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Gundrilling for Job Shops

Jeff Price Vice President of Sales and Marketing UNISIG
By Jeff Price Vice President of Sales and Marketing, UNISIG

Today’s job shops can distinguish themselves from competitors by adding deep hole drilling/gundrilling to their offerings. But complex, custom-built machines require more floor space and a bigger investment. Instead of sacrificing opportunities that require gundrilling, shops can now opt for new automation-ready machines.

For example, the UNE Series gundrilling machines from UNISIG—rated for indexable, brazed and solid-carbide gundrills—is appropriate for applications including automotive components, medical tooling, firearms, and defense.
Although standard CNC machines can perform some gundrilling, depth-to-diameter ratios at or above 20:1 require dedicated equipment. Gundrilling systems like the UNE Series produce accurate holes in a single pass, often without the need for secondary processing.

Ideal for smaller parts, the UNE Series includes five machines that can drill hole diameters from 1.4 to 40 mm and handle workpieces up to 3,000 mm long. UNISIG builds these machines with small footprints for locating near existing machining centers.

Flexibility and Performance

On two-spindle UNE models, a single servo motor powers each spindle. To cut larger hole diameters, shops can run the machines in single-spindle mode for more power. For example, a machine rated for 32-mm diameters on two spindles can now drill up to 40 mm in single-spindle mode.

Designed to simplify installation, all UNE Series machines use bases that are machined on five sides in a single setup for accuracy. This precision translates to three-point leveling on machines rated up to 1,000 mm.

For proper coolant flow—critical to deep hole accuracy—the UNE Series incorporates programmable flow-based coolant that delivers the right amount to the cutting edge, even at maximum workpiece lengths. This eliminates using peck drilling or interrupted feeds to clear out chips. Operators can predict tool breakage and reduce downtime.

Non-Robot Automation

Various non-robot automation options allow shops to further expand production. For example, UNISIG offers an automated door to eliminate repetitive manual tasks, improving throughput and freeing employees.

Job shops can add UNE Series gundrilling machines to their equipment rosters and move into new areas of manufacturing.

The UNE Series includes three dual-spindle models—UNE12-2, UNE20-2 and UNE32-2. The UNE12-2 drills diameters from 1.4 to 12 mm in dual-spindle mode and up to 19 mm in single-spindle models, with a maximum tool speed of 12,000 rpm. Reaching drilling diameters from 2 to 20 mm in dual-spindle mode and up to 25 mm in single-spindle mode, the UNE20-2 offers a maximum tool speed of 8,000 rpm. The UNE32-2 drills diameters from 3 to 32 mm in dual-spindle mode and up to 40 mm in single with maximum tool speeds of 6,000 rpm.

Wide Range of Workpiece Lengths

Both the UNE12-2 and the UNE20-2 are for maximum workpiece lengths between 750 and 1,500 mm, whereas the UNE 32-2 handles between 1,000 and 3,000 mm. The UNE Series also includes two single-spindle models—UNE25 and UNE40.

The UNE25 machine drills diameters up to 25 mm with a 2.0 mm minimum drill diameter and a maximum tool speed of 8,000 rpm, while the UNE40 drills diameters up to 40 mm with a 3.0-mm minimum drill diameter and a maximum tool speed of 6,000 rpm.

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