Indexer puts an end to downtime

Aug. 19, 2005
Special design protects spindles and motors from rugged environments.
Ingersoll-Rand of Athens, Pa., no longer worries about coolant and chips leaking into the spindles or motors of its rotary indexers, causing wear and, eventually, downtime. That's because the shop now runs Hardinge 5C rotary indexing systems with protected spindles and motors for maintaining precision and extending durability. For O.D. and I.D. workholding, Hardinge offers indexing systems from single heads to quad units. Indexing heads are similar to other competitive-manufactured models and replace most existing U.S.-made units. However, with Hardinge systems, shops don't have to change programs or offsets, worry about toolpath clearance issues, or make fixture adjustments because system footprints and center heights are the same. Ingersoll-Rand operates two single-head units and one quad unit on three VMCs. It also reduces job changeover within a family of six parts using a special interchangeable collet system that Hardinge custom engineered. Hardinge's all-digital servo control oversees the indexing heads. The control's program storage accommodates the shop's lengthy programs and lets it upload and download programs using pocket PCs along with infrared ports at the control box fronts. Programmers and operators at Ingersoll-Rand benefit from the control's four-line display, and in "program" mode, they view two full steps, including program number, step number, loop count, and preparatory code for each. An 80-character display limits time spent scrolling as compared with typical 9-character displays. Users instantly identify parameters and errors in word format without having to refer to a manual or look up codes. The control houses up to 50 programs with as many as 1,000 steps in each keyed in at the servo control box or uploaded from a connected network, in addition to using a pocket PC. With a pocket PC, shops that don't have networking capabilities eliminate maneuvering a computer to the shop floor. Hardinge's servo control runs most brands of brush and brushless-motor indexing heads, and true 4th-axis integration is possible, as well as interfacing via an RS-232 port or CNC interface cable. (