Video: What’s Low-Frequency-Vibration Turning?

Oscillating Z-axis tool motion combined with brief bits of intentional air cutting enables effective chip control and improved tool life on Swiss-type lathes.

In most cases, turning operations involve continuous cuts in which the tool remains engaged with the material from the time it starts the cut to the time the cut is completed. Marubeni Citizen - Cincom has developed what it calls low-frequency-vibration (LFV) technology, which is available on its L20 sliding-headstock Swiss-type lathes. This technology purposely oscillates the cutter in the Z axis in time to the rotation of the barstock. At times, it actually brings the cutter completely out of the cut.

The company says the advantage of this programmed oscillation is that the intentional air cuts break the chips into small pieces so they can be readily expelled, minimizing the problems of spiraling chip entanglement around the workpiece known as “bird nesting.”

This strategy is said to be particularly effective in controlling chips/preventing bird nesting when turning materials such as copper, plastic, Inconel and stainless steel—a challenging task for conventional turning operations. Additional benefits are said to include increased cutting tool life, minimized build-up on cutter edges, and reduced heat generation and power consumption. In addition, the same type of cutting tools a shop would use for conventional turning can also be used for LFV turning, the company says.

The video above demonstrates the concept, showing the changing amount of cutter engagement with the material as it oscillates. To make a 90-degree square shoulder, the oscillation stops and the tool is fed in a conventional manner.

The LFV concept also can be applied to drilling and grooving operations. In the case of the latter, the grooving tool oscillates/plunges in and out normal to the barstock circumference in the X axis.

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