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A Supermarket for Tooling and Workholding

Alan Rooks
By Alan Rooks Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering

If you’re looking for new solutions to tooling and workholding challenges, IMTS was a great place to start. The bi-annual trade show, held this past September in Chicago, allowed shops to browse for the “latest and greatest” technologies.

First, let’s take a look at cutting tools. Seco Tools LLC debuted its new consultancy service which provides three layers of “Manufacturing Efficiency Evaluation” for its customers: machining process, manufacturing systems, and manufacturing environment. Services include helping customers capture and evaluate data to evaluate their processes holistically.

Another cutting tool maker, Emuge Corp., exhibited the Punch Tap, which it developed with automaker Audi AG, making it well-suited to high-volume applications. The punch tap performs helical thread forming in cast and wrought aluminum alloys and similar lightweight materials, and produces internal threads in under half a second.

Horn USA exhibited its Jet Whirling system with internal coolant delivery for Swiss-style lathes and machining solid carbide with CVD-D tipped tools. The Jet Whirling tooling combo of conical face with cylindrical collar achieves higher accuracy in the interface.

On the workholding front, Jergens Inc. introduced two new vises to its range of quick-change workholding systems—a 130 mm self-centering vise and a new narrow vise. The 130 mm vise, part of the Fixture Pro line of modular five-axis workholding, features a pull-down jaw design.

SMW Autoblok highlighted the GENIUS and SINTEX precision vises for five-axis machine tools in its booth. Both vises are equipped with SMW Autoblok’s proprietary SinterGrip technology. Instead of clamping a large surface area of the workpiece like most systems, the SinterGrip technology on the SINTEX precision vise requires only 3.5 mm of clamping surface.

Over at the Hainbuch America Corp. booth, Spanntop high-precision workholding system and its centroteX quick-change chuck system were on display. The Spanntop high-precision 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.

Heimatec Inc. displayed new product lines for Swiss-style machines and expanded sizes for its angle head product lines. The company focuses on multitasking lathes with one, two, or three turrets and its products are ideal for multitasking machining for medical devices and smaller aerospace parts.

Presetting Powers Up

In the tool presetting area, Haimer explained why it acquired Microset tool presetting technology, which complements its existing. Haimer has added the UNO entry-level Microset presetter and V10 Linear to its lineup.

Of course, that’s only a small fraction of what was available at IMTS. But you can catch up by reading all of what we have to offer in this special Tooling & Workholding issue!

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