Originally Published October 2000
A fully enclosed CO2 laser desktop micromachining workstation has an optional high-resolution CCD camera, frame grabber, and software. Machine vision can concurrently check critical dimensions, look for contamination, and pass or fail parts. The workstation features linear motors on air bearings, a 9 x 12-in. cutting area, an extendable loading platform, vacuum fixturing, stand-alone operation, a virtual joystick, and the ability to cut conveyored parts. Flying Optic Lasers, 309 S. Cloverdale St., Ste. D-25, Seattle, WA 98108.
Laser micromachining workstations
A line of laser micromachining workstations houses UV Waveguide, Excimer, or Nd:YAG lasers. The LMT-5000 series has a large work area and fits stages from x, y, and z to rotary. The custom-built workstations provide compatible optics and software packages that feature machine vision and an automated microinspector. Potomac Photonics Inc., 4445 Nicole Dr., Lanham, MD 20706.
A company offers an industrial-grade UV DPSS laser for micromachining and microdrilling hard materials. The Gator 355-3 has a 10-kHz repetition rate and over 3 W average power. The hermetically sealed laser head has a 5000-hour diode lifetime warranty and a remote and removable supply unit. The laser's 355-nm wavelength allows 0.250.75-mm microdrilling in stainless steel, titanium, nickel, aluminum, and copper alloys and micromachining in silicon nitride, aluminum nitride and silicon carbide ceramics, and diamond. Lambda Physik, 3201 W. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.
Burr-free cutoff and grinding are possible with a line of electrochemical tube cutoff machines and surface grinders. Electrochemical grinding is achieved when low-voltage, high-current dc power is applied between the grinding wheel and the workpiece, with an electrolyte solution flowing to complete the electrochemical cell. The material oxidizes, which allows the abrasives in the grinding wheel to cut with minimal heat or stress, thereby eliminating burrs. Almost any conductive material can be cut with electrochemical grinding, and material hardness and machinability have little impact on cutting speed or tool life. Electrochemical grinding is commonly used to cut stainless steels, nickel alloys, nitinol, and cobalt chrome. Everite Machine Products, 4125 Whitaker Ave., Philadelphia, PA.
Turnkey manufacturing solutions
Machining cells that include CNC milling and turning and miniature Swiss equipment provide turnkey manufacturing solutions. CAD/CAM technology enables the company to download customers' prints to the shop floor. Use of real-time SPC data helps engineers and designers work together. The company produces parts from metals such as titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and plastic. TRU Machine Company, Inc., 8090 Ranchers Rd. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55432.
Vertical machining center
A high-speed machining system features an automatic pallet changer with a rotary mechanism that can complete one cycle in six seconds, a servo motor, and a hydraulic unit that generates 11,000 pounds of clamping force. The FV56A is equipped with a Fanuc 18MC CNC controller that has extended memory, AICC basic high-speed software, full alphanumeric keyboard, and 4000-rpm rigid tapping. The controller also has an RS-232 interface, full chip and coolant guards, a coolant gun, and an oil skimmer. The FV56A comes with a digital spindle motor that provides 15-hp output for a maximum speed of 10,000 rpm, a 20-tool swing-arm ATC system, and a
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