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Machine Tool Processes Depend on Creative Enablers

Jim Lorincz
By Jim Lorincz Contributing Editor, SME Media

Open the virtual toolbox for toolholding, workholding, and automating devices

Bluco’s Extra-Large Modular Fixturing system is designed to help shops achieve precise, accurate results on their largest parts. Seen here are custom-configured base plates and a selection of some of Bluco’s 120+ extra-large modular components.

It is fair to say that IMTS, virtual or otherwise, presents the ultimate manufacturing tool box, where shops can find the newest, most innovative and proven devices for holding, moving, cutting, bending and inspecting workpieces. The challenges in the field are growing. Tool spindles are faster. Materials are harder. Workpieces are bigger, thinner and heavier (or lighter). In traditional material removal processes, the action of tool meeting workpiece is a violent one, generating heat and force that must be dealt with to ensure quality of the resulting workpiece. Dig deep and you can always find a solution.

Automatic Adjustment

BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc., Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has released a new closed-loop boring system featuring an intelligent, fully automatic fine boring head. This system, when used in conjunction with in-process measuring systems, can automatically compensate for cutting edge wear, resulting in less scrap, improved accuracy and time savings.

The EWA68 boring head has a travel range of 0.866" (22 mm) on diameter, and with the smallest insert holder, it covers the 2.677-3.543" (68-90 mm) diameter range. This means that similar-sized bores on the same part could be produced with a single boring head. By adding two larger insert holders, range can be extended up to 5.197" (132 mm) in diameter. Integration options for existing machine tools include an external industrial PC to handle the machine control communications and EWA boring head adjustment. Newer machine tool controls may be suited to handle the EWA software.

BIG Kaiser’s new closed-loop boring system featuring an intelligent, fully automatic fine boring head.

For lower-level integration, where in-process gaging is not present, BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling offers a third option for implementation where the boring head adjustment is performed through manual data input into a tablet or mobile device that is used to control the boring head movement.

Modular Machining Fixturing Goes Bigger

Bluco, Naperville, Illinois, has pioneered modular fixturing for welding, machining, inspection and assembly with components and fixtures that can be reassembled and repurposed. Typical applications include position welding tables, basic workstations, powered manipulators, and robotic welding fixtures, among others. To keep welders safer and weldments more precise, Bluco fixturing and ALM positioners can be combined to create solutions designed to hold and position multiple parts with one modular kit. Positioners allow 360° rotation of parts to eliminate heavy lifting and allow for more comfortable welding. Compatible with 400+ modular components, Bluco modular tooling and ALM positioners can be combined to provide welding solutions for variable sized or large heavy parts.

Bluco’s latest development, the Extra Large Modular Fixturing system (see opening photo), is designed for the largest parts made on vertical and horizontal CNC machines. The fixturing system features tolerances of ±0.0006" (0.015 mm) between holes. Custom solutions fit machine beds or pallets with base plates 20' (6 m) and larger.

Diamond Turning Inserts

Carmex Precision Tools, Richfield, Wis., specializes in tools for thread turning and milling. Product lines include thread turning inserts and toolholders, mill thread inserts and toolholders, mill-thread solid-carbide and spiral mill thread tools. In addition to threading, Carmex produces grooving tools, mini chamfer mills and the Tiny-Tools line of small boring bars for threading, turning, grooving small parts.

Carmex has introduced new diamond turning inserts that achieve higher productivity and greater efficiency in machining hard materials faster and more effectively than grinding or ceramics. Diamond PCD inserts excel in machining non-ferrous materials, including high Si aluminum, copper and brass alloys, magnesium, CFRP, and composites.

Carmex introduced new diamond turning inserts designed to achieve higher productivity and greater efficiency in machining hard materials faster and more effectively than grinding or ceramics.

CVD-T inserts are designed for machining aluminum and magnesium alloys, high-silicon aluminum, precious metal alloys, plastics with abrasive fillers, tungsten carbide, and ceramic green compacts. Inserts feature an advanced chip breaker that reduces heat generation and energy consumption.

Diamond PCBN inserts deliver high-precision performance and excellent surface finish in hard or difficult-to-machine applications, including hardened and heat-treated steels up to 72 HRC, high-speed steel, high alloy steels hardened to 45 HRC and higher, super Ni-based alloys, gray cast iron, ductile iron, and compacted graphite iron.

Clamping for Round Workpieces

Lang Technovation Co., Hartland, Wis., manufactures workholding and automation technology for milling applications that are complementary to its zero-point clamping and automation systems. Its form closure technology provides workholding for raw material to finished workpieces. Also, a cleaning fan product line automatically cleans the machine table, pallet and/or workpieces after the machining process.

Lang’s new Makro•4Grip clamping system extends its patented Form-Closure technology to round parts up to 300 mm in diameter.

Lang’s new Makro•4Grip clamping system extends its patented Form-Closure technology to round parts up to 300 mm in diameter. The Makro•4Grip system consists of universal stamping jaws with repositionable inserts for different diameters, along with matching clamping jaws for all sizes of Lang self-centering vises. The clamping jaws are available as compatible jaw sets for all 77- and 125-mm wide Lang vises.

