Production Machining

NOV 2017

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

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Page 30 of 63

:: Koma uses a ball drive system on its rotary and tilt tables for higher indexing and contouring speeds with zero backlash. E very machine tool in a metalworking shop has its function. e right tool for the job. In the case of three-axis vertical machining centers, their funda- mental function of linear motion in X, Y and Z axes can be enhanced with the addition of a rotary/tilt table that can add A- and C-axis rotary motion for workpieces that fall outside the range of the Cartesian coordinates. A machine that was designed for three-axis machining operations can, with the use of a bolt-on accessory, achieve four- or five-axis capability at a significantly lower cost compared with a purpose built five-axis machining center. However, there are some considerations that shops need to understand before jumping from three- to five-axis machining. Whenever an increase in "time in the cut" can be achieved using a single operation while avoiding additional handling for repositioning, productivity and accuracy go up. e advantage of processing parts more completely with a single setup is an advantage that machining beyond tradi- tional three-axes can enable. On workpieces that have machined features that are not diametrically opposed, for example, 90 degrees or 180 degrees, indexing or rotation of the part blank in a fourth axis is almost essential to successfully access those features. Adding fifth-axis capability expands complex part feature accessibility with the use of continuous motion or contouring capability. Having it All To learn more about considerations that a shop with a three- axis mill needs to consider when adding a rotary/tilt table to its VMC, we talked to David Meo, national sales manager for Koma Precision. Although his company manufactures rotary and tilt tables with up to 1-meter capacity, most of the smaller work uses rotary workholding platters around 4 to 8 inches in diameter. ese compact units are found in shops machining a variety of complex parts used in medical, automotive and aerospace as well as numerous other industries. In the case of shops that are new to machining beyond three axes, these compact units can be mounted to a side of the VMC table, which frees up the rest of the table for other work. ink of it as having the ability to do three-axis or five-axis machining on demand. In some cases, these "bolt-on" units can be transferred to other capable machines in the shop, adding to their versatility. Using only a portion of the machining center's table for tilt/rotary work allows the rest of the table to be set up for regular three-axis workpieces. e decision for the shop is to select the workpieces, based on complexity, which can best be processed using three-axis plus machining techniques. :: Quick change of workpieces is available with the use of standard receivers mounted on the rotary table. Five-Axis VMC :: 29

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