Bob Michaels

November 29, 2012

4 Min Read
Manufacturing Systems Today: Machining Equipment

Modular work-holding systems
Combining the characteristics and performance of a dedicated fixture in a modular platform, Triag work-holding systems from Advanced Machine & Engineering/Hennig Inc. use compact clamp, power clamp, and microclamp technology to hold very small to midsize parts in high densities. The systems are designed to facilitate part changes for fast retooling. Innovative clamping designs minimize interference so that machine spindles have full access to workpieces even in high-density applications. Access is especially good for five-axis machining when the manufacturer's five-axis clamp is used. These modular work-holding systems offer many clamping options for medical device machining operations.
Advanced Machine & Engineering/Hennig Inc.

Laser-cutting machine
The unibody-chassis Meta platform for laser-cutting machines from Coherent Inc. is intended to enhance performance and ease of use while offering fast throughput and high accuracy. The rigid single weldment gives the system good mechanical stability, resulting in fast cutting speeds and high positioning repeatability. Measuring 1.25 × 1.25 mm, the cutting bed on laser-cutting machine tools using this platform is large enough to accommodate standard European sheet sizes. When configured with a 1-kW CO2 laser, the flexible system is able to process a range of metals and such nonmetallic materials as plastics, wood, fabrics, leather, paper, and thin films. In addition, it can cut 3-mm stainless-steel, 2-mm aluminum, and 6-mm mild steel sheet. The platform's control system has been upgraded through the introduction of an industrial-style operator interface mounted on the side of the chassis, containment of all interface cables within the machine assembly, a multilingual software interface, and improved system automation.
Coherent Inc.

Miniature thread mills
Suitable for medical device manufacturing applications, Emuge Corp.'s productivity-enhancing miniature solid-carbide thread mills can machine difficult materials, such as stainless steels, titanium, K-Monel, Hastelloy, and Inconel. Available in versions with an overall length of 15/8 in. and a shank diameter of 1/8 in. or a length of 2½ in. and a shank diameter of ¼ in., the mills offer thread lengths ranging from 0.125 to 0.415 in. and cutting diameters ranging from 0.045 to 0.167 in. Fourteen thread sizes between #0-80 and #8-36 are supplied. The three-flute mills are suited for high-volume output, while a one-flute version of the smallest-diameter mill is also available. To maximize efficiency, the series design eliminates the possibility of tap breakage; hand-tapping in full bottom-threading applications is unnecessary. The same mills can be used to thread both through and blind holes.
Emuge Corp.

High-speed machining center
The CNC C 22 U dynamic high-speed machining center for the production of complex medical device components is available from Hermle Machine Co. with the easily adapted PW 150 pallet changer. The automated system consists of a numerically controlled drive unit and a turning unit with a double gripper, both of which are positioned to the left of the machine to allow free access to the working area. The double gripper can be used to simultaneously move two pallets, each having a transport weight of 150-kg. Alternatively, it can move one pallet weighing as much as 250 kg loaded. The maximum space for part processing measures 400 mm in diameter and accommodates workpieces as tall as 370 mm. In its standard configuration, the automation system can handle up to six pallets, with additional storage capacity for as many as 11 pallets. It is suitable for use with one machine, or it can be incorporated into a multimachine manufacturing cell.

Hermle Machine Co.

Water-jet machining center
Employing advanced abrasive water-jet technology, the Omax 60120 JetMachining Center from Omax Corp. is equipped with a high-efficiency EnduroMax pump, which is available in a variety of horsepower options. The center is also available with such accessories as a motorized z-axis for precise nozzle positioning. The bridge-type water-jet machining center leaves smooth surface finishes after cutting. In addition, it does not require tool changes or complex fixturing of workpieces, which can start with stock having a footprint as large as 5 × 10 ft. The system features x-y travel of 126 × 62 in. and comes with proprietary automation software that calculates tool-path velocity at better than 2000 points per inch. Based on a CAD drawing or DXF file, the equipment can be used to machine parts from such materials as metals, plastics, glass, ceramics, and composites. The clean, safe water-jet machining process does not use noxious gases, liquids, or oils.
Omax Corp.

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