Sandvik Coromant has traditionally offered ceramic inserts, but the company has recently moved to offer full cutter bodies as well. According to one of the yellow-coated representatives at the booth, ceramic inserts are designed to virtually melt away material, as opposed to shearing it off and dissipating heat in the manner of conventional carbide models. For these tools, typically employed for titanium and other materials with low thermal conductivity, heat is the goal, not the enemy.
Sandvik also displayed its Coromill 100 cutter. This tool’s round inserts are said to be useful for machining complex, curved components such as turbine blades and airfoils. Note the curved shape of the insert where it meets the cutter body. This design feature is said to help alleviate movement problems common to rounded insert shapes during five-axis machining operations.
Using a forming tap to create threads via plastic deformation—the material is displaced rather than being removed—can eliminate problems with chip evacuation that are typical of tapping applications while also strengthening the thread. OSG Tap and Die says its new line of Exopro-S-XPF forming taps (top tool) is designed to engage less of the tool in the cut compared to previous models (bottom tool). Along with additional, larger cooling lobes, this enables users to reduce machining torque by as much as 50 percent in applications involving materials as hard as 40 HRc.
Darex’s new XPS 16 is a fully automatic, CNC-controlled drill grinder and sharpener. Touch-button operation and the ability to save and recall pre-programmed sharpening routines can make this four-axis machine a cost-effective choice for manufacturers that tend to burn through a high number of drills, the company says.
As a proven platform for small-part production, especially in the medical industry, the Swiss-type lathe was well-represented at Mfg4. Hanwha’s XD32H was just one example. According to the company, a heavy base casting and X- and Y-axis guides that are set further apart compared to typical Swiss-types make the machine especially rigid.
Marubeni Citizen-Cincom’s M432 features a swiveling, B-axis gang-tool post for complex contouring operations—a feature that seems to be trending among Swiss-types. Another common feature among other machines displayed in the company’s booth is additional Y axes. This provides more options for vertical spindle movement and enables mounting additional rows of gang tools for more versatile machining.
Reflecting increased demand for longer workpieces, the Studer Favorit CNC cylindrical grinder from United Grinding is now available with a larger work envelope. Measuring approximately 40 inches, the distance between centers is nearly double that of previous models. One company representative pointed out that this adds versatility beyond the ability to grind longer workpieces—the added length can often eliminate the need to remove the tailstock when changing setups from OD to ID grinding operations.
This pyramid fixture was one of two new modular dovetail fixtures introduced by Raptor Workholding. According to the company, the dovetail design provides secure clamping while ensuring part access during five-axis machining operations. Whereas the company previously offered only individual fixtures, the new designs can accommodate multiple parts.
Various waterjet manufacturers offer systems that compensate for the taper that naturally occurs in the abrasive stream during cutting. This enables users to cut parts with chamfers and beveled edges without secondary operations. These examples were machined on Flow International’s Mach 4 waterjet system.
Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology offers the O-Inspect 442, a multi-sensor measurement system that employs optical scanning as well as the company’s VAST contact sensor. According to booth personnel, the machine can achieve accuracy of 1.8 microns regardless of which scanning method it employs.
Faro’s Edge portable CMM is an articulating arm that enables users to inspect or reverse-engineer parts via touch probe or laser scanning. The latest model is “untethered”—users can program and store routines on an on-board computer with battery life of four to five hours.
Featuring a larger field of view than the company’s previous optical profile inspection systems, George Products Company’s CoreX2 enables users to instantly measure diameters, angles, tapers, heights and other features on any part smaller than 6.5 inches long. The system uses a telecentric-lens camera on one side and a concentric light source on the other to capture an image of the part profile for evaluation by an on-board computer. One advantage of the system is the ability to measure small, round parts that might otherwise roll away without fixturing, the company says. It adds that the unit also doesn’t require focusing, and the ability to handle modest levels of vibration without affecting results makes it useful for shopfloor measurements.
According to manufacturer Technifor, a motorized Z axis and a touch sensor for automatic height adjustment make the XF500Z micro-percussion marking system especially useful for aerospace and medical manufacturers that require consistent-depth, machine-readable markings.
The Mfg4 manufacturing trade show, organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), debuted May 8-10, 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut. Although smaller than Eastec, the traditionally annual SME event in the Northeast region that will now occur every other year, Mfg4 showcased a wide variety of technology and equipment. Click through the slideshow below for a small sampling.