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IMTS Tooling, Workholding Suppliers Target Growing Applications

Jim Lorincz
By Jim Lorincz Contributing Editor, SME Media

Reach into the IMTS toolbox for the latest advanced technologies

You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate the solutions for the tooling or workholding challenges that shops will bring to exhibitors when attending IMTS 2018. One thing is certain you’ll never have a better time to find suppliers of advanced tooling and workholding technology under one venue like McCormick Place. Expectations are high because new machine tools need to be tooled up, legacy machines need to become more productive, and managers of shops of all sizes have to learn about and take advantage of the latest advanced technology.

Hainbuch’s centroteX system (top) is a precision-machined adaptor/flange plate aligned with a centroteX interface that accommodates a variety of chucks and holding devices (bottom) that are connected and locked by six simple fasteners.

In the words of one exhibitor, “the economy is good, manufacturing is good, unemployment is down and there’s a need for skilled applications engineers and sales types” (just in case you know of any that are available). IMTS will offer an array of advanced technologies for shops in search of solutions to their most vexing and gnarly challenges. If you can’t find the answer in standard tooling, just ask; many exhibitors offer custom tooling solutions.

Bottom Line Impact

“IMTS gives us a great opportunity to meet key decision makers and showcase how our products can improve their productivity,” said Rob Keenan, president, Seco Tools LLC (Troy, MI). “It offers an opportunity to connect with our new and existing technology suppliers and to identify the latest products that fit into the high-performance manufacturing arena. After all, we are a manufacturer ourselves. We have custom tool manufacturing onsite in Troy and employ the latest digital initiatives to ensure the desired productivity,” he said.

“Another expectation for IMTS, of course, is that we use it as an opportunity to identify and network with what we call eco relationships in peripheral product areas that fall outside of our normal business area,” Keenan continued. “We’re trying to develop ways to help our customers realize the benefits of Industry 4.0, including machine monitoring, for example. There is a lot of technology out there, but we see very little of it being implemented at the shop floor level. We will bring to the show practical applications of the technology and solutions for our customer’s problems.”

Seco has partnered with Machining Metrics to implement machine monitoring in its own manufacturing facility where it does a lot of five-axis machining. “We are able to offer services to our customers that help them capture and more easily mine the data to improve operational efficiency and identify production bottlenecks,” said Keenan. At IMTS, Seco will unveil this new consultancy service designed to help its customers identify all the factors impacting their bottom line and take action based on that information.

Expanding Tooling Lines

Heimatec Inc. (Prospect Heights, IL) will exhibit new product lines for Swiss-style machines and expanded sizes for its angle head product lines. “Machine tools are selling well, which for us as an accessory supplier is very good,” said Preben Hansen, president. “The core business area we are involved with is high-end multitasking lathes, which feature one, two, or three turrets. That business is good, particularly because there’s a lot of sophisticated work being done these days in medical devices as well as smaller aerospace parts like connectors done on smaller machines.”

Heimatec’s new line of live and static tools for Swiss-type CNC automatic lathes is optimized to for automotive components, screws and pins for the medical industry or precision parts for electrical engineering.

“There is a growing market for our core product angle heads in both smaller and larger sizes,” Hansen continued. “To keep up with demand and do it more productively, manufacturers are performing more processes on one machine. That’s where angle heads come in. Angle heads allow the manufacturer to machine more features on the part on one machine without having to move the part. It makes sense that adding an angle head that may cost several thousand dollars can make the machine tool significantly more productive.”

Heimatec, well known for its live tools, multi-spindle drill heads and accessories, has a relationship with another German company, Henninger, to supply spindle speed increasers to meet requests for 40,000 and 50,000-rpm spindle speeds coming out of slower machines. Hansen recounted the recent sale of a spindle speeder for an eight-year old aerospace part for milling Inconel where higher spindle speed was needed so that the manufacturer could use a ceramic end mill for much quicker material removal.

