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Derek Korn

Derek Korn joined Modern Machine Shop in 2004, but has been writing about manufacturing since 1997. His mechanical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science provides a solid foundation for understanding and explaining how innovative shops apply advanced machining technologies. As you might gather from this photo, he’s the car guy of the MMS bunch. But his ’55 Chevy isn’t as nice as the hotrod he’s standing next to. In fact, his car needs a right-front fender spear if you know anybody willing to part with one.

Posted by: Derek Korn 6. May 2014

What Is Arbitrary Speed Threading?

Arbitrary speed threading enables operators to use the spindle override function to minimize chatter during threading operations while maintaining the correct thread lead.

Arbitrary speed threading is a CNC function that enables a turning center operator to adjust the spindle speed during thread cutting to reduce chatter. It ensures that the cutting tool remains coordinated with the spindle speed at all times during threading to produce the programmed lead. Controls that don’t offer arbitrary speed threading do not allow an operator to change the spindle speed during threading because that would change the thread lead and possibly damage the part. This function is particularly helpful for thread repair of components such as oilfield pipes because chatter is more likely to occur with the small amounts of material that’s typically removed.

Arbitrary speed threading automates the rethreading process that used to be a highly skilled manual process. It also provides the functionality to pick up and repair an existing thread, making it easy to use and fast to set up and reproduce original threads. FANUC America now offers the arbitrary speed threading option on its 0i-TD and 0i Mate-TD CNCs for new turning centers. (When purchasing a new turning center, specify this option on the FANUC CNC to the machine tool builder or distributor.) The thread repairing process can be simplified further using the company’s Manual Guide i conversational programming, enabling operators to use straightforward graphical screens to answer simple questions to generate a suitable thread repair program. Therefore, knowledge of G-code programming isn’t necessary.

Posted by: Derek Korn 30. April 2014

Ever Wonder Where We Get Story Ideas?

Have you ever wondered how we come up with topics and shops to write about in feature articles? This piece offers some examples, but first defines what a Modern Machine Shop feature article is.

Posted by: Derek Korn 24. April 2014

Video: Linear Motor Machine Milling Small Pins

At trade shows, some machine tool builders have displayed demo parts like the one above with long, small-diameter pins. YCM created this video showing its FP55LX VMC linear motor machine milling 25-mm-long pins that have 0.5-mm diameters. Linear motor machines are good candidates for such work because they have no ballscrews (hence, no backlash) and also provide smooth movement with minimal vibration. For this demo, a 10-mm-diameter end mill runs at 4,000 rpm and a feed rate of 2,000 mm/min.

Posted by: Derek Korn 16. April 2014

The Various Styles of Mechanical Indexers

This five-axis mechanical indexer enables 3 + 2 machining.​

Mechanical rotary indexers can be installed on machine quickly and take up less table real estate compared to motorized indexers. In some cases, those lightweight indexers require just half the table area than conventional motorized indexers, which can also make it possible to install multiple indexers on one machine table.

But how do they work and what types of styles are available? Learn more in this article based on input from Japanese workholding device manufacturer Kawata, represented in the U.S. by Tecnara Tooling Systems.

Posted by: Derek Korn 10. April 2014

Video: Cap Screws Not Required

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With conventional vises, vise jaws attach to the face of master jaws via cap screws. Conversely, the Carvesmart system from Bellatex Industries uses master jaws with a female dovetail profile that accept vise jaws with a male dovetail profile. With this system, the jaws can be front-loaded or slid into the side of the master jaws, and are secured via clamping elements accessible at the top of the master jaws that provide downward pressure to keep the jaws in place. Learn more in this article.

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