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					   Set-ups Are Faster With

                                                                                                    Hydromat Introduces A New
                                                                                                    Productivity Enhancement Tool
                                                                                                    For The EPIC R/T Line.


C
    rucial production time can be lost during the set-up process of                already assigned to a particular station and the operator can easily verify
    a Hydromat machine when an operator needs to pre-set tools and                 and ‘accept’ the tool with one trigger pull of the scanner. If the machine is
    hand write offset numbers and notes. And what if those numbers are             set-up to accept the same tool at a number of stations, as with a double
keyed into the program incorrectly? A crash, costing even more valuable            production type machine, the operator can scan and add the tool to an
production time as well as replacement tooling dollars. Speeding up the            additional station. Scanning the ‘next’ barcode will allow the same tool to
process and creating an ‘operator error’ free environment was the goal             be used on a number of stations. For instance, tool No. 1 can be assigned
when Tom Hansen, Hydromat’s Electrical Engineering Supervisor set about            to stations three, six and nine. The ‘next’ barcode cycles the screen to the
to create a solution. To that end, Tom and his staff developed a proprietary       next station in that series and the operator can quickly scan ‘accept’ and
program for the EPIC R/T software that relies on scanner technology to             be done. A group of three barcodes affixed to the bench, one each for
streamline the tool change process, the EPIC SCAN.                                 ‘accept’, ‘cancel’ and ‘next’, helps speed this process.
This system relies on the connectivity between the Zoller Presetter and            With the EPIC software, geometry limits are programmed for each station.
the Hydromat EPIC R/T software. Hansen, working with Zoller engineers              Upon scanning, if the geometry of the tool is outside that of the prescribed
created the software that will reside within the EPIC software and will            limit range for that station, it will alert the operator with a warning screen at the
interface with a label printer added to the presetter. The scanner, a rugged       pendant. The operator can then decline to assign the tool, change the limit,
model number LS 3478 from Symbol Corp., is a cordless unit that utilizes           or accept the tool information, overriding the existing limits programmed
a cradle serving as a charger and                                                                                                into the EPIC control. This feature
receiver in one unit. The scanner                                                                                                limits operator error. “The operator
cradle connects to the EPIC electrical                                                                                           would have to choose to make the
cabinet via a USB cable.                                                                                                         ‘out of limit’ error on purpose, by
An operator will see the immediate                                                                                               accepting a tool despite the warning.
advantage of no longer having to                                                                                                 But in most cases the operator knows
key-in the geometry value of his or                                                                                              something the machines doesn’t, so
her tools, speeding up the set-up                                                                                                they can override the warning with
process. The customer’s bottom                                                                                                   one quick scan and keep moving
line will see the benefit of a system                                                                                            forward with their set-up,” remarks
that eliminates keyboard entry error.                                                                                            Hansen. In subsequent set-ups, the
Although a preset number may only                                                                                                limit settings and tool I.D. numbers
be a 5 digit number to key-in, it only                                                                                           will all stay with the job program for
takes the switching of one decimal                                                                                               the next production run. The existing
place and a $500 tool could be                                                                                                   tool I.D. number will tell the operator
destroyed.                                                                                                                       where the tool needs to go.
With the EPIC SCAN the operator                                                                                                    In the EPIC software, the default
goes through the normal preset                                                                                                     limit setting is +/- 1 percent of the
operations, then prints a barcode                                                                                                  last stored geometry value. With a
                                                                                        Above: Before a tool change the operator
label. Previously the operator had                                                      scans the bar code on the tool holder.
                                                                                                                                   couple of keystrokes at the pendant,
to hand write that information down                                                     Left: At the pendant the operator simply   the limits for a particular station
and keep the tools straight according
                                                                                        selects the position for a “new” tool.     can be changed. “The limits can be
                                                                                        Below: In the Station Screen the
to the written information. Now, the                                                    operators selects “Apply” to save that     changed to any plus or minus range,
barcode contains the geometry and                                                       tool’s geometry.                           or only longer, or only shorter tools.
a Tool ID number. After applying the                                                                                               All that flexibility is available at your
barcode label to the toolhead, the                                                                                                 fingertips,” Hansen concluded.
operator is ready to change tools.                                                                                     The work done at the presetter will
After a quick scan of the toolhead’s                                                                                   also be minimized. Hansen explains,
barcode a screen will automatically open on the EPIC pendant that                                                      “Previously an operator would try to
allows the operator to assign that tool to the proper station. No                                                      set the tool length within 1/1000th
numbers will need to be key stroked, eliminating operator error and                                                    inch of the specified geometry.
speeding the process.                                                                                                  Because the entry is now automated,
When scanning a brand new tool, one that has not yet been applied                                                      the operation does not need to be
to a machine, the EPIC SCAN software reads that tool number as                                                         so exact. The machine will offset
being a brand new one and opens a screen that asks the operator                                                        accordingly with no alternations. He
to assign it a position. The screen’s graphic indicates all stations                                                   doesn’t have to spend extra time
available for a new tool with green indicators. Yellow indicates that tools        tweaking that tool. The (EPIC R/T) will be considerably more forgiving in
have already been applied to those stations. The operator simply selects           that aspect of it.”
the proper position and when the screen opens for that station, he simply          The EPIC SCAN minimizes keyboard entry errors, streamlines tool
clicks ‘apply’ and the process is complete.                                        presetting procedures and makes tooling changes more time effective. For
In most cases two quick pulls of the scanner’s trigger and a tool is ready         Tom Hansen it’s a logical next step, “We’re always looking for a way to
to insert. The next time a toolhead is scanned bearing a barcode with a            speed up the production process, and the EPIC SCAN is our newest tool to
previously assigned tool number, the software will indicate that the tool is       put into the hands of the machine operator to do just that.”
                                                                               5
                                                                                                                                                            Presorted
                                                                                                                                                           First Class
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                                                                                                                                                               PAID
11600 Adie Road                                                                                                                                           Permit No. 6
St. Louis, MO 63043                                                                                                                                       St. Louis, MO
Phone: 314.432.4644
Fax: 314.432.7552
www.hydromat.com
Address Service Requested




