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Toby Charnock spoke with Dr. Ralf Dupont, founder and President of Levicron GmbH, about current the trends in CNC manufacturing, the central position of Levicron spindle solutions in this, and the key technology of automatic HSK tool clamping.

After outlining the development of Levicron GmbH and its focus on ultra-precision spindle solutions for CNC manufacturing, Ralf Dupont explained clear trends for processing machines towards ever more precise, smaller components and highly automated manufacturing. According to current forecasts, the volume of the international semiconductor market will double every year, due to an ever higher degree of automation in both the industrial and household sectors. Ever smaller components also require smaller tolerances and better surfaces. Electronic components such as optical fibers are also experiencing ever higher energy densities as a result of miniaturization, which must be optimized for energy through better surfaces and alignments.

Upon request, Ralf Dupont explains that spindle solutions from Levicron have since aimed for the highest machining accuracies and best surface finishes, while at the same time providing automated handling. The automatic HSK tool clamping is the task of the tool spindle and plays an important role here as a potential for improvement. Ralf Dupont explains the serious barriers of spring-based HSK tool clamping with regard to dynamic and thermal stability and speed limits.

Levicron developed automatic HSK clamping units based on the self-locking principle. Furthermore, it is explained how this not only reduced the length, weight and number of components by 60%, but also increased robustness and serviceability at the same time.

In response to a question from AZO, Ralf Dupont explains that not only all Levicron spindle solutions are now equipped with the SLH-x clamping system, but Levicron is also making this patent-pending technology available to others now. Available interface sizes are HSK25, 32 and 40, while HSK63 and 20 are currently being developed and tested.

Article Content

  • Levicron as spindle interface between ultra-precision and CNC production
  • Increased demands of CNC machining due to smaller components, higher surface finishes and high degree of automation
  • The HSK interface as a barrier to further development of CNC machining centers
  • SLH-x – springless and automatic HSK clamping units to reduce length, weight and number of components by 70%.
  • An opportunity also for other spindle manufacturers and machining head manufacturers


Publisher: AZO Network
Medium / Issue: "AZO-Materials - Insights from Industry", 07-09
Interviewer / Author: Toby Charnock / Dr. Ralf Dupont