Heimatec will exhibit its new line of live and static tools for Swiss-style CNC automatic lathes that are optimized to the required machine parameters for automotive components, screws and pins for the medical industry or precision parts for electrical engineering.

“The objective of the Heimatec program, given the many uses of turning lathes, is to construct a coherent and continuous tool system based on the improved Heimatec technology. The result,” said Hansen, “is a program of processing instruments with long service life and the highest processing quality, due to advanced
spindle bearing technology, ground gear components and housings and spindles with maximum stiffness.”

Business Is at a High Level

“We’re continuing to see a solid year for the machine tool industry,” said Bill Obras, vice president of sales and marketing, Rego-Fix Tool Corp. (Indianapolis). “Right now for us, the medical industry, including orthopedic device manufacturing, is a sweet spot for powRgrip, which is especially tailored to micromachining and microdrilling. At the same time automotive remains strong, as well as aerospace and die-mold for high-speed machining.”

Rego-Fix will offer the PGC hand pump at an affordable price with special starter packages of toolholding for the smaller job shop.

Rego-Fix’s powRgrip toolholding system is a way for shops to expand capacities by improving surface finish, increasing tool life and improving part quality. “Our customers need to increase productivity, building on Industry 4.0 initiatives and streamlining operations with automation,” said Obras. The lineup of Rego-Fix products that will be shown at IMTS includes (in addition to the powRgrip toolholding system) the secuRgrip anti-pullout toolholding system and devices like intRlox Mini-Nuts and reCool retrofitable coolant-through system for live or static tooling.

Video demonstrations of different cutting applications of titanium, Inconel, aluminum, hardened steel and die-mold applications will allow visitors to see how their processes can benefit from these products. “We’ll be displaying our partnership with Zoller in which a presetting system and the powRgrip system will be integrated with robotic systems,” said Obras.

“With lead times stretching out for new machine deliveries and capacity utilization getting stretched, it’s a good time for shops to consider ways to improve their productivity,” he added. At IMTS, Rego-Fix will celebrate 30 years in the US with special edition powRgrip machines, the PGC hand pump machine and the PGU automatic. The manual machine will be offered at an affordable price with special starter packages of toolholding as an entry point for smaller job shops. The automatic machines will be specially painted for the Wounded Warriors program.

Quick-Change Workholding

Hainbuch America Corp. (Germantown, WI) is known for its Spanntop high-precision, modular workholding system and its centroteX quick-change chuck system. “The main focus of our modular workholding systems is to enhance productivity for customers looking for flexibility and precision,” said Michael Larson, marketing director. “The Spanntop modular workholding system offers users the option of converting the basic chuck for OD, ID and three-jaw clamping operations with a changeover time of two minutes or less. Both Spanntop and TOPlus chucks for turning are low profile chucks well-suited for tool room applications.”

Seco Performax next generation indexable insert drills feature exceptional chip control and evacuation.

Hainbuch’s workholding systems feature high-precision chucks designed for the fast changeout of collets, bushings, jaws, and other clamping devices. The centroteX chuck changeover system, which will be demonstrated on an Okuma CNC lathe at IMTS, expands this capability by facilitating the fast and easy changeover of the entire chuck. This not only increases the range of part diameters that can be machined, but also extends the capability of the machine tool in terms of process variability. It allows workholding devices to be quickly and accurately mounted on multiple milling and turning machines within a shop.

At the heart of the centroteX system is a precision-machined adaptor/flange plate aligned with a centroteX interface, equipped with a bayonet mount and a drawtube adapter. This in turn accommodates an extensive variety of chucks and holding devices that are easily connected and locked by six simple fasteners. Changeover time of the centroteX system is typically less than five minutes, while maintaining repeatability and changeover accuracy of < 0.002 mm.

