP all-steel geared head spindles offering torque ratings up to 1,200 ft lbs., plus 200 bar/3,000 psi high pressure coolant for integrated turning, Starrag’s new STC-MTV five-axis mill-turn machining centers are specifically targeted for hard metal machining of a wide range of workpieces. In the aerospace engine industry specifically for casings and gearboxes and in the energy industry for oil and gas applications.

The two new machines, models MTV 1000 and MTV 1250 offering 8,000 rpm/700 ft lbs. of torque and 4,500 rpm/1,200 ft lbs. plus 200 bar/3,000 psi high pressure coolant for integrated turning, are joining the STC-MTV family of horizontal machining centers.

These new MTV models promise unrivalled and highly effective single set-up milling, boring, drilling and tapping, as well as turning of materials such as Ti6AL4V and Ti5553 titanium alloys, nickel-based super alloys and high alloy steels, providing superior surface finishes on even complex and thin-wall parts.

Workpieces weighing up to 11,000 lbs. can be processed on the MTV 1250 (up to 6,613 lbs. on the MTV 1000) within the machines’ X, Y and Z axes travels of 67 x 82 x 74 inches (MTV 1000) and 86 x 82 x 74 inches (MTV 1250), and both machines offer rapid traverse rates of 1,770 inches/min. Additionally, component diameters of up to 74 inches and 94 inches on the MTV 1000 and MTV 1250can be accommodated.

High metal removal rates are guaranteed with the best-in-class, all-geared A axis spindle drive, where the compact 1D-head with minimal distance between the spindle nose and A axis enables the use of very short tools and large bearings. This provides ultimate levels of stability and rigidity compared to conventional motor spindles.

The virtually wear-free steel worm wheel boasts high stiffness and excellent damping. Indeed, a specially coated damping disk in the 1D-head, combined with optimal parameter settings from the Siemens 840D CNC, makes heavy roughing possible, semi-finishing and finishing in 5-axis operation.

Integrated high-pressure coolant permits highly efficient one-hit turning and the machines’ 30 HP angular automatic milling head enables easy access to internal surfaces and features, thus further optimizing single set-up operation. The angle head is loaded automatically from the tool magazine and tools can also be automatically changed into/out of the head.

The C axis CNC rotary table offers 500/400 rpm with torque ratings of 2,950/4,425 ft lbs. on the MTV 1000 and MTV 1250,.

As is widespread practice throughout the Starrag range, STC-MTV machines can be used stand-alone or integrated into a cell or flexible manufacturing system and, if required, with other Starrag machines and utilize central tool handling and pallet transport/storage. They can also be integrated with additional processes such as co-ordinate measuring, part marking, deburring and washing.

Starrag supplies a Droop+Rein 5-axis gantry machine with an36ft (11-meter) rotary table to the other side of the world

The Australian Government (Commonwealth of Australia) selected French company Naval Group to deliver a fleet of 12 regionally superior submarines, to be known as the Attack Class, for the Royal Australian Navy. The Attack class fleet will be built in a modern submarine construction yard in Osborne, South Australia.

The Future Submarine Program will deliver Australia a capability that can be built, operated and maintained autonomously, which maximizes opportunities for Australian industry throughout all phases of the program.

As the design of the Attack Class progresses, Naval Group continues to deliver on its commitment and achieve this goal in cooperation with their suppliers that now includes the Starrag Group. Dr Marcus Queins, Manager for the Large Parts Machining Systems business unit at Starrag, explains, "We are proud to be involved in this prestigious project in Australia." Starrag has been selected to supply a Droop+Rein G 110TT HR100 C vertical gantry machine, capable of handling both large hull elements and high-precision components for submarine construction. With traversing paths of 45.93 x 42.65 x 11.48 ft (14,000 x 13,000 x 3,500 mm)in the X/Y/Z axes and an36ft (11 m)turntable, the gantry will be the largest machine tool ever put into service in Australia.

Starrag is collaborating with the Australian machine tool manufacturer H&H Machine Tools Australia to deliver this critical equipment. H&H will manufacture key components, supply qualified personnel to help install the gantry and provide technical support for the entire life cycle of the machine, securing an ongoing role in servicing and maintenance in the future. Starrag will provide H&H with the necessary expertise through onsite training and quality control, transferring critical skills and autonomous ability to Australian industry.

