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The Basics of Live Tooling

Live Tooling, as the name implies, is specifically driven by the CNC control and the turret of various spindle and powered sub-spindle configurations on CNC lathes to perform various operations while the workpiece remains in orientation to the main spindle.

Business Outlook for Tooling, Workholding on the Shop Floor Is Bright

Manufacturers are always looking for signs of what the economy and the business outlook have in store for them. Since the election of President Trump and, more recently, passage of the tax reform law in December, confidence among businesses of all sizes has been overwhelmingly positive.

Workholding Solutions to Reduce Costs, Increase Throughput

At the Nirvana Machine Shop on planet Perfection, every workpiece is clamped to a custom-built fixture mounted on a dedicated machine tool. Each workpiece is dimensionally identical to the one before and the one after. All the fixtures are totally automatic—instantly positioning, clamping, machining, inspecting, and releasing the part with the ultimate precision.

Big, Heavy, Awkward Parts Need Workholding, Too

If you’ve ever seen industrial wind turbine components on the back of a flatbed truck rolling down the highway, you have a good idea of what a large, heavy, difficult-to-handle workpiece is. For example, with a single blade on the GE 1.5 mW turbine being almost as long as a football field, the entire blade assembly weighs about the same as 36 small cars.

New Tool Designs Power Faster-Than-Ever Cutting

Industry veterans often say the makers of machine tools, cutting tools, CAD/CAM software, and other components push each other in an endless feedback loop to deliver ever faster cutting speeds in ever harder materials. Lately it’s the cutting tool manufacturers who seem to be leading the charge. Let’s see what they’re up to.

When the Going Gets Tough, Tough Toolholders Get Going

As machining has evolved, toolholders have advanced to include rigid, secure systems with anti-pullout protection. These advanced systems are needed to take on difficult-to-machine materials, such as titanium and heat-resistant superalloys (HRSA), and accommodate ambitious removal rates and long tool overhangs. Think of them as insurance against tool pullout and breakage—a situation nobody wants.