Motion Control in Southern Africa Motion Control in Southern Africa


Tectra's lathe upgrade
4th Quarter 2011, Electrical switching & drive systems & components

Tectra Automation recently upgraded its mechanical lathe, resulting in substantially ­increased machining capabilities at the company’s mechanical workshop.

Used for turning pneumatic cylinder components, ball screw ends and other general turning functions, it was upgraded to include a Bosch Rexroth MTX Micro CNC control system, servo motors and an automatic lubrication system for roller rail guides and ball screw drives.

The lathe before the upgrade
The lathe before the upgrade

“We had to overhaul and upgrade the lathe since over many years of continuous use it had begun to lose accuracy,” says Georg Venter, Electric Drive and Control divisional manager, Tectra Automation. “Now we can produce top quality machined products such as high accuracy ball screw ends at a quicker pace than is possible with a mechanical lathe. This has resulted in improved quality and reduced machining costs.”

The lathe after the upgrade
The lathe after the upgrade

Featuring full CNC capability and IndraMotion MTX control platforms, Bosch Rexroth components incorporated into the lathe save on the time and costs associated with building a new machine or an upgrade. The IndraMotion MTX micro incorporates a PLC (IEC 61131-3) and all controller and drive hardware with a wide range of software functions for turning and milling machines in a very compact unit. The upgraded lathe also features CAD-CAM capabilities.

Other changes include the replacement of old Acme thread screws on the X-and Z-axes with high precision preloaded ball screws from Bosch Rexroth. The ball screw assemblies are supplied complete with the thrust and support bearings assemblies configured to mount the IndraMotion servo motors, without the need for creating special adapters.

The gearbox regulating the chuck speed has also been locked in a fixed ratio, and the spindle motor has been replaced with a Bosch Rexroth variable speed 10 kW spindle motor. Worn slideways were replaced with Bosch Rexroth high accuracy roller rail guides with a high pre-load, guaranteeing minimal vibration and maximum stiffness.

The upgrade began with lathe engineering company, Efamatic, stripping it down to its main block by removing mechanical and electrical components. The company’s lathe experts then measured and digitally sketched the lathe, using 3D software to ensure that the new components would fit. To ensure safety requirements were met the lathe was also fitted with safety covers, including a linear system to position the control panel.

Tectra Automation supplied, installed and integrated all Bosch Rexroth electrical components and trained three operators to program the machine for standard operation. The MTX Micro system can be locally supported as Tectra’s facilities are accredited by Bosch Rexroth to service and repair the full range of electrical components.

“The upgrade of our lathe demonstrates Tectra Automation’s capability for cost effectively retrofitting old machining centre control systems with the latest tech­nology in CNC control. In addition, continuous overseas training of our staff demonstrates that we are committed to constantly improving on these capabilities,” concludes Venter.

For more information contact Georg Venter, Tectra Automation, +27 (0)11 971 9400,,

Supplied By: Tectra Automation
Tel: +27 (0)11 971 9400
Fax: +27 (0)11 971 9440
Share via email        

Further reading:

  • Tectra Automation has it all
    1st Quarter 2014, Tectra Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Backed up by a state-of-the-art test bench, Tectra Automation‘s new range of frequency converters provides an economical solution for a wide variety of applications where energy efficiency is a priority.
  • State-of-the-art CNC machining centre
    1st Quarter 2014, Beckhoff Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    When French window and door manufacturer, Bieber, built a new production plant setting new standards in sophistication and flexibility, enhanced flexibility, speed and efficiency were the aims.
  • Sweet solution for British Sugar
    1st Quarter 2014, Emerson Industrial Automation Southern Africa, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    British Sugar Cantley has specified variable speed drives from Control Techniques for its new beet finisher drum, with associated high pressure spraywater pump. Unidrive SP drives from Control Techniques, ranging from 3 kW up to 250 kW were selected for all of the key motor control operations, an investment in excess of £1 million by British Sugar.
  • An hygienic motor
    1st Quarter 2014, SEW-Eurodrive, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Specialist drive engineering company, SEW-Eurodrive is able to assist the food and beverage industry in maintaining the highest standards of hygiene with its Aseptic DAS motor.
  • Robotic welding cells
    1st Quarter 2014, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A key part of DCD Rolling Stock’s R240 million capitalisation is the implementation of Swedish-engineered Motoman robotic welding cells. These will increase production volumes in addition to utilising the skills of experienced manual welders more efficiently.
  • Printed linear motors
    1st Quarter 2014, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    The groundbreaking new UPL series of printed linear motors developed by Schaeffler Group’s INA – Drives & Mechatronics (IDAM) has outstanding performance and energy efficiency, with low costs and an optimised ...
  • A single drive for all needs
    1st Quarter 2014, Varispeed (Div. of Hudaco Trading), Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Designed for flexibility, reliability and energy efficient power transfer, Varispeed’s next-generation Yaskawa A1000 is a premium inverter drive suitable for a wide field of applications. The A1000 runs ...
  • Precise positioning technology
    1st Quarter 2014, Horne Technologies, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Physik Instrumente has released the H-820 Hexapod with linear repeatability of 20 μm, and 200 μrad in the tip/tilt or rotational axes. Furthermore, the H-820 provides travel ranges of up to 100 mm (X ...
  • Electric cylinders for food and beverage
    1st Quarter 2014, Pneumatic Electric Control Systems, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Tolomatic’s stainless steel ERD electric cylinders are ideal for food and beverage processing equipment in caustic washdown environments where corrosion resistance, ingress protection and hygienic design ...
  • Absolute encoders from SICK
    1st Quarter 2014, SICK Automation Southern Africa , Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A benchmark in the 36 mm class.
  • Pin gear drive units
    1st Quarter 2014, BMG - Bearing Man Group, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    BMG’s comprehensive range of Tsubaki power transmission components now includes pin gear drive units that replace conventional gear rack systems. “The new Tsubaki standard steel series and the stainless ...
  • Novel motion control architecture for plastic bag machine
    4th Quarter 2013, ABB South Africa, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Two plastic bag machine support specialists have cooperated to launch a machine offering new levels of programmability and bag production flexibility. Based on ABB’s Ethernet Powerlink compatible motion ...


Motion Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


      Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.