IMTS 2012: “Most Advanced,” Horizontal Flexible Honing Machine

The Nagel ECO H horizontal honing machine, with a spindle driven by a 3-HP, 4,000-rpm servo motor. Stroking is controlled by a 3-HP servo motor. Heavy-duty precision ball screws reach stroking speeds greater than 25 m/min., and have maximum travel range of 250 mm.

Honing may be challenging for many job shops — requiring not only expertise but also possibly specialized equipment, and it’s a process that may occupy a lot of production time, too. Nagel Precision Inc. is promising to introduce the “most advanced horizontal flexible honing machine,” designed for low-volume job shops, at IMTS 2012.

Typically, job shops perform low-volume production runs on hand honing machines, or hand honing machines with automatic stroking devises. This may be an economical solution but it’s not an ideal solution: it is operator dependent, the quality of finished parts is inconsistent, and it involves long set up times.

Nagel has developed a new generation of horizontal honing machines for low production runs to bridge the gap between a hand honing machine and a full-scale automated honing machine. The ECO H consists three servo drives, AB PLC, and AB operator panel — “a big improvement over archaic mechanical systems found in hand hones in today’s market,” the developer observed.

The machine’s honing spindle is driven by a 3-HP, 4,000-rpm servo motor. Stroking is controlled by a 3-HP servo motor. Heavy-duty precision ball screws reach stroking speeds greater than 25 m/min., and have maximum travel range of 250 mm.

The tool expansion system is controlled by an AB servo, an “industry first feature” for a low volume hone according to Nagel Precision. Servo control makes it possible for the tool to expand rapidly during the rough stock removal phase, and slow down toward the end of the cycle, which yields better cycle times and bore quality. Operators can compensate for wear quickly via the control panel, based on offline gage reading.

The Nagel ECO H can hone up to 40-mm bores. The fully enclosed machine ensures operation conditions in the shop remain dry, and safety light curtain protect the operators from injury.

The system is able to store multiple part programs, so changeovers are simple and quick. In addition, the ECO H accepts tools manufactured by other manufacturers, as many of the shops that use hand hones typically maintain a large inventory of conventional abrasive tools.

The ECO H honing system is designed to operate with superabrasives, but conventional abrasives may be used as well. Unlike conventional abrasives, the Diamond / CBN used in ECO H last longer, and as a result it requires only minimal in-process inspection and wear compensation. This will increase uptime and improve bore quality.

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