Production Machining

NOV 2017

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

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Even though most of the work a shop needs can be done with simultaneous four-axis motion, having the ability to go the one step forward can mean the difference between getting a job and a no-quote. However, it's really a CNC capability issue more so than a hardware issue. "For instance, a FANUC 0i MF CNC, and most controls commonly found on VMCs, are capable of only providing four-axis simultaneous motion," Mr. Meo says. "For simultaneous five-axis machining capability, the shop would need to order its machine with a FANUC 31ia 5 or its equivalent. Neither of these capabilities are obvious for the three-axis work the machine is designed to perform, but for the shop looking to add rotary/tilt machining to the machine, it can be a big deal. "at said, most of the controls that are standard on VMCs today can handle four-plus-one machining demands," Mr. Meo says. "It's when the shop is looking for bolt-on simultaneous five-axis machining that it needs to go off the standard control menu. CNC OEMs vary, so it's prudent to have the axis capability discussion at the begin- ning of the VMC buying cycle." It's when the rotary/tilt table is "married" to the CNC that the control's additional motion control capability comes into play. For example, the FANUC package on most VMCs comes standard through the interface with X, Y, and Z interface. When Koma adds its turnkey rotary/tilt table system, part of the package is a control interface for the fourth and fifth axis. For the installation, power and communication, cabling is linked to between the table and CNC. With the connec- tions made, the rotary/tilt table parameters are set, becoming part or the machine's executive program—effec- tively creating a post for the additional axes. Using an encoder system, feedback from the servo- driven motors creates a closed-loop system between the CNC and auxiliary unit. e machine and control does not know there is a difference between three-, four- or five-axis motion capability. Moreover, with the processing speed of today's CNC technology, there is no effective lag in code processing speed with the additional lines of programming code needed for four- or five-axis positioning instructions. Quick Change-Over Many of Koma's customers, especially those involved in medical and electronic component machining, ask for quick-change capabilities on their rotary/tilt table instal- lations. After the machine has completed its five-sided machining program, the idea is to remove the finished part and replace it with a new blank as quickly as possible. To accommodate this need for rapid part changing, Mr. Meo says a System 3R or Erowa type of zero-point clamping Here's another article on this topic: High Accuracy from Direct-Drive Rotary Technology Consider direct-drive, high-accuracy rotary tables when applying fourth-axis machining capability on the shop floor. LINK :: system can be mounted on the rotary/tilt table faceplate. "Using these clamping systems allows the finished part to be quickly and accurately exchanged with a new part blank using the operator or a robot to accomplish the change-over." To accommodate the demand for this quick-change clamping technique, Koma uses a form of universal receiver that is built into the faceplate. "e idea is to be able to accommodate virtually any brand of quick-change receiver available on the market," Mr. Meo says. Integration Capability As machining centers continue to proliferate in shops where the core competency is built around machining parts of rotation, merging the machining center capability into the production mix is relatively new to many shops. Most shops have made the transition with the addition of a milling department to augment its primary turning functions initially as a secondary operation. With the need to be able to do more work for a given set of customers, some shops have refocused their milling departments from internal service areas to create capabili- ties that can generate external revenue streams. e trend seems to be to start simple and expand as the skill sets are acquired, which makes planning for additional capability an important aspect of the initial machine purchase. "We're seeing this trend of increasing machining sophistication in many of our customer's shops as the advantages of five-axis machining capability begin to be realized," Mr. Meo says. "Many shops are coming to us for full system integration built around the flexibility of rotary/tilt tables. We are installing automatic work handling systems using robots, quick-change workholding zero-point clamping systems, and programmable clamping release systems to name a few. "Over time, the ROI on these upgrades is measureable in months made possible by the five-sided machining capability, reduced material handling requirements and the reduction in no-quotes because of machining limita- tions. ink of it as a growth model for the business." For more information about rotary/tilt tables from Koma Precision, call 860-627-7059 or visit Five-Axis VMC :: 31

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