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Posted by: Mark Albert 26. September 2014

JIMTOF 2014: Our Industry’s Next Big Show

Tokyo’s Big Sight, home to JIMTOF, is truly an eyeful, with the dramatic architecture of its Conference Tower dominating the exhibit hall entrance area. 

As a global leader in machine tool design and construction, Japan plays a key role in developing and promoting new metalworking technology. The Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF), packs a lot of product introductions and educational events in a compact, intense event running October 30 through November 4, 2014. Look for daringly imaginative designs in machine tools and related products at Tokyo’s eye-catching Big Sight exhibition center.

Plan to attend now starting here.    

The theme for this year’s show is Mono-Zukuri DNA. Loosely translated, that phrase means “an inspired approach to the art and science of making things should be at the core of our beings.”


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 25. September 2014

Do Your Kids Know What You Did at IMTS?

Sandvik Coromant used the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show as an opportunity for outreach to the next generation of manufacturing professionals. The cutting tool maker funded a virtual field trip to IMTS consisting of three video episodes that were filmed at the show, edited at the show and broadcast to 200 schools while the show was underway. Find links to all three episodes below. Consider sharing these episodes with the kids in your life, particularly if it helps them understand where you go and what you see when you make your own trip to IMTS.

Called “Technology Applied,” the IMTS virtual field trip was hosted by Jeremy Bout of Underhouse Studio. The still above, from the Automotive episode, shows Mr. Bout talking to Derrin Barber of Doosan in this company's booth. Here are links to the episodes:

All of these episodes are part of a new microsite full of resources for helping kids understand and pursue careers in manufacturing. 


Posted by: Derek Korn 24. September 2014

Video: Applying “Dengeln” for Finishing Turbine Blades

You might know “dengeln” to be a peening method of smoothing and sharpening the blades of scythes or sickles via manual hammering. Starrag says it has developed on-machine dengeln technology that uses an electrically powered tool to finish turbine blades after machining to a roughness value of just 0.2 micron Ra.

The process uses a tungsten tool with a spherical tip pulsed to 600 Hz that repeatedly impacts the blade surface and changes the original structures of surface boundary layers to a depth of 10 mm. This capability offers the possibility to eliminate secondary polishing, grinding and shot peening to finish blades. It can also eliminate manual polishing for dies and molds.

The video above shows one of the company’s five-axis LX 051 machines performing the dengeln process to finish a typical turbine blade after machining. 


Posted by: Russ Willcutt 23. September 2014

Video: The HardFinisher from Praewema

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The German machine tool builder Praewema presented its new HardFinisher technology at the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. In the video above, you’ll see the twin-spindle HardFinisher perform the complete machining of workpieces with internal or external gears.

In grinding operations, the standard approach to machining these parts has always involved passing them through two independent machine tools; one for grinding the bore and the face, and the other for grinding the gears. The HardFinisher is designed to perform both operations on a single machine, the company says.

In the initial phase, or the “first clamping,” the bore and face of the workpiece is machined, involving either grinding, hard turning, or a combination of both. Gear flanks are machined in the second phase. Continuous-generated grinding or honing utilizing a dressable ceramic tool can be performed on workpieces with external gears. The grinding wheel is balanced automatically by a dynamic system that is integrated into the spindle, the company says. Depending on the batch size, either a universal diamond dressing disc or a diamond-coated dressed gear can be used. Workpieces with internal gears are machined with gear-shaped, diamond-coated tools.

Various automation systems can be integrated due to the unit’s vertical‚ pickup design, with the spindles handling both loading and unloading of the workpieces. A single spindle can be used, or both simultaneously, and measurement devices can be mounted in-line. Robots and/or conveyor systems can easily be attached as well. 


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 22. September 2014

Video: Re-Use Soft Jaws with Expanding Pins

When tool-and-die and contract machine shop Baklund R&D developed a workholding device to solve a challenge with one of its own jobs, the company realized it potentially had a solution that could benefit many other shops as well. The “Expandable Collet Pin” is now a standard product marketed by Baklund Workholding, a sister company to the shop.

The video shows how the Expandable Collet Pin facilitates the reuse of soft jaws on machining-center vises. The pin simply requires 1/2-inch holes to be drilled in vise faces (as Baklund R&D has now done throughout its shop). Whereas aluminum soft jaws are often considered disposable because of the difficulty with relocating them for reuse, the pin provides for secure and repeatable clamping. To secure the jaw, it expands within the hole as it is tightened—holding to 480 pounds of pull force and locating to ±0.0003 inch, the company says.

This solution evolved from a clamping challenge related to a large forging that lacked straight sides. After some initial ideas failed to hold the part well, Baklund R&D at last hit upon creating a 4-inch-diameter expanding collet pin to grip the component within a large bore that was a feature of the part. Watching how well and how consistently this collet held the part, shop owner Jon Baklund realized he could apply the same solution to workholding using collet pins scaled down to a smaller size.

In fact, because of the repeatable locating with the pins, jaws can be turned, flipped and accurately re-located. That means four different edges can be used to clamp four different parts with a single set of jaws. The video emphasizes this advantage.

The Expandable Collet Pin provides secure clamping by expanding within a 1/2-inch hole. Samples of the pin are seen here. (The tray was made through 3D printing, a part-making capability that Baklund R&D also employs.)


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