Components for automotive transmissions are typically made of ductile steels such as SAE 1018, 1020 and 8620. Turning these parts is often plagued by problems with chip control, especially the tendency for these materials to produce long, stringy chips that interfere with efficient operation and/or automated production. This article from Sandvik Coromant addresses the complex variables and strategic trade-offs that must be considered in designing the most effective insert for this application. The insights into the problem and its solution will help anyone think more clearly about vexing chip control issues.
The workholding system that TRP Machine is calling the “MV16” is not actually a new product, but instead it is the way this Bohemia, New York job shop has held parts for machining for more than 20 years. Looking for a simple and inexpensive way to (A) hold several workpieces in one machining cycle, (B) hold a variety of different part numbers without setup changes, and (C) load and unload workpieces quickly from one machining cycle to the next, the shop devised a workholding system on its own able to realize those objectives. What is new now, says shop owner Roger Price, is that TRP has begun to manufacture the MV16 as a product available to other machine shops.
The system is essentially a single large plate embedded with eight independent and closely spaced double-acting vises. Each of the 16 jaw positions opens to a width of 3.25 inches, and clamps parts to a location repeatability of 0.0005 inch. Thus, 16 identical pieces can be quickly and precisely clamped for machining in the same setup, or 16 entirely different parts can be clamped into a single setup as well. Or, since the jaw positions lie in parallel, a row of four jaw positions at once can be used to clamp a workpiece up to 28 inches long.
Mr. Price says the system has been invaluable to TRP in allowing the shop to maintain high in-cut time percentages on its machining centers. The standard MV16 plate is 20.25 by 28.25 inches, but he says the system can also be customized to different sizes and even to a different number of vise positions. A tombstone version of the system uses four double-acting vises on each of four different faces to achieve a total of 32 jaw positions. Learn more from TRP Machine.
Advances in steady rest and in-process measurement technologies enable large crankshafts to be ground complete in one setup.
Junker, manufacturer of high-speed CBN grinding machines, has developed its new JuCrank series for cylindrical and non-cylindrical grinding for large crankshafts. The series offers a swing diameter of 470 mm and a part length capacity of up to 4.8 m, and can accommodate crankshafts that can weigh as much as 1,000 kg. Because these parts are so big and unwieldy, the company integrated two technologies to streamline setup and processing.
First, Junker developed its own steady rest system, believing that existing systems were too bulky and not rigid enough for high-speed grinding. These new steadies are CNC-controlled and have only one axis each, which is said to increase their stability and stiffness. A maximum of 11 steadies can be controlled individually and applied to a section at any time—even during the grinding process—to enable higher sequence flexibility.
Second, the company integrated an in-process measurement system. That’s because large crankshafts are mainly produced in small batches (in some cases as single pieces), and the forging and hardening costs are so high that scrapping a part is not an option.
To start the crankshaft grinding process, the machine’s two wheels, each mounted on a wheelhead with its own X and Z axis, pre-grind the main and pin bearings. Those diameters are measured during the process, and then the entire workpiece is measured after pre-grinding, including features such as the taper of each element, the bearing widths and lift heights.
Based on the measuring data, the machine completes the grinding process while using the WK axis whereby the grinding spindle swivels to compensate for tapers. The machine can also provide each main and pin bearing with its own profile shape with specific crowning. If necessary, the shaft ends can also be ground, which also often feature a taper. As a result, the crankshaft is ground complete in one setup.
Another application for the JuCrank machines is re-grinding of used crankshafts, whereby the crankshafts are ground based upon the measurements taken by the machine. This grinding platform also can be effective for other large-scale applications, such as printing rollers and electric motor shafts.
Repeat business generally means you’re doing a good job, but when your customers actually recommend you to other companies, then you’ve begun to build an effective referral network.
Whether you’re selling a product or service, it’s important to know how well you’re meeting your customer’s expectations. One indicator might be whether or not, based on past experience, they would recommend you to another company. That’s the information Lampin Corp.—a critical component manufacturer based in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, that specializes in right-angle gearboxes and spiral bevel gear drives—sought when it presented its customers with a survey known as “The Ultimate Question.”
Based on research by brand loyalty expert Fred Reichheld, a fellow at Bain & Co., the survey asks “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely likely, would you recommend Lampin to your friends or colleagues?” Collectively, the answers generate a “net promoter score, or NPS, which measures how willing a company’s customers would be to recommend that company to friends and colleagues.
The good news is that Lampin earned an NPS of 85.7, meaning that nearly all of its customers would give their recommendation. Conducted in coordination with the strategic Web marketing services organization Applied Interactive, the survey received a strong response rate, lending additional weight to the findings. “The Ultimate Question” is considered by many to be a reliable litmus test for customer satisfaction and, therefore, a good metric for planning strategic company growth. Go here for a video about the company’s MITRPAK right-angle gearbox.
The UL AMCC will include various companies’ additive manufacturing machines, as suggested by the row of machines in this rendering.
The new Additive Manufacturing Competency Center created by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) has announced that registration is now open for its initial, hands-on course, Advanced Training on Metal Part Production, September 14-18. The UL AMCC says this course is the first of what will be a comprehensive technical and business curriculum on additive manufacturing.
Located in Louisville, Kentucky, adjacent to and in partnership with the University of Louisville, the UL AMCC was founded this year. It aims to be a hub for advancing process knowledge and workforce expertise in additive manufacturing. Future advanced courses will focus on materials as well as specific industry applications of AM such as medical, aerospace, automotive and consumer products. Class sizes will be limited to enhance student interaction and overall experience, UL says.
The first course, Advanced Training for Metal Part Production is for quickly advancing the knowledge and effectiveness of current AM users. The course follows this outline:
Day 1: Introduction to selective laser melting
Day 2: Design, process planning and set up
Day 3: Process parameters and post-process heat treatments
Day 4: Finishing and evaluation
Day 5: Implementation
Further, students will design and manufacture parts in this course as part of project teams.
Next year, when more UL AMCC courses are available, students will be able to meet the prerequisites for this advanced course through earlier courses at the center. For now, the prerequisites include experience with both additive and traditional manufacturing, including design and quality experience. Learn more here.