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Value-adding accessories.

The push to boost productivity and quality has manufacturers scrambling to upgrade their equipment and metalworking processes. The problem is that dollars for capital equipment may be scarce. Here are some inexpensive ways to do things faster and better and improve manufacturing productivity without betting the farm on major capital expenditures.

Beating non-productive time. While your machining center is completing its cycle, the FlexArm from Midwest Specialties enables an operator to perform tapping operations on one part while waiting for the machining center to complete the next part. Available in a variety of mounting styles and configurations, the FlexArm is located near a machining center and is suited for tapping large and multi-level parts. With adjustable gas counter-balanced springs, operators can quickly position the tap over holes. Depending on the application, the FlexArm can be adjusted to stay where it is positioned or automatically return to its home (folded) position.

The unit comes complete and ready to mount with air prep system, forward and reverse air motor with 1/2" tap capacity, and quick change chuck. The chuck enables operators to change from one size tap to another in three to five seconds. There are no gears, head height adjustments, or stops to contend with. It is also available in smaller and larger tap capacities and motor sizes.

Optional torque-clutch holders make tapping blind holes easy, enabling the operator to tap parts that cannot be easily tapped by other methods. The torque clutch causes the tap to stop turning when it encounters an obstruction that might cause tap breakage, and it's adjustable to accommodate all types of materials.

More versatile spindles. A clever accessory from Vulcan Tool Corp enables you to add ultra-high-speed precision grinding, milling, drilling, and engraving to your current machine tool. The Vulcanaire is easily adapted to most machine-tool spindles and can be used on ferrous and nonferrous metals, composites, and ceramics.

Accurate to tenths (0.0001"), the unit is capable of precision grinding for hole sizes ranging from 0.03" to 9". Five different motors are available, covering a speed range of 4500 rpm to 300,000 rpm, generating the proper SFPM to maximize material removal while minimizing tool wear.

Vulcanaire's high-speed drilling and milling capabilities solve chattering and short tool-life problems frequently incurred when using conventional, slower-speed vertical milling or machining centers.

Add a grinder. The Dynabelter tool-post grinder from Dynabrade uses coated abrasive belts to grind or polish steel, plastic, rubber, composites, and non-ferrous metals, holding tolerances of 0.002" or better.

Equipped with a 1 hp motor, the machine easily attaches to the tool-post mount of conventional lathes and milling machines. The unit powers a 2" x 30" abrasive belt with a speed of 4500 SFPM. Work may be done at the point where the abrasive belt runs over the contact wheel for rapid stock removal or on the slack portion of the belt for fine finishing operations.

The tool is equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter for personal protection during wet grinding. A selection of different contact arms and various diameter contact wheels are available to accommodate larger work pieces. The tool features quick and easy contact arm and abrasive belt change capabilities and positive, trouble-free belt tracking.

More productive controls. If you have a machine that uses Heidenhain TNC series CNC controls, you can add up to three handwheels using the HRA 110 handwheel adapter. Two handwheels are permanently assigned to the X and Y axes of the CNC control. The third handwheel can be assigned to any axis either through an electrical switch on the machine control panel or interfaced through the machine parameter. The operator has the option of controlling interpolation through another switch on the machine control.

You may want to add the PL 410 I/O board, another accessory that allows an additional 64 PLC inputs and 31 PLC outputs, as well as four analog inputs (|+ or -~10 V) and four inputs for monitoring temperatures through sensors on the machine tool. Possible applications include a display bar for monitoring spindle speed, temperature compensation due to thermal growth, and oil temperature monitor.

Easier metric threads. If you need to cut metric threads on a lathe fitted with inch leadscrews, Clausing's Metradial may be just what you are looking for. Even though most modern lathes have metric thread-cutting capabilities, many operators learn that the half nuts must be left engaged during the entire metric thread cutting sequence to ensure proper thread cutting. With a standard thread dial, it is impossible to know when to close the half nuts to pick up the same metric lead. However, the Metradial provides the operator with a threading dial that permits half-nut engagement and disengagement during either inch or metric thread cutting.

The device is basically a threading dial with a small gear box built into it that compensates for the error that occurs during metric threading. It also functions as a standard threading dial during inch threading.

When threading, the machine is set up for an inch or metric pitch as it normally would be--the machine must already be capable of cutting metric threads. A pinion gear and lever position is then set on the Metradial for the required thread, allowing the operator to synchronize the spindle and lead screw between successive passes by using the numbered dial as a guide, just as any other threading dial.

Faster, easier calculations. The Fabshop computer from Blue Collar Computers makes going to handbooks, shop manuals, and other lookup tables to perform various machine calculations a thing of the past. As easy to use as a calculator, the handheld computer contains Version 5.0 of Bendall, a flat-blank development program, and 13 other modules that solve complex math problems for the metal trades.

With Bendall 5.0, the user can save and edit work, making changes without re-entering the whole part. Custom or default formulas can be entered for each bend (including empirical formulas for press brake and progressive die work). A new box routine for parts limited to 90 deg bends of the same radius can cut entry time in half.

The Bend Percent program calculates the bend percentage of any type of material, permitting accurate, no-guess bends. Speeds and Feeds can be used for the lathe, mill drill, or reaming. Connect Rads finds tangent points and plane heights (useful for punch grinding and tool paths). All in all, the computer comes with over two dozen features built-in that can minimize setup time, cut scrap rate, and increase productivity on the shop floor.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:inexpensive automation equipments
Author:Stovicek, Donald R.
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:1090
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