For milling applications, the manual Manok plus with stationary chuck expands the modularity of the stationary clamping systems. The Hydrok hydraulically actuated stationary chuck provides the precision and power of the Spanntop and TOPlus lathe chucks and is able to accept all of the same adaptations of the Hainbuch modular system. Also on display will be the increasingly popular gear workholding mandrel line, including the new MAXXOS hexagonal “super strong” mandrel.

Deep Hole Drilling to Finishing

At IMTS, Sunnen Products Co. (St. Louis) will introduce its capability for complete bore drilling-to-finishing resulting from its acquisition of BTA Heller Inc. Adding BTA’s deep hole tooling and systems for primary hole generation enables the companies to offer single-source bore creation and finishing solutions.

Sunnen’s acquisition of BTA Heller’s deep hole tooling and systems for primary hole generation enables the companies to offer single-source bore creation and finishing solutions.

“Our companies complement each other very well,” said Chris Miltenberger, president and COO of Sunnen Products. Sunnen’s core technical competencies include automated and manual honing systems, custom system development and integration, abrasives, tooling, cutting fluids and gaging.

The acquisition expands Sunnen’s honing expertise to include tooling for initial hole creation and other

complementary bore sizing and finishing processes such as trepanning, counterboring and form boring.

The BTA Heller product mix includes accessories for those processes, including pressure heads, vibration dampeners and boring bars. Sunnen recently introduced the new SHD series skiving and roller burnishing system with tooling engineered and supplied by BTA Heller. Sunnen will also be entering the market with a deep hole drilling and boring machine with tooling engineered and supplied by BTA Heller.

“We have developed various tools and systems for creating intricate internal profiled deep hole drilling from 0.5 to 36″ [12.7-914-mm] diameter,” said Mark Sollich, director of Sunnen’s BTA Heller division. “To combine forces with Sunnen and its bore geometry expertise creates a company not found anywhere else in our industry.”

As Sunnen enters the skiving/roller burnishing sector, it brings its approach of providing support to customers also using non-Sunnen equipment, an advantage to shops using a variety of machine types and/or manufacturers for bore creation and finishing. “We are able to take an unbiased approach to achieving high-quality bores,” said Miltenberger. “We offer solutions based on drilling, honing, skiving, roller burnishing, trepanning or any combination of those. With our increased product lines and capabilities, however holes need to be made, we can make them.”

Punch Tap, Milling Demos

Emuge’s Punch Tap was developed for high-production tapping in aluminum alloys and can reduce the tapping cycle time by over 75%, according to the company.

IMTS provides a great venue for showcasing the newest technologies and products, like Emuge Corp.’s cutting solutions, according to Bob Hellinger, president. “Emuge product specialists will be available to answer questions and discuss how manufacturers can reduce cycle time and improve their manufacturing efficiencies.” One of the products is the Emuge Punch Tap, which has been in development for thepast five years and is now available in North America. “This threading concept was developed by Emuge for high-production tapping in aluminum alloys and can reduce the tapping cycle time by over 75%,” said Hellinger.

Also being exhibited are some of the newest milling tools developed by Emuge for five-axis machining. Emuge has partnered with leaders in CAM software solutions to develop a family of carbide end mills called Circle Segment tools. These tools have cutting edge geometry that allows five-axis programmers to maximize their toolpath effectiveness.

“Manufacturers are investing in new five-axis milling equipment to maximize productivity and are looking for cutting tool manufacturers who can design tools to implement the milling strategies now possible in a five-axis envelope,” said Hellinger. Circle Segment tools will be demonstrated along with specialized tapered end mills for turbine blisk milling. “A titanium turbine blade will be machined while simultaneously showing the CAM cutter path program during the demonstration. This should be a very unique, compelling demonstration for IMTS attendees,” he said.

For a preview of products to be exhibited at IMTS 2018, please go to the digital edition of the August issue of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.

Manufacturing Engineering’s IMTS Tooling & Workholding Systems Pavilion coverage of products continues in the August Digital IssueClick here to see more products that will be showcased in this pavilion.

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