BIG Kaiser’s “Breakfast and Learn” event, hosted at its Hoffman Estates, Illinois, headquarters, is by now is an annual event not to be missed for a great breakfast and technical presentations on the latest developments in precision tooling. The event is held in May, just a parking lot and a grassy parklike setting away from DMG Mori’s headquarters, where “Innovation Days” is held at the same time as the BIG Kaiser event.
If you were able to attend only one day, you would have missed out on three presentations and a fourth day that was added to this year’s edition. Each presentation was followed by live demonstrations and a tour of BIG Kaiser’s showroom. Presentation topics ranged from non-traditional fixturing for machining and welding, setting tools up off machine, anti-vibration technology and closing the loop on automatic boring. The last topic featured Matt Tegelman, applications manager and product manager for Kaiser products, and Nick Jew, research and development engineer, and was the presentation that I attended.
“It all begins with Industry 4.0,” said Tegelman. “A number of factors have come together that are making advanced and automated closed-loop boring possible. The first one is data handling and storage. The volume of data collected doubles every two years and the vast majority of data are being collected by machines and not by human entry of data. Better, more efficient, and compact sensors and controllers, as well as less expensive components, are making these devices smarter, enabling improved applications.”
BIG Kaiser’s EWE digital fine boring heads connect wirelessly to the company’s user-friendly smartphone and tablet app, making it easier to monitor and configure the head while assembling and running boring tools. EWE fine boring heads feature a digital display to show incremental movement of the cutting edge. To help operators manually adjust tools more accurately and repeatably, they get a visual cue. However, there still is the possibility for errors because each time an adjustment is made, a measurement must be taken, requiring a manual step.
BIG Kaiser’s EWA fine boring head prototype features closed-loop, automatic adjustment of diameter by receiving commands wirelessly from the machine control or after the gaging process when a bore diameter correction is required. EWA boring heads can self-adjust to micron precision and have a large work range, so one tool can perform multiple bore sizes. The EWA automated adjustment head will accept input electronically from a user or from a closed-loop probing system to make diametral adjustments automatically without the operator touching the tool.
Other presentations included John Zaya, workholding product manager, discussing work-piece stabilization and non-traditional fixturing for machining, welding, and other processes. Pat Cratty, assistant product manager for tool measuring systems, shared how setting up tools outside the machine optimizes spindle time and reduces the chance of human error. Jack Burley, vice president of sales and engineering, discussed how dampened tooling systems can cure vibration and chatter, which damages machines and spindles and causes lost productivity.