Jaws grip the prestamped workpiece through four indentations at a clamping height of just 3 mm. The Makro•4Grip form closure clamping system uses the proven form closure clamping principle currently used for square and rectangular workpieces. Makro•4Grip offers a clamping range that will support workpieces 36-300 mm in diameter, providing a seamless transition to diameters too large for the Preci-Point Collet Chuck.

2+2+2 Equalizing Power Chuck

SMW Autoblok, Wheeling, Illinois is introducing the SJL six-jaw (2+2+2) equalizing and self-centering power chuck. Designed for CNC machining applications, the SJL provides the highest accuracy for thin-walled and deformation-sensitive workpieces, according to the company. Depending on the application requirements, the SJL can be switched from a 2+2+2 lever equalizing chuck to classic six-jaw, self-centering chuck.

SMW Autoblok’s SJL can be switched from a 2+2+2 lever equalizing chuck to classic six-jaw, self-centering chuck.

Using the 2+2+2 lever balance capability provides high concentricity and axial runout accuracies by ensuring that the grip force of each jaw set equalizes as pairs and is in contact with the workpiece continuously. This minimizes any deformations or inaccuracies of raw materials. The six-jaw, self-centering option provides a concentric clamp locking plate for all sequential six jaws, allowing the chuck to hold round, machined diameters and thin-walled workpieces that require equal wall thicknesses.

SJL’s centrifugal force compensation feature provides constant gripping force at higher speeds and feeds, reducing production time. The SJL is Proofline sealed and interior protected from contamination while providing consistent lubrication, allowing long maintenance intervals. It accepts tongue-and-groove or metric-serrated top jaws and comes in sizes from 225 to 400 mm.

Emuge Marks 100 Years of Innovation

Invented in 1920 by Richard Glimpel, the single-finishing tap (top) with a spiral point revolutionized thread manufacturing and helped establish the Emuge company. Today, threading tool innovations continue, such as the Emuge Punch Tap (bottom).

Emuge-Franken, the parent company of Emuge Corp., West Boylston, Mass, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Like other tooling companies, Emuge-Franken was founded on an innovative product that became the basis for the company’s growth and success. In 1920, Richard Glimpel invented the single-finishing tap with spiral point, which revolutionized machining internal threads. One hundred years on, Emuge’s product offering includes SoftSynchro, InnoForm thread forming tools, and Circle-Segment end mills. Recently, Emuge-Franken developed the Punch Tap, which produces and threads a hole in one operation.




Low-Profile Pivoting Edge Clamp

Tooling 7.jpg

Carr Lane’s Low-Profile Pivoting Edge clamp is within the edge clamp family and made in the U.S. It has a replaceable gripper and is well suited for holding medium to large castings, along with moderate to tall workpieces. The pivoting jaw exerts clamping force forward and downward at the same time. The jaw has a replaceable serrated gripper made of hardened tool steel for high-production durability. The slotted base provides adjustability and has a tapered top surface to prevent the clamp from moving. It is fastened with two socket-head cap screws. Clamps manufactured by Carr Lane grip the side of a workpiece to keep the top clear for easy machining. The mechanical clamp is standard and can be converted to hydraulic.
Carr Lane Manufacturing
314-647-6200 /

Expanded JCT Toolholder Series

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Kyocera Precision Tools has expanded its jet coolant-through toolholder series, which provides multiple high-pressure coolant streams at precise locations, providing excellent chip control and wear prevention, according to the company. The large JCT-Series tooling lineup now includes inch-size holders. This series is designed for a variety of turning, grooving, cut-off, and threading applications. For example, in turning applications, using Double-Clamp-JCT holders with three coolant holes, coolant is directed towards the rake surface for chip control and also towards the flank face of the insert.
Kyocera Precision Tools
800-823-7284 /

Coolant-Through Holder

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The extended reCool line of coolant-through systems for live tooling on CNC lathes with reCool ERAX is designed for driven tools with externally threaded nuts. The line gives conventional lathes coolant-through capabilities with minimal loss (approximately 10 mm) of machining range. The Hi-Q/ERAX minimizes the interference contour for larger parts and tighter machining envelopes. With reCool, driven tools and turning machines can be retrofitted for coolant-through functionality, according to the company.
Rego-Fix Tool Corp.
800-REGO-FIX /

Electrical Swing Clamp

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The Roemheld electric swing clamp is driven by a 24-V brushless DC motor. The motor drives a gear and a threaded spindle into the swing and stroke movement of the piston rod. The arm swings 180° virtually flat with a vertical stroke of only 3 mm. The design includes Belleville washers to provide mechanical reclaiming, ensuring the clamp remains in the clamped position when deenergized. If the clamping arm collides with the workpiece or another obstacle during swing motion, the motor switches off.
Carr Lane Roemheld Mfg Co.
636-386-8022 /

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