                                                                                                   Press Notes in...
                                                                                                    Have You Seen Us
                                                                                                    Have You Seen Us in...
          Holiday Schedule                                                                                    American                            Todays’ Medical
                                                                                                              Machinist                           Developments
                                                                                                              July 2006                           July/Aug 2006
                                                                                                              “Running Fewer                      “Rotary Transfer
                Closed: December 25th                                                                         Parts Pays Off”                     machine features
                                                                                                                                                  EMC”




         Holiday Staffing: December 26th- 29th
                         Closed: January 1st                                                                  Machining
                                                                                                              July/Aug 2006
                                                                                                                                                  Today’s
                                                                                                                                                  Machining World
                                                                                                              “Rotary Transfer                    August 2006


            Have a Safe and
                                                                                                              machines at                         “IMTS Review:
                                                                                                              Hydromat Booth”                     Hydromat”


             Happy Holiday
                Season
                                                                                                             CNC West                             Tooling &
                                                                                                             Aug/Sep 2006                         Production
                                                                                                             “Transfer                            September 2006
                                                                                                             Machining                            IMTS 2006 Product
                                                                                                             Solutions - Booth                    Spotlight:
                                                                                                             A-8127”                              “Precision
                                                                                                                                                  Transfer Machine”


Cycle TimesTM, Fall 2006 Hydromat “Cycle Times” is published at 11600 Adie Rd., St. Louis,
Missouri 63043, by Hydromat, Inc. Tel: 314.432.4644. “Cycle Times” is published four times a
year with limited circulation. All information reported herein is compiled from sources believed
to be accurate; however, the publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions.             Visit our website to learn more. www.hydromat.com
                                                                                                      6
A Quarterly Exchange Of                                                                                                        Fall 2006
Insights & Ideas From
The Leader In Precision
Transfer Machine
Technology
                   CYCLE TIMES

