New robotic laser cutting system allows CNH Industrial Reman to create parts quicker, lowering customer costs.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com;
CNH Industrial Reman, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, has added a robotic laser cladding system to its remanufacturing facility. This adds cutting-edge capabilities to the remanufacturing process, which will increase core recovery and utilization. It will also help lengthen the life cycle, increase availability and lower the cost of ownership for critical remanufactured components within the CNH Reman portfolio.
CNH Industrial Reman is a joint venture between what is now CNH Industrial and Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. (SRC). The partnership brings together CNH Aftermarket Solutions product expertise, access to equipment, and dedicated dealer networks with SRC's remanufacturing operations, capabilities, and expertise. CNH Aftermarket Solutions is the parts and service arm of the larger company that also includes Case IH.
“Laser cladding is an additive manufacturing process, so we can apply different, or better, materials to the surface of parts without damaging the base material,” stated Josh Allen, the Salvage Department Supervisor at CNH Industrial Reman. “Not only does the laser cladding system help us fix things that once would have been scrap, but it also provides the capability to improve the wear and corrosion resistance of the component parts by impregnating the surface with different material options.”
Laser cladding technology has been around since the 1980s, but the metallurgical and laser technology has improved significantly over the past 10 years. It is now so efficient that it can apply a weld to a component without damaging the base material and make it as hard, or in some cases, even harder than it was previously—which can provide increased performance and life.
To fix and improve component parts, the laser cladding system at CNH Reman uses a three-kilowatt Class 4 laser in a micro-welding process where powdered material is melted and introduced to the weld puddle of the substrate. The focal point on this is a one-millimeter diameter dot. Through the laser cladding process, CNH Reman can build up very small, damaged areas without disturbing the metallurgy or the previous heat treat. This also allows CNH Reman the ability to fix the part without disturbing the part more than necessary.
“We can fine-tune the heat and control with the laser so we can make adjustments at the micron level,” said Doug Davison, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at CNH Industrial Reman. “Essentially, this allows us to repair worn components that we would normally throw away and reduces the number of new parts we need to purchase.”
The laser cladding system helps CNH Reman increase core utilization and extend the lifecycle of the core material, resulting in a lower cost of ownership for the end-customer. In addition, the laser cladding system allows CNH Reman to offer parts that are obsolete, or no longer made new.
“When you consider component parts for legacy equipment, many times they are no longer available to purchase new,” explained Jeremy Kelley, the company’s Product Engineering Manager. “This technology gives us the capability to bring those components back to life. The laser cladding system allows us to save those components and restore to a like-new or many times better than when new condition.”
Remanufactured parts for newer equipment also benefit from laser cladding. With the current global supply chain issues, some parts require a longer lead time than in the past. However, the laser cladding system allows the company to better control the supply in-house and produce the product without having to depend on new parts supply or supplier delivery.
CNH Reman is using the laser cladding system to develop, test, proof and produce component parts.
There are several elements at each stage of the laser cladding process.
While currently only a small number of parts are in full production through the laser cladding system, CNH Reman leverages those parts by utilizing them in their products. The company plans to expand its laser cladding capabilities to more part numbers and components throughout the next several years.
To learn more about CNH Reman, visit www.mycnhreman.com.