Production Machining

OCT 2017

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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:: The size, type and quantity of parts to be run impact the feasibility of lights-out production. It Starts with the Parts For most manufacturers, the reason for implementing lights- out is to reduce overall production costs. If the company already has work cells that largely operate unattended during the day, the temptation is to simply set up a run at the end of a shift, turn out the lights and let the magic happen. However, it's often not as simple as that. With no one in the facility to monitor the cell, it's critical to eliminate potential problems that would require intervention. e first consideration should be the types of parts that will run. For a single part or a family of parts from one diameter of barstock (something for which Swiss- type machines are well suited), loading a bar feeder with material can allow the job to run all night. e length of the part will help determine how many parts can be produced. However, for multiple parts from various diameters of barstock, the number of parts that can be produced overnight is limited because nobody will be there to manage the change- over from one material to the next. An alternative process such as using a single diameter bar for multiple appli- cations may provide the solution. For example, if parts are typically made from both ⁷/8- and 1-inch diameter barstock, standardizing on 1-inch bars will increase the volume of parts that can be produced overnight. Obviously, this also increases machining time, tool usage and material costs a bit, but may well be worth it to make more parts unattended. is strategy may not be effective for expensive materials, such as titanium. Programming Typically, production programs are designed to optimize cycle time and throughput. Running lights out, however, may require modifying part programs to ensure uninterrupted operation. For example, reducing spindle speed or tweaking the cutting approach may reduce tool wear, and because no operator is available to replace worn or broken tools, extending tool life enables the machine to make more parts overnight. e material used also impacts tool life. Depending on the application, aluminum or brass may yield 20,000 parts per cutting edge while hardened steel, such as heat-treated AISI 4140, may only yield about 500 parts per edge. :: The SFcompact 50-micron filtering chip conveyor features self-cleaning dual filters. :: The LNS Blaze Air vacuum unloader uses suction to unload parts as long as 48 inches. Preparing for Lights-Out productionmachining.com :: 33

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