Tooling Tips for Turreted Machines

Increasing the number of usable cutting tool edges is one way to make turreted machines more productive. This quad square shank holder from Eppinger Exsys enables roughing and finishing tools to be mounted in one station.

Article From: 9/13/2012 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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The trend to turnmills, multitasking machines and other types of machine tools with driven tools on tool turrets continues to grow, so shops are paying more attention to the tooling solutions applied to these machines. As other shops catch up by investing in similar technology, users have to be sure they are getting the most productivity and best accuracy from these machines. With this in mind, Exsys Tool is showing visitors to its ooth (W-1664) how its new compensating clutch improves the performance of machine tool turret drive motors, as well helps compensate for misalignment issues and promotes better finishes while reducing the cost of perishable tooling.

The Eppinger Preci-Flex Compensating Clutch enables users to “float” away misalignment between turret drive motors and toolholders. This is accomplished by providing a floating coupling between turret drive motor tangs and toolholders that self compensates for any misalignment. This reduces vibration and tool chatter, which in turn, makes for longer tool life and better surface finishes.

The compensating clutch connection is double the size of a standard spindle, which not only provides more surface area for a strong, precise connection, but also allows for greater torque transfer and eliminates any loss of power between motors and toolholders, the company says. It also eliminates wear to turret drive motor connections because it fills the gaps at the top and bottom of drive motor tangs when engaged with the toolholder. Thus, the system provides a complete fit across the drive train of the motor to eliminate backlash while delivering much quieter operation as compared to other such systems when cutting the same workpiece materials and at the same speeds and feeds.

 According to developers, the new clutch lessens the severity of damage that occurs as a result of a machine crash and reduces the cost involved with the repair.  When a machine crash occurs, the result is typically a bent tool holder spindle, which can lead to costly repairs. With the compensating clutch in place, the resulting crash damage is usually confined to only the system’s coupling, which shops can easily and quickly replace themselves and at a cost that’s a lot less than having to replace an expensive spindle.

 Increasing turret capacity for static toolholders is another strategy for speeding production on turret machines. Exsys is addressing this issue with its Double Square Shank and Quad Square Shank static tool holders. The double square shank holder provides for two turning inserts offset in the Y axis; so the machine can rough and finish a part in the Y axis instead of indexing to another position. For greater tool capacity, the quad square shank holder accommodates four inserts (two located on each side of the holder for complete machining in the main spindle and sub spindle). With this multiple insert capability, different types of inserts, such as those for roughing and those for finishing, can be located in the same station. This frees up other stations and eliminates having to index the machine turret to switch from one insert to the next when they are located in separate stations—therefore, saving time and money.

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