The contract was awarded following a complex selection process. Noting its many years of experience and its extensive, as well as technical, expertise in handling large, complicated projects, the Starrag Group was deemed a worthy selection for this contract. Few machine suppliers can manage an order of this magnitude from over 9320 miles (15,000 kilometers)away — but this was not a problem for the Starrag Group, as Australian sales partner H&H Machine Tool Solutions will facilitate local work, ensuring that everything runs smoothly onsite. A previous project carried out in South Australia, for which Starrag supplied four machines for aircraft construction, demonstrates a proven track record, in this regard.

Gantry machine for precise heavy-duty cutting of large and heavy workpieces

The size and efficiency of the milling machine being supplied, which is also capable of turning components thanks to the integrated rotary table - tried and tested as part of the Dörries range of lathes from the Starrag Group - was of fundamental importance. The Droop+Rein G 110TT HR100 C owes its high precision to features such as the hydrostatic guides in all linear axes, as well as the thermo-symmetrical design of the milling unit with its integrated C axis. Milling heads can be changed automatically via a head change interface. The team responsible selected five different machining heads to use on this project. The high-performance fork milling head features not only the ability to use the tool at any angle but also the necessary prerequisites for heavy-duty machining on five axes simultaneously. Alternatively, the machine can be used with one straight and one angled 134HP (100-kW) milling head with a torque of 5531 ft-lb (7,500 Nm). A turret and a horizontal facing head are available for turning operations on the components.

The large, multifunctional machine supplied by Starrag from its Bielefeld plant gives the operator optimum access. The operator can reach any point on the workpiece thanks to the spacious cabin, which travels along the gantry and features the latest Siemens operator panel. The cabin can reach a height of 26ft (8m) and be moved towards the center of the table.

The last but by no means the least decisive factor in favor of the Starrag Group was that, having already supplied machines to reference customers, the company could prove that the installed machine technology is very robust. This ensures that, with proper maintenance, the machine will be operational for the entire duration of the submarine project. The first of the Attack Class submarines will be delivered in the early 2030’s and continue into the early 2050’s.

Starrag tackles titanium with new ECOFORCE Ti machining centers

Starrag has expanded its range of machines for titanium machining with the introduction of the high-speed, five-axis ECOFORCE Ti horizontal machining centers.

The new machines combine the renowned construction capabilities of the Starrag companies’ expertise in vertical table design and jig boring column accuracy to result in a machine range that is unmatched in cost-effective titanium machining.

The machines cover X-, Y- and Z-axis capacities up to 248 in (6,300 mm) by 118 in (3,000 mm) by 118 in (3,000 mm) and feature three-axis roughing head and/or five-axis fork-type head for finish machining.

They boast rapid traverses of up to 787 ipm (20,000 mm/min) in all axes, for ultra-efficient machining of aircraft structural workpieces weighing up to 26,455 lb. (12,000 kg).

Effectiveness of machining is guaranteed with the rigid ‘gate-type’ spindle column, while enhanced stiffness and damping is courtesy of hydrostatic guiding on all linear axes (on the largest capacity machine).

Importantly, the machines differ from the ‘traditional’ approach to machining titanium components which are usually clamped horizontally; the ECOFORCE Ti models adopt Starrag’s well-proven vertical clamping approach which, coupled with 100-bar coolant supply, not only encourages chips to immediately fall away but also leads to reduced unit and tool costs.

Two ECOFORCE Ti machines are available: models Ti9 and Ti13 – where the number denotes their nominal torque ratings of 664 and 959 ft.lb. (900 and 1,300 Nm) in continuous S1 operation.

The machines have HSK-A100 and HSK-A125 tapers. The 67 HP (50 kW) fork-type milling head, which develops 10 to 3,000 rpm and a torque of 1,770 ft.lb. (2,400 Nm), is complemented by a 101 HP (75 kW) spindle extension rated at 3,000 rpm and a torque of 4,056 ft.lb. (5,500 Nm).

Flexibility in manufacture is also based on pallet size options of versions from 78.7 in (2,000 mm) by 157 in (4,000 mm) and up to 98.4 in (2,500 mm) by 236 in (6,000 mm), as well as tool magazine alternatives from a chain-type magazine for 60 tools up to robot-assisted tool change for 450 tools.