Making Tooling More Cost Effective
Something as simple as trading standard retention knobs for a longer version could help eliminate bulge in V-flange tooling and the problems associated with it.
Hansen Engineering Co. used a standard retention knob in the toolholder on the left. Taper deformation prevents the toolholder from properly mating with the CNC machine’s spindle, however. In contrast, the photo on the right shows use of JM Performance Products’ high-torque retention knobs in the toolholder. A longer design enables the knob to reach deeper into the holder’s threaded bore, improving taper-contact quality.
When a standard retention knob is installed in a V-flange toolholder, pressure exerted by thread engagement, coupled with the elastic properties of the steel used to manufacture the toolholdrers, creates a bulge at the small end of the holder. Once expansion occurs, the holder will not pull all the way into the spindle, and the toolholder cannot make contact with upwards of 70 percent of the spindle surface. When this happens, vibration, chatter, poor tolerances, non-repeatability, poor finishes and shortened tool life are among some of the problems that shops can face.
Hansen Engineering Co. knows these problems all too well, as its everyday machining operations began to present increased issues. A simple solution that reportedly increased the aerospace engineering shop’s productivity by 15 percent and decreased downtime was a high-torque retention knob from JM Performance Products Inc. The high-torque knobs are longer and reach deeper into the holder’s threaded bore than standard knobs, which encourages thread engagement to occur in a region of the toolholder where there is a thicker cross section of material to resist deformation.
Angle heads can enable a three-axis machine tool to be more versatile. That said, this shop explains that there’s more to getting started using them than simply loading them into a machine’s spindle.
The force that holds the toolholder in the machining center's spindle can weaken over time. If you haven't checked drawbar force in a while, this may be the weak link in your process.
Companies concerned about strict quality requirements regularly check toolholder tapers for wear or inaccuracy because these conditions can jeopardize the results of a critical operation. However, a shop can check tapers quickly and reliably with air gages. These devices can be used effectively without special operator training. For measuring taper in a production environment, few other methods can match the speed and performance of air, as multiple-circuit air jets can be placed in very small taper gages.