The payback from doing in-house tool/toolholder balancing on a regular basis can quickly justify setting up a tool/toolholder balancing workstation and program.
In-House Balancing Delivers Quick Payback
Haimer GMBH (www.haimer-usa.com), a maker of toolholders, balancing machines, shrink-fit machines and accessories, did an internal case study on the benefits of using a toolholder balancing machine on its own manufacturing floor. The company found it could reduce costs by $20,000 to $40,000 per machining center per year, depending on the number of shifts that the machining center was used. By balancing its toolholders with tools inserted, the company saw its spindle lives double, a 10 percent increase in cutting volume and a 10 percent increase in tool life. Additionally, it saw improved surface quality and accuracy with reduced chatter and scrap. While tests showed that balancing tools at any rpm range yields positive results, tools and toolholders used on high-speed machines - those with spindle speeds greater than 8,000 rpm - derive the most benefits from balanced tooling.
Errant Performer Or Scapegoat
Spindles get blamed for a lot of machining problems but, in many cases, the spindle is not the root cause of the problem. Crashes and heavy cuts can eventually lead to a need for a rebuild, and, when quality problems crop up, a tool is needed that can identify quickly whether it is time to change-out the spindle, or if the cause of the problem is a process elsewhere in the machine system or beyond.
For use with any rotary-transfer machine from Hydromat Inc., St. Louis, (www.hydromat.com), the Harmonic 200 toolholder balancer adds two eccentric rings or removes imperfections to reduce or offset imbalance to make any company toolholder dynamically stable. .
Toolholders with Improved Balance
Rego-Fix (www.rego-fix.com) says its Q- #49, #47 and #50 system of steep-taper and HSK high-speed toolholders have improved balance as a result of a low-distortion hardening process and precision balancing. The steep-taper toolholders are pre-balanced to G2.5 at 22,000 rpm, while HSK toolholders reach G2.5 at 25,000 rpm.
Toolholder Boosts Reamer Life
A new toolholder, which consists of only a head, holder, and differential screw, reportedly increases tool life, improves accuracy, and delivers higher speeds and feeds than conventional taper-flange-style toolholders. The Head Fitting System (HFS) uses the screw to draw in the taper to make face contact, providing exceptionally low runout.
Imbalance conditions in rotary B-axis tables are detected by Balance Sensor technology developed by Cincinnati Machine (www.cincinnatilamb.com). The software is designed to sense rotary table, fixture and part imbalance using direct feedback from machine controllers.
Plant Seals Up Spindle Contamination Problem
An Indianapolis automotive plant was experiencing spindle failures in a transfer line that produced power-steering components. Four identical spindles had bearing-contamination problems caused by high volumes of coolant that was used within a confined, guarded work envelope. These spindles failed within six months, and the plant needed a remedy.
Detecting Small-Drill Distress
Conventional acoustical sensors for detecting and monitoring small-tool wear and breakage are limited by their sensitivity and ability to overcome background, no-load noise. For example, drills of 0.12-in. diameter on a 15-kW spindle or 0.06-in. diameter on a 3.5-kW spindle are about as small as can be reliably monitored with conventional tool-monitoring systems.
Heating/Cooling Shrinkfit Tooling
T.M. Smith's (www.tmsmith.com) G5 shrinkfit tabletop induction-heating machine provides integrated refrigerant cooling and a three-station rotary toolholder table.
Anti-Vibration Adaptor For Milling With Long Overhangs
The Coromant Capto Damped Milling Adaptor, recently introduced by Sandvik Coromant (www.coromant.sandvik.com), reduces vibration while milling with long overhangs. The product's sophisticated dampening mechanism eliminates any perceptible vibration caused by the cutting forces applied while end milling or profile milling with overhangs up to seven times the coupling diameter.
Modular Toolholding System
Sandvik Coromant designed its Capto polygon-shaped modular tooling system for use with turning and milling centers, and machining centers. The tooling system has a clamping system with an improved amplifier and gas spring that the company says maintains a high clamping force up to five times longer than conventional spring packages at high spindle speeds. The toolholder operates without changing the properties of balanced spindles of high-and low-speed machines. (www.coromant.sandvik.com)
Makino— a leading manufacturer of horizontal and vertical machining centers and EDM machines — has announced a new series of online Webinars. Designed for shops of all types and sizes, the seminars are free to anyone who registers. The planned seminars are intended for shops in the automotive, aerospace, medical product and die and mold industries. In addition to metal cutting and die/mold, the seminars will cover new technologies, such as micromachining. Mark Rentschler, marketing manager, says, "Online seminars allow anyone with an Internet connection to attend without losing a day of work." The seminars concentrate on shop efficiency, lean manufacturing, asset utilization, machine tool integration and automation, machine tool technologies, and metal cutting processes. Makino's application engineers, product managers and guest speakers will give presentations. Click here for more info on upcoming seminars and registration information.
Participants at this in-depth workshop will learn a systematic approach to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement in the machine shop, with a goal of efficient operations, increased customer satisfaction and earnings growth. Attendees will learn how to use benchmark measurements to achieve continuous improvement, and to link any improvements to a differentiating business strategy.
When: November 7 - 9, 2007
Where: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, 127 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Click here for more information.
The CNC Best Kept Secrets Series of educational webcasts from GE Fanuc and American Machinist is designed to educate manufacturers on the often overlooked ways to prevent downtime, enhance the speed of machine tools, and improve part quality.
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