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Automated feed, turning, threading

Automated feed, turning, threading

This post is a continuation of our previous post: http://www.leanmachinecnc.com/news/2016/12/27/lathe-machining-cost-reduction

Whenever possible, we program our parts on several different machines so they can all be run simultaneously to shorten overall cycle times and give us redundancy of resources.

With our Okuma dual spindle lathe and Autodesk HSM we are able to automate parts that have several operations.  The programming and setup time are intense but the result is a part that can run in a fraction of the time with very little human interaction.  In this example, we took a part that required several hours of total human attention to a 45 minute unmanned operation.

Here is the Inventor drawing of the part.  It's a small brass adapter with different threads on either end.

Moving from CAD to CAM seamlessly is the key to our engineering process.  If we change a size in the 3D model the tool path will automatically update.  Below is a screenshot of the HSM programming for this part.

Like our previous gang-tool setup this turning strategy uses Iscar's latest technology Pentacut.

The Iscar pentacut uses a 5 sided insert.  The insert is a strong design put into a rigid holder and has a chip forming profile which makes for accurate parts and a great finish.

The Iscar pentacut uses a 5 sided insert.  The insert is a strong design put into a rigid holder and has a chip forming profile which makes for accurate parts and a great finish.

The video below is a run through of the cycle.  What the video doesn't show is that the main spindle will bar feed the secondary spindle so we can run a longer bar without interruption.

Below is the finished part ready to ship!

Lathe Machining Cost Reduction

In Machining, a Lathe that changes tools is great but on small parts that have several quick operations there can be more tool change time than spindle-on machining time.  A great way to increase spindle-on time and reduce overall cycle time is to tie several tools together in a method known as "gang tooling." Gang tooling planning is very difficult as you need to anticipate the following operations while working on the current one.  At Lean Machine, we always go further than most with 3D design because it always pays off in the long run.  Since we already have our machines 3D modelled and we can download all tooling off our vendor's website, and every part is drawn in 3D, we can plan out a gang tool very quickly. 

The Brass bar hex stock is seen with the finished machined part just needing a part-off operation.  The orange block is the gang tool holder that we've designed.  You can also see the blue and grey Iscar tools and yellow inserts. 

The Brass bar hex stock is seen with the finished machined part just needing a part-off operation.  The orange block is the gang tool holder that we've designed.  You can also see the blue and grey Iscar tools and yellow inserts. 

Here is the Autodesk Inventor designed tool block with the HSM tool paths applied.

Here is the Autodesk Inventor designed tool block with the HSM tool paths applied.

Our Haas VF4 milling the tool block.  This is a steel 3"x3" billet.   Iscar's endmills are the greatest!

Our Haas VF4 milling the tool block.  This is a steel 3"x3" billet.   Iscar's endmills are the greatest!

Lots of internal features to machine but we've designed to be quick to machine.   

Lots of internal features to machine but we've designed to be quick to machine.   

Here's a close-up of the Iscar tools that will be installed in the block. 

Here's a close-up of the Iscar tools that will be installed in the block. 

All tools installed and ready to machine. 

All tools installed and ready to machine. 

Top view of the block and tools.  Notice the dovetail cut on the backside to fit our tool post and the height setting attachment. 

Top view of the block and tools.  Notice the dovetail cut on the backside to fit our tool post and the height setting attachment.