      In This Issue
                                    Power of Productivity
                                  and ‘Tornos Multispindle by
                                 Hydromat’ introduced at IMTS
                                I
                                   MTS proved once again to be the premier machine        part change-overs that can be done within minutes
                                   tool show in North America having a tremendous         aggressively compete against offshore and low
                                   number of customers visiting the Hydromat booth        cost labor manufacturers. In addition, the reliable
                                with interest in capabilities to develop processes to     performance of the “Legacy” machine running

  1 News:2006; Introduction
    IMTS
          Cover Story           produce their products. Bruno Schmitter, President/
                                CEO of Hydromat feels, “The crowd was eager
                                                                                          at an impressive 2.2 second cycle time received
                                                                                          much attention,” says Rodger Boswell, Hydromat’s
                                                                                          Director of Sales.
      of ‘Tornos Multispindle   and motivated to learn more about our equipment
                                and excitement could be felt during the entire              The Legacy offers the classic Hydromat Rotary
      by Hydromat’              show. The pieces are                                                                 Transfer configuration in
                                slowly falling into place                                                            a newly manufactured
  3 Technical -Update:
    TECH UP
                                where manufacturing is
                                concerned in this country
                                                                                                                     machine. A new machine
                                                                                                                     that has a proven history
      Hydromat Indexing         and decision makers                                                                  of accuracy and durability
      Chuck Machines            realize the need for                                                                 built right in. This vintage
                                investment into new and                                                              Hydromat rotary transfer
                                productive technologies.
 5    New Product:                                                                                                   design, divides cutting
                                Hydromat is positioned                                                               operations and disperses
      EPIC SCAN Speeds          well to take care of our                                                             them over 12 individual
      Tooling Changes           customer needs, better                                                               stations. Each of the
                                than ever before. IMTS                                                               independently controlled

