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Glossary

Machine beds

Regardless of their function, all machines have a bed as a base. Machine beds are exposed to disturbance variables during manufacture, transportation, assembly, and operation. These variables lead to unwanted deformations of the machine bed and thus to movement between workpiece and tool. To fully meet the increasing requirements for process accuracy in industry, machine beds and their assemblies need to play a key role. These high expectations of process accuracy are met thanks to minimal deformation under maximum loads of static, dynamic, and thermal forces.

Machine beds for a wide variety of applications in mechanical engineering

Designing and dimensioning machine beds and machine bed components is significantly influenced by the required process tasks and precision of the machine. In actual processing, machine beds have three key functions:

1. Securing the geometric position of machine elements such as guides, drives, measuring and testing equipment, spindles, and clamping devices.

2. Absorbing loads, forces, and moments that occur during machine processing with the aim of minimizing deformation when exposed to maximum loadeffects.

3. Integrating functional assemblies such as hydraulic, pneumatic, and cutting fluid systems, control units, control cabinets, and transmissions. Conveying materials (cutting fluid, chips) and power to and from machinery.

For over 35 years, RAMPF Machine Systems has been manufacturing machine beds for a wide variety of mechanical engineering applications. The company has accumulated wide-ranging expertise in the load-bearing and supporting components of machines.

For each machine bed to be developed, it is first necessary to carefully analyze the requirements and then reconcile these with the possibilities and limitations of the material and concept options available. Structural-analytical FEM calculations can be used to simulate deformation and stresses in machine beds and machine bed components, and to factor these into the development and design process through appropriate sizing. The choice of machine bed material also plays an important role in satisfying the financial, environmental, safety, and aesthetic requirements. The options range from steel casting, gray cast iron, steel, and hard stone to mineral casting, metal foam, fiber composites, and ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC).