Stephanie (Monsanty) Hendrixson served as a Modern Machine Shop summer intern in 2012 and joined the team as an assistant editor later that fall. She currently works on event news for MMS Online and on the production of the print magazine. She also blogs about additive technology and helps to manage Additive Manufacturing magazine as its associate editor. Stephanie holds an M.A. in professional writing from the University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in English literature and history from the University of Mount Union.
Did you or one of your kids ever play with one of those pin impression boards? The idea was that you could press any object—a smaller toy or a hand, for instance—gently into the pins on the back of the board and see a crude relief image on the other side.
A clamping element from Euro-Tech called “The Jaw” (pictured above) works in a very similar fashion. The product has a number of hydraulic pins on each side that quickly conform to the shape of any part placed between them. Internal clamping sleeves lock the pins in place, and the company says that the form fit reduces required clamping force. The adaptable system can be used as jaws for vises, as supports, and in combination with robot grippers and other custom solutions.
A lathe or multitasking center equipped with both a main spindle and subspindle enables turned parts to be machined on both ends in one setup, by simply passing the bar from one spindle to the other. But what if you don’t have a subspindle? A robot flipping system can be a cost-effective automated solution.
The video above from Methods Machine Tools shows a Nakamura AS-200 multitasking machine equipped with a FANUC LR Mate 200iD7L robotic arm with two sets of grippers. Around 3:06 in the video, the robot removes the first workpiece, swaps in a blank, then sets the first workpiece unmachined-side down on a shelf just to the left of the machine door. The robot then grasps the part from underneath, flipping it over to be placed back in the spindle for machining on the other end. The configuration enables a two-spindle process to be completed with just one spindle on a smaller machine.
Click the cover image above to access a digital edition of this month's magazine.
The motorcycle part manufacturer featured in the cover story of Modern Machine Shop’s April issue struggled to keep up with the cyclical demand for its products—until it added the robot-tended cell visible in the cover image. Another shop featured in this issue shares its experience moving from manual to automatic pallet-switching and a third was able to reduce machine run time with an automated five-axis cell, additional examples of automation used to reduce setup time and streamline operations. Also look for stories on these topics:
How to make sure MTConnect is a good fit for your shop;
How a company made material handling safer by adding high-pressure coolant to its CNC vertical lathes;
Why a desktop 3D printer can be a valuable job shop resource;
How an EDM drilling unit improved part turnaround for an aerospace manufacturer; and
How abrasive waterjet can be used as an additive process.
This month’s product spotlight highlights turning equipment—lathes, turning centers, mill-turn machines and even a CNC specifically designed for turning. Many of the turning machines covered have features designed to make them more flexible. For example, the EcoTurn 650 turning center from DMG MORI can be equipped with an optional C axis for turn-mill machining. Meanwhile, the Hwacheon VT-1150 vertical lathe has a geared drive system that enables high-torque turning at low speeds as well as high-speed turning. Click the image above to access the slideshow featuring these machines and more.
A center hole that is drilled even slightly off-center can lead to a non-concentric workpiece. If no adjustments are made and the runout is too much, that workpiece ultimately ends up as scrap. While a bad center hole may be only an occasional problem, it can be fairly simple to correct with the use of a compensating live center.
The video above from Riten Industries demonstrates how its Adjusta-Point live center is able to offset a shaft’s deviation by means of external adjusting screws. The adjustment process is similar to indicating a part using a four-jaw chuck, and it takes only a few minutes to bring the shaft back within acceptable grinding standards.