Production Machining

OCT 2016

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

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Page 34 of 67

e big question is: What is the "right" bar feeder? One Size Does Not Fit All A shop's specific machining needs are as unique as a person's fingerprints, and the bar feeder and other peripherals that enhance a shop's productivity should fit its applications just as precisely. at's why it's important to take into account current and future requirements when considering what kind of bar feeder to buy. Among the factors to consider are the range of barstock diameters that will be machined, production run quantities, length of parts to be produced, material costs, the need for unattended production, and the amount of available floor space. e basic choices are long form bar feeders that load 12-foot barstock, short loaders for spindle length bars and 6-foot bar loaders. Long Bar Feeders If an application calls for large-quantity production runs, and the parts being made are at least 5 inches long, a bar feeder that loads 12-foot barstock is a good choice, especially if the material being turned is expensive and/ or long periods of unattended operation are expected. A 12-foot bar feeder allows the staging of larger quantities of raw material than other bar feeders, enabling longer unattended runs. Also, because there is only one remnant at the end of the bar (versus other types of bar feeders that produce two or more remnants per 12-foot bar), waste and material costs are reduced. However, long form bar feeders may not be the best choice when working with bars that are not straight or are profiled. Typically, these conditions require lower rpm to minimize vibrations that can impact cutting accuracies and surface finish. is slowing of spindle speeds, in turn, reduces throughput. It is possible to successfully machine profiled material that is run through long bar feeders; however, the type and quality of the material must be compatible with the bar feeder. Application specialists from the bar feeder manufacturers can advise accordingly. Another concern with long bar feeders is the amount of space they require. e typical length of a loader designed to run 12-foot bars is 16 feet, or twice the length of a short loader. A number of other considerations come into play with 12-foot bar feeders: • How easy is it to change over? A number of components must be adjusted when moving from one barstock diameter to another, which can be time consuming, especially if the :: Twelve-foot bar feeders are well suited for large quantity production runs for parts that are 5 inches or longer, particularly with expensive material and long periods of unattended operation. :: Short loaders are a cost-effective solution for production lots as small as 20-30 pieces and can run a variety of extruded shapes as well as square and rectangular bars. :: Six-foot bar feeders provide a nice middle ground between 12-footers and short loaders, with quick setup, minimal material waste, a small footprint, and relatively few problems with material straightness. Choosing an Automatic Bar Feeder :: 33

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