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Machine Components Help Improve Process Efficiency, Productivity

Kip Hanson
By Kip Hanson Contributing Editor, SME Media

All the other stuff a shop needs to make parts efficiently, accurately, and cost-effectively

The ATC-capable Chip Blower from BIG Kaiser uses high-volume airflow to remove coolant and chips from the machining area.

There’s more to machining than machine tools and cutters. Shops also need an assortment of machine components to keep their CNC lathes and machining centers humming.

As part of the IMTS Machine Components/Cleaning/Environmental pavilion, new machine components (as well as other products) are helping to make machine tools—and operators—more productive.

Go BIG or Go Home

BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc., Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has developed its UNILOCK Stabilizer 50 System, designed to work with the company’s quick-change UNIFLEX Ball System and support tall or oddly shaped parts during machining, welding, and assembly operations. For shops using robots to tend their machining centers and multitasking lathes, the company’s ATC-capable line of chip blowers uses a high-volume airflow to remove coolant and chips from the machining area (for more information, see product section below).

“BIG Kaiser has a full range of high-precision systems, including the new EWA, an intelligent, fully-automatic fine boring tool that we can demonstrate on a CNC milling machine,” said Jack Burley, vice president of sales and engineering. “The EWA does not need to be stopped for in-process measurements or manual adjustments.”

Preset, Shrink, and Balance

Haimer USA, Villa Park, Illinois offers several key products. Chief among them is the Haimer Microset VIO Linear presetter. With automatic measuring cycles and a user-friendly operating panel, the offline presetting unit enables operators of all skill levels to reduce their setup times by as much as 70 percent, Brendt Holden, president of Haimer USA noted.

Haimer’s Power Clamp Comfort i4.0 shrink-fit system is said to “set new standards in digital connectivity.”

For shops in search of improved tool runout and gripping force, the Power Clamp Comfort i4.0 shrink-fit system is a good choice. The Comfort i4.0 is equipped with a 7" (17.78-cm) touch screen display and a software package, boasting features like illustrated control functions, easy-to-understand symbols, large fonts, and a color display.

The new shrink-fit system is also network compatible and Industry 4.0-ready for shop floor communications, according to the company. “In the machine shop of the future, data will be the key to making the entire enterprise more efficient and productive,” Holden said. “Balancing, presetting, shrink-fit equipment and machine tools will interface and communicate with each other. That’s why we are getting a head start by making our equipment Industry 4.0 ready.”

The machine includes a rotary table with three stations, intelligent new generation (NG) coil and integrated contact cooling.

Zeroing In on Reduced Setup Time

Late last year, SMW Autoblok Corp., Wheeling, Illinois introduced its WPS/APS Workpiece Positioning System, one of several zero-point style clamping systems suitable for turning, milling, inspection, and finishing operations. The company says it reduces set up time by up to 90 percent and eliminates the need for conventional clamping devices.

The WPS/APS Workpiece Positioning System provides flexible clamping of nearly every workpiece geometry, and is ideal for five-axis machining, according to the manufacturer.

“Our new mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic vises and WPS/APS zero point clamping system for stationary workholding offer many advantages, including being configurable in the field,” stated Larry Robbins, president of the company’s commercial division in a recent press release.

SMW Autoblok has also developed its new “four-in-one” Centco4 2+2 centering and compensating chuck. Available in manual and power-clamping versions, the chuck features single-wedge activation, dual independent self-centering jaws, and is aimed at thin-walled or delicate workpieces, providing four times less deformation (hence the name) than comparable three-jaw chucks. “The Centco4 delivers a great deal of flexibility and is ideal for aerospace and automotive companies looking for a single chuck that can clamp any part geometry,” said Robbins.

Some Assembly Required

The Electric Press Work Station is a stand-alone unit equipped with an integrated Electro Mechanical Assembly Servo Press (EMAP).

Not all machine tools make chips. Manufacturers that perform product assembly are just as concerned with uptime and efficiency as those who make components, and they need equipment that’s fast, reliable, and safe to operate. Promess Inc., a Brighton, Mich.-based assembly and test equipment manufacturer, offers 33 different servo presses as well as its Electric Press Work Station, among other products. President Glenn Nausley described the Electro-Mechanical Assembly Press (EMAP) as a fully electric, programmable ball screw press with integrated motion control and monitoring, with force capacities ranging from “a few newtons to mega newtons.” When integrated into the Electric Press Work Station, it provides a stand-alone yet mobile solution for assembly, test, and lab applications, with features that include programmable stop points, data acquisition, and both push and pull capabilities.

High-Speed Spindle System

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The new i-Speed5, electric, fully tool changeable, high-speed spindle system does not require electric motor cables or air tubing to the spindle, allowing for lights-out, high-speed machining. Multiple spindles can be used with full tool changeability and independent rpm settings. The 0.500-hp, 60,000 or 80,000 rpm, variable-speed system has full integration and communication capabilities to the CNC control. The i-Speed5 maintains the manufacturer’s guarantee of less than 1 µm TIR. A constant clean stop block is used to connect the NSK i-Speed5 system to the controller.
NSK America Corp.
847-843-7664 /

Chip Blower for Cleaning Parts and Tables

BIG Kaiser’s new Chip Blower is designed to make removing chips and coolant from parts and machine tables fast and easy. The Chip Blower automates in-machine cleaning of coolant and chips by delivering high-volume air flow with spindle rotation. When not in use, the Chip Blower fits into any automatic tool change system for vertical, horizontal or multi-tasking machining centers. The Chip Blower can be used with automatic tool changers and programmed into a machining cycle, helping to improve machine utilization and increase productivity. The Chip Blower complements the fixed blade ChipFan that was introduced two years ago.
BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.
224-770-2999 /

Fans Beat Summer Heat

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Big Ass Fans has a new line of evaporative coolers ready to target stifling, stagnant air. Cold Front brings a range of customer options for use in spaces of all sizes and applications, delivering reduced temperatures down to 33°F (0.6°C). Capable of covering anywhere from 600 to 6,500 ft2 (56 to 600 m2), the Cold Front lineup allows owners to cool at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning. Compared to similar products, it features a thicker, more durable, chemically treated media coated in a thermosetting resin. Cold Front units are able to resist algae and mold growth; hold up to frequent cleanings and abuse; and prevent dirt and other particles from penetrating into the substrate, according to the company. Cold Front’s variable-speed controls allow users to maintain the desired temperature. All Cold Front models feature locking swivel casters, automatic low-water shutoff, and an easily accessible drain plug, while the largest model adds a backlit LCD display, premium remote, occupancy sensor for hands-free operation, and an auto-dry function to maximize media lifespan and keep the cooler in peak condition.
Big Ass Fans
877-244-3267 /

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