Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

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CNC TECH TALK MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 38 Processes and Programming AUTHOR | Mike Lynch Founder and President, CNC Concepts Inc. difficult it is to make decisions that are universally appropriate. Consider these examples: • Programming methods. Parametric program- ming (with custom macro or with CAM systems) is great for part families but is not feasible when there is a high degree of component diversity. Most CAM systems excel with some manufacturing processes but not with others. A CAM system that nicely handles sliding-headstock-lathe applica- tions, for instance, will probably not do as well for a five-axis machining center. • Department layout. Manufacturing cells are great for part families. All equipment required to completely produce closely related components is placed together, regardless of process or machine tool type. To produce higher-complexity compo- nents, however, it makes more sense to group departments by manufacturing process—mill department, lathe department and so on. Compo- nents are routed to each department for a required manufacturing process. • Workholding setup methods. It is easier to jus- tify what it takes to qualify workholding setups when there is little diversity among components. This makes it possible to eliminate the task of pro- gram-zero assignment. Qualifying workholding setups when components vary is more difficult to justify since each component must be considered separately. You can often utilize one fixture to secure multiple similar components. Dissimilar components will each require their own fixturing. • Cutting tool considerations. Similar compo- nents often require similar cutting tools, meaning you can probably come up with a set number of "standard" cutting tools that will be used for all components. Keep them assembled and track offset information to minimize setup time. You may even be able to store them in the machine if it has enough tool stations. With dissimilar compo- nents, you may still be able to come up with some common cutting tools, but you will not be able to keep all cutting tools assembled nor store them all in the machine. These are but a few examples of diversity-re- lated considerations that affect your company's productivity. You must ensure that decisions are appropriate to your company's needs. DEBURR ANY CROSSHOLE

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