  6   Press Notes:              was the perfect setting                                                              toolspindle units works
                                to display the latest and                                                            simultaneously,          the
      “Have You Seen Us         greatest.”
      In...?”                                                                                                        longest           machining
                                The Association for                                                                  operation determines the
      Holiday Staffing                                                                    overall cycle time. The precision ground Hirth ring
                                Manufacturing Technology reports the International
                                Manufacturing Technology Show was a tremendous            assures table accuracy and reliability from station-
                                success, attendance exceeding 91,000 for the first        to-station to within .0002”. Non-rotating bar stock
                                time in six years. “We are very pleased with the          ensures quiet, vibration free cutting operations.
                                high turnout, which is an extremely optimistic sign       Each station features modular toolspindle units to
                                of the times in a growing international marketplace.      provide maximum interchangeability for retooling,
                                Manufacturers coming to the show from around the          and easily adapted vertical flanges can be added
                                world clearly understand that modernizing industrial      for cross-drilling, milling and other vertical
                                equipment and processes lay the groundwork for            machining operations. A Quick-Change modular
                                growth,” says John B. Byrd III, AMT president.            toolhead system speeds the set-up process and the
                                Hydromat was located at booth A-8127 along with           replacement of worn tooling. An inverting station
                                Edge Technologies. Hydromat Inc. exhibited four           repositions the workpiece end for end to complete
                                Rotary Transfer machines. Three featured the EPIC         the machining process. The cut-off configuration on
                                R/T EMC Technology and one was the latest Legacy          the Hydromat produces extremely short remnants,
                                machine, a new version of the classic technology          providing significant material savings.
                                that made Hydromat the industry leader in rotary          The Tornos Multispindle by Hydromat model 20/8b
                                transfer machining.                                       was featured alongside the Hydromat Rotary
                                The EPIC R/T possesses all of the general                 Transfer machines. Before the show, Hydromat
                                characteristics of the more conventional Hydromat         announced a new strategic alliance with Tornos
                                machines and maintains the integrity, reliability and     S.A. of Switzerland. Hydromat Inc. is now the sole
                                flexibility of its predecessors. “With full CNC program   distributor of the Tornos line of multispindle lathes in
                                capabilities, the Hydromat EPIC R/T machines              the United States, Canada and Mexico. The addition
                                demonstrated total lean-manufacturing with highly         of the Tornos line of multispindle machines to their
                                competitive production output. This coupled with          already impressive array of rotary transfer machines
                                                                                                                                Continued on Page 2
Power of Productivity, ‘Tornos Multispindle by Hydromat’ at IMTS (continued)
creates the ultimate line-up for the precision part                  Edge Technologies also presented advanced
making industry. Hydromat’s extensive experience                     parts cleaning sciences to show attendees.
in the marketplace and engineering excellence                        Meehan said, “The Dürr Ecoclean system on
teamed with the Tornos multispindle line enables                     display drew the keenest interest of all of our
Hydromat to expand its offerings to always give                      products at the show. There appears to be an
its customers the best metal cutting solution                        acute need amongst our production bar oriented
for each specific application.                                                        customers for a cost effective,
Hydromat’s commitment to the                                                          environmentally friendly, parts
Tornos Multispindle operation                                                         cleaning system that achieves
will include sales, engineering,                                                      superior cleaning quality--
set-up, service, and parts                                                            especially in parts machined in            (LtoR) Helmut Wichtlhuber, President-FMB Machinery,
stocked at their centrally located                                                    oil. Booth visitors marveled at            Bruno Schmitter, Hydromat’s President /CEO and Kevin
                                                                                                                                 Meehan, General Manager of Edge Technologies discuss
St. Louis campus. Rodger                                                              the Dürr Ecoclean hydrocarbon              the bar feeder industry in the U.S.
Boswell, Director of Hydromat                                                         system which requires no
Sales feels, “IMTS 2006 was                                                           vents, no drains, and produces
a great opportunity and prime                                                         no environmental waste. The
showcase to introduce the line                                                        impressive results achieved on
of Tornos Multispindle machines                                                       the demonstrations using oily
and internationally announce                                                          parts right off the Hydromat
the synergy between Hydromat                                                          machines opened a lot of eyes
- St. Louis, MO and Tornos                                                            to this impressive technology”.
- Moutier, Switzerland. The strategic alliance                       Overall IMTS 2006 was a very productive show.
with Tornos SA will compliment the processing                        Thank you to all of the customers who came by
capabilities we are able to provide our customers                    the booth to see Hydromat technology. We look
                                                                                                                                 Tom Broe, Hydromat’s Project Manager for Tornos
to give them the best manufacturing solutions to                     forward to IMTS 2008. In the meantime, Bruno                Multispindles (L), and Jim Otten, V.P.-Sales discuss the
meet their needs.”                                                   Schmitter, President/CEO says, “we will continue            finer points of the new Tornos MultiAlpha machines.

On the other side of the booth, Edge Technologies                    to enhance our offerings in order to help our
displayed a complete product line (11 units)                         customers to be successful.”
consisting of FMB barfeeders, two Dürr Ecoclean                      Above: Nathan
systems, and Edge Technologies bar feeders.                          VanDeman, Hydromat
Kevin Meehan, General Manager of Edge                                Technician II (L),
                                                                     explains the EPIC R/T’s
Technologies states, “IMTS provided the big                          advantages.
stage we needed to cap our reintroduction to the
                                                                     Right: Rick Bauer,
machine tool marketplace as Edge Technologies.                       Edge Technologie’s
The size and scope of our booth drove home                           Sales Manager for
the message that we are back, we are strong,                         Dürr products (R),
                                                                     demonstrates the
and that we fully intend to resume our industry                      cleaning power of the                                       Bobby Murray (L) and Jeff DePew of Hydromat of
leadership as a bar feeder solutions provider.”                      hydocarbon system                                           Michigan (2nd from L), explain the operation of two-axis
                                                                     with his ‘Card Trick’                                       flanges to show attendees.
                                                                     (inset), an oil soaked
                                                                     business card washed
                                                                     with the parts comes
                                                                     out perfectly clean,
                                                                     dry and free of oil.




