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Hidden benefits of CNC turning.

A large mid-western manufacturer replaced old multispindle screw machines and turret lathes with several CNC turning machines, including GE 65 twin-turret CNC lathes from Index Corp, Shelton, CT. The company has found it is easier to mill hexes, slots, and flats.

It's possible to perform operations such as drilling, tapping, boring, reaming, recessing, and profiling-all in a single setup. The synchronous spindle permits all types of backside machining. On one part, 13 secondary operations were eliminated, allowing it to be completed in one setup. Total machining time dropped from 8.43 hr/ 100 pcs to 3.5 hr, and part quality was substantially improved.

The company uses a variety of 12-ft steel barstock, such as 8620, 1117, and 1002, with diameters from 1/2" to 4". Runs vary from a few parts to several thousand. High-volume parts are run once a week to replenish stock, producing about 52 scheduled inventory runs. Inventory tax burden, which can run as high as 25% of a part's finished value, is reduced.

Index machines are used to produce about 200 different parts. Setup time depends on the complexity of the part and the number of tools needed to produce it.

Power-driven tools in turret No 1 are used for all types of cross-drilling, milling, and other secondary operations. In addition, design changes can be handled with surprising ease. For example, if engineering moves a hole 0.005", it's no longer necessary to get a new drilling fixture. The operator enters the new location into the control and the machine makes the appropriate adjustment.

Milling the flats to make a shaft for a wrench is easier. With the CNC turning machines, the operator mills the flats by programming the machine to index a number of degrees, move a tool to machine a flat, then index to the next position.

One operator can run two CNC turning machines simultaneously. While one machine is running, the operator pulls out all the tools required for the next job, presets them, and makes the changeover. A preloaded tool database automatically prints out a mechanical data sheet listing all tools needed to produce the part.

The CAM system synchronizes the interaction of the tools in turrets No I and No 2 for greater efficiency. It's possible to standardize the inventory of barstock.

Automatic barfeed can run as high as 5000 rpm with almost no vibration or deflection. With the Index machines, an engineer can deliver a print for a new product, and within four hours he could be holding a prototype part. If a customer needs a repair part that the local parts depot doesn't have in stock, the depot calls the factory, and in about two hours the part is manufactured and shipped to the customer.

For more information, contact Index Corp, 829 Bridgeport Ave, P 0 Box 233, Shelton, CT 06484.

Vertical carousels aid airline parts storage

The parts-distribution center at Dallas-Ft Worth airport has installed seven Richards-Wilcox VSR[R] vertical carousels to improve productivity and save space. The airline's growth in recent years has expanded the number of parts that must be handled. Currently they stock approximately 40,000 line items, according to the supply manager. As the number of items to be stored continues to rise, the challenge faced by the materials-management staff was to find storage solutions that would maximize use of the existing storage space.

The carousels enabled DFW to store parts in a 465-sq-ft area, instead of the 2800 to 2900 sq ft of floor space required by traditional shelving. Additionally, because inventory is stored inside, the potential for damage and contamination caused by dust and dirt has been eliminated.

Productivity gains of 30% to 40% have been attributed to the vertical carousels because of the ease of location and retrieval of parts. A part is retrieved by entering the part number into the keypad, and the VSR automatically selects the shortest route to bring the part to the operator.

For more information, contact Richards-Wilcox, 600 S Lake St, Aurora, IL 60506.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Manufacturing in Action
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Previous Article:Toolholders enhance flexible machines.
Next Article:Let's color outside the lines.

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