Modern Machine Shop

DEC 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Modern Machine Shop 77 Shopfloor Efficiency Because of their large cutting-edge radii, circle-segment end mills produce broad stepover passes that clear material in much wider bands than a ballnose end mill. At Linda Tool, circle-segment end mills offer a way to make light, low-force cuts without the rubbing and chatter that swarf cutting can produce. This enables the light cutting of curving, blended surfaces in a way that is efficient enough to remove large amounts of stock quickly. In the screen capture on page 78, Open Mind's HyperMill software is being used to run a simu- lation of a circle-segment tool. Because the five- axis machine motions with the circle-segment tool paths are so complex, the accuracies of these simulations are vital—so vital that Linda Tool has engaged with application engineers from Open Mind to assist with programming particularly complex features using circle-segment tools. Finding Throughput Standing in front of Linda Tool's second-floor offices that overlook the shop floor, you will find two more examples of decisions aimed at opti- mizing operational efficiencies. From this elevated view, it is clear that nearly every CNC machine on the shop floor is lined with documents and photos. Viewed up close, they are revealed to be setup instructions, drawings related to specific operations, inspection features and photos that depict how a finished part is supposed to look when it is loaded correctly. Listed near that photo is the machining cycle time, which lets anyone who starts the machine know that in 20 or 30 minutes the cycle will be finished. Other documents list the program number to ensure operators are running the correct program. Some list torque-wrench settings to make sure the clamps are set correctly. Finally, because CNC programs are complex and include multiple steps and tools, there are lists that outline each step of an operation—a brief description of what each tool is doing, as well as details of that particular tool. If an operator needs to order or find a tool, there is a description of the holder that the tool is in, a descrip- tion of the tool itself and information about where to buy it. "That allows (operators) to be kind of self-contained," Mr. Holmes says. "That's a big thing. If somebody at 2 a.m. needs a tool, they know where to look for it. If they go to pull one out of a drawer and there's only a preset Linda Tool is able to produce these aerospace parts by the hundreds each year because of the company's investment in circle-segment tools. As an alternative to face milling, swarf milling, or ballnose milling, Linda Tool uses circle-segment tools as an efficient way to machine smooth critical surfaces. Read about another company that increased throughput with five-axis machining by selecting specific machine features and additional equipment to grow business. gbm.media/cgc HIGH FIVE

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