                                                                                                                                 Rodger Boswell, Hydromat’s Director of Sales (R)
                                                                                                                                 points out the cross-hole features on a sample part and
Above: Peter Frey, Hydromat’s Chairman of the Board (R) hosted                                                                   explains how they were accomplished.
a delegation of dignitaries from Switzerland. Here Chris Klepacki,
Hydromat Regional Sales Manager (2nd from R), explains the part
being produced on an EPIC R/T machine.
                                                                                                   Above: Jeff Fuhrmann
                                                                                                   explains the EPIC R/T’s
                                                                                                   operations to an interested
                                                                                                   group.

                                                                                                   Left: Bryan McKibbon,
                                                                                                   Regional Sales Manager
                                                                                                   Edge Technologies (R),
                                                                                                   reviews the workings of the
                                                                                                   FMB bar feeder line.

                                                                                                   Far Left: Bill Nuetzel,
                                                                                                   Hydromat Senior Regional
                                                                                                   Sales Manager explains        Mark Grone, Sales Engineer for Hydromat (center),
                                                                                                   the Legacy machine to         discusses a sample part two customers have brought
                                                                                                   attendees.                    with them to the show.

                                                                                               2
Technical Update
TECH UP
Rotary Transfer Machines with Indexing
Chucks Offer Complete Parts In One Chucking
M
        achining castings with irregular shapes and a number of features is always
        a challenge. Doing them in large quantities with extremely tight tolerances
        can create even more challenges. These high-volume applications can
be especially troublesome when secondary operations are required, and the
occasional flawed casting can cause a host of issues. Money is wasted in
manpower and materials as productivity falters. All the while these issues may
quite possibly drive your QC department a little crazy. There is an answer. The
methodology is that of a “single-clamping with no secondary operations” one.
This is easier said than done, especially when these castings need to be produced
in large quantities, fast.
The addition of a Rotary Transfer machine with Indexing Chucks can increase
productivity and the accuracy of features on cast workpieces requiring machining
on multiple surfaces. The Hydromat HS type machines are utilized for production
of a variety of parts; plumbing, fittings, automotive, anything that has irregular
shapes with a number of features.
Hydromat offers an Indexing Chuck type rotary transfer machine with 16 or
12 horizontal cutting stations and 8 or 6 verticals respectively. The chucks
are positioned on the rotary table in a satellite arrangement and are indexed
hydraulically. The 12 station machine has a work envelope of a 4” cube, the
16 station can accommodate a 3” cube. “The HS part envelope is dictated by
the space available between the chucks on the satellite arrangement, so the 12
station machine is utilized for the larger work pieces, and the 16 station is geared
more toward the smaller parts that have more features,” remarks Martin Weber,
Hydromat’s Vice President of Manufacturing. In some instances, depending on
the workpiece, these work envelopes may be increased. The machine model and
indexing requirements are taken into consideration at the preliminary engineering
stages and some very creative solutions have been reached in the past. One
solution may be the use of a double index configuration; two different type chucks
alternating in the satellite configuration. After each machining cycle, the table will
index two positions, bringing a second specially designed chuck into position to             Above Left: The Hydromat HS
                                                                                             satellite chuck arrangement.
clamp the second side of the workpiece.
                                                                                             Above: The Standard Two-Jaw
The Hydromat Indexing Chuck machines are available in the classic hydraulic                  Chuck clamps a round blank.
driven machines as well as the EPIC R/T, the fully CNC controlled version. The HS            Left: The Hydromat Engineering
is fully integrated into the Hydromat program, so the same modular components                Department’s design of custom
                                                                                             fixtures for special applications
used with Hydromat’s popular EPIC R/T collet type models are compatible with                 can become an art form.
the EPIC HS. With the classic format the chucks use mechanical indexers, while               Below: Inserts that are used
the EPIC line utilizes free programmable servo indexers with chuck position                  for families of parts yield
determined at the pendant with the EPIC software. In both instances chucks can               faster change-overs.
be indexed in increments of 5 degrees. Each chuck has it’s own Hirth ring, giving
