Production Machining

OCT 2018

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

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complete, the operator must set up the chuck jaws for the second operation, ip the parts over and reload the parts back into the in feed. When deciding whether to add a subspindle, these questions should be considered: • Will all the parts to be made sit in the in feed face down on the nished side? • Do the parts require clocking from the rst operation to the second operation, and will the in feed be able to reliably maintain the clocking? If the answer to either of these questions is no, without a subspindle the second operation will need to be hand- loaded, increasing labor and the cost of manufacturing. Bar Feed, Gantry or Robot Loader Generally, the type of work that is planned for the machine dictates the type of automation to choose. High mix means exibility is needed for a variety of di€erent sizes and shapes of parts. Low volume requires short setup times to handle small batches. Unfortunately, there is no clear automation decision for high-mix, low-volume applications. …e best choice will usually be driven by the range of part mix that the automation needs to support. Bar feeders are the most popular automation choice for lathes. …ey are simple, reliable and a€ordable. …e bar feeder's primary limitation is part size, with a maximum diameter of about 4.75 inches. For high-mix, low-volume applications, magazine-style, servo-driven, short-load bar feeders will generally provide the widest range of bar sizes with the shortest setup times. For work that falls primarily within the limitations of the bar feeder, it's a choice that is hard to beat. Gantry loaders are another proven lathe automation technology. Gantry loaders are often available directly from the lathe manufacturer as an integrated solution, so there is less worry about marrying a complicated piece of automation equipment to a complicated CNC lathe. In terms of function, a gantry loader operates a lot like a robot loader: It picks a part from in feed, loads the part into the lathe chuck, picks the part out of the chuck when the operation is nished and places the part into the out feed. A gantry loader will typically be congured with a dual gripper to increase e'ciency. With a dual gripper, the robot can unload the just- completed part while holding the next part to process in the other gripper. Gantry loaders can gener- ally be congured to run shafts or chucked workpieces. Setup times can be relatively short between similar parts but can be quite lengthy to go from a 2-inch by 15-inch long shaft to a 6-inch diameter puck. Another limitation of gantry loaders is that they may not be able to handle some part sizes and shapes at all. Gantry loaders often use a stacking loader for pucks that require the raw material and nished parts to stack on top of each other. Robot loaders, a few short years ago, were only available :: The VBX-160 is a robot-in-a-box, combining an industrial robot ith an integrated safety system, grippers, flexible in feed and out feed and a standard interface to popular CNC machines. MTERIL HNDLING 32 PRODUCTION MCHINING :: OCTOBER 2018

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