each position extremely tight tolerances and accuracy. For angles that are outside
the 5-degree range, the cutting unit is angled to create that feature’s position.
Hydromat offers two standard two-jaw chucks in 140 & 160mm sizes for round,
hex or square stock as well as castings or housings in any shape or form that
allows for clamping within the available measurement. This type chuck indexing
provides precise part positioning for complex multi-axis machining that requires
one chucking to maintain overall part quality and statistical capability. The
standard two-jaw chuck configuration accounts for 75-80% of the applications
on the HS. The Hydromat machines utilize a self centering chuck design providing
the necessary repeatability to hold the tight part requirements. A pull piston works
from center of the chuck, pulling the two jaws the same distance at the same force
to center the part. The Hydromat HS machine also allows for variable clamping
pressure. All chucks can have the pressure adjusted to provide the appropriate
grip for that operation. The accuracy of this clamping method is an impressive
2-5 microns. “A ground stock requirement will go back in the chuck and repeat
                                                         Continued on Next Page
                                                                                         3
with less than a 5 micron variance on a consistent basis,” states Rodger Boswell,           fixture a part you need to make sure that you don’t give up any of your tolerances
Hydromat’s Director of Sales.                                                               that you need to achieve. That’s always a little engineering battle. You need to
                                                                                            fixture it so that the hard blank tolerances really don’t affect your machining
Each chuck is ground to the same height and centerline position for maximum
                                                                                            tolerances, that’s where a good fixture design comes in. This is where we have
accuracy. Hydromat technicians have the ability to grind-in each workholding
                                                                                            some pretty darn good experience,” Weber boasts.
fixture so the workpiece will be in exactly the same place position-to-position.
When grinding the position on a set of chucks, they can also adjust for the axis            Hydromat has also created initial set-ups for the HS machines that required
orientation of the part. This is extremely important for perpendicular accuracy.            the production of a number of parts that were not in the same family. Giving
“On this ground stock application,” Boswell holds up an automotive part as an               its customers machines that yield high-precision, high volumes with quick
illustration, “ this cross hole had to be held perpendicular at a tolerance of 15           changeovers for JIT production on a number of dissimilar parts. When engineering
microns at 2.0 CP CPK, or 25% of the tolerance, which is 3.75 microns.” How                 for a family of parts, a second index unit may be added for additional flexibility.
does Hydromat hold this accuracy? “We design into the workholding system                    All this on a product when many people in the precision metal cutting industry
the ability to mechanically adjust each workholding position within 2-5 tenths              still believe that ‘a Hydromat is only for dedicated jobs.’ It seems this is quite a
(1/10,000th of an inch),” Boswell explains. For a family of parts where a different         misconception.
workpiece position is required, the chucks are designed with quick-change                   The Hydromat HS type machine offers a nearly limitless combination of axis
inserts. A changeover for another part in a family may only require a chuck jaw             combinations for the machining of complex parts. How many axis are available
insert change. One bolt for each chuck keeps the change to a minimum, one hour              on a HS? “Our HS machines are engineered with enough axis’ options for the
or less. With chucks designed with 2 gripping surfaces, 20                                                       customer’s application, plus an extra 5-6 axis built-in to
minutes would be sufficient for a tooling change and to bring                                                    cover future applications. Too many extra axis’ will only
up the next part program in the series.                                                                          add additional cost with no immediate benefit. Usually
The Hydromat chuck system can potentially machine 5 sides                                                        we fully equip them with 30-40 axis’ per machine, leaving
at once, then re-insert for the 6th side, depending on the                                                       room for more,” added Weber.
placement of the features. With the most common approach,                                                          An indexing chuck type Hydromat can offer a number
the jaws will cover two sides, so after inverting the second                                                       of features not normally associated with rotary transfer
set of machining operations are performed on sides 4, 5 and                                                        machines. “A lathe is made for turning, with a mill or
6. A stepped jaw fixture allows for inverting and relocating                                                       machining center the primary functions are milling and
of the part into the same chuck in a different set of contact                                                      drilling. The beauty of the HS is that we can accomplish
locations. In other cases a double-index system is created.                                                        turning drilling milling burnishing, etc. in one application,
Two sets of chucks especially designed for the castings’                                                           in high volume and with very high accuracy,” Boswell
unique features are placed at alternate positions on the                                                           explains.
table. After the first set of operations are complete, the part
is picked, the table indexes and the irregular shaped workpiece is inserted into                                     When planning for flexibility for the future, the HS offers
the second chuck to complete the transfer process. Most Hydromat chuck jaws                 many benefits. Chuck machines can be configured to hold virtually any shape
are hydraulically actuated, but other types may be utilized when the application            within the work envelope. Many of Hydromat’s chuck type machines go out the
requires them. With spring-loaded or flex jaw (deflection) type chucks, the                 door configured with a barfeeder. Later these machines may run production by
clamping force is built into the chuck. A jaw is spread apart with a wedge and              feeding a cast part with a robot or a ‘pick and place’ gantry type system. Robots
then allowed to collapse back on the workpiece - no moving parts are used on the            are becoming more and more popular for the loading of this type of machine
fixture, this yields a high repeatability factor.                                           because of flexibility and lowering costs of the units themselves. In many
                                                                                            applications that are dedicated or for family of parts Hydromat engineers design
Custom chucks are used when the features and part configuration doesn’t allow               a gantry-fed pallet system, or a hopper type that feeds a magazine. Later, the bar
for the use of the standard chucks. “Custom chuck machines are required when                feeder will be utilized once again for a bar stock application.
certain reference points on the work piece won’t allow for the conventional two
                                                                                            As the marketplace requires more complex parts with tighter tolerances, the
jaw chuck. The part may need to be placed in a certain way, and when the two-
                                                                                            Hydromat HS machine sales have shifted. The indexing chuck machines have
jaw chuck won’t allow for that, we create a special clamping fixture to get the job
                                                                                            become a more viable configuration in recent years. More complex parts require
done,” notes Martin Weber. Hydromat designs these special fixtures around the
                                                                                            the flexibility that these machines provide. A majority of these applications that are
part features using locating pins or a fixed (machined) surface. With a casting, the
                                                                                            engineered for machines in the field of automotive components, with an increasing
initial machined surface becomes the precision location for the additional cutting
                                                                                            number of machines built for the plumbing and connector industries as well as for
operations. These initial locations may be a milled surface that would locate on            defense and aerospace. When asked if the future of rotary transfer machines in
a stationary chuck jaw, or it may be initial drilled holes that would locate on pins.       the U.S. will continue to lean more toward the HS Indexing Chuck type machines
A stationary surface provides the positioning surface then a second moving jaw              rather than the collet type machines Boswell answers, “We look at each project
clamps the workpiece against that fixed surface. This holds the tolerance and               and develop a process for the application. Everything has its niche. There are
maintains the set-up dimensions while giving extremely accurate repeatability               jobs that are high precision that are suited for a collet machine. For castings and
without relying on the cast surface for accuracy. “Now we’re positioning on                 irregular shapes, the HS is the answer for repeatability.”
a machined to machined surface, not on the cast surface. That’s where the
accuracy comes in,” Weber explains, “We can also do fixture error mapping                   While the EPIC HS is more flexible, and may be the machine for the future, the
                                                                                            question of what the customer will be running is an important one. If the application
with the CNC muli-axis toolspindle flanges. All these things combined result in
                                                                                            is more of a dedicated one, the classic Hydromat machine is the answer for many
an amazing repeatability, holding industry prescriptive statistical indices of 1.33,
                                                                                            users. When the initial time studies are done, life cycle costs that are inclusive
1.67 and 2.0 Cp Cpk.”
                                                                                            of labor are determined. A Hydromat machine may run a part in 8 seconds that
Flaws in castings always present special challenges. “You can work around it,               could take a single-spindle lathe 8 minutes to complete. High production may
or with it. Surface to machined surface is the way to approach it, a one jaw                require the shop owner to run the job on a large number of lathes, using a number
chuck that seats the part on a stationary surface….we engineer with the flaws,              of operators. A flexible HS system that can run that family of parts and produce
rather than against them,” Weber concluded. Intelligent engineering is an essential         what 8 or 10 lathes can produce, and only require one operator. This may be the
component in the fight against the casting’s inherent fluctuations. “When you               way for some shops to go. It’s something to think about.

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