Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2017

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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74 MMS January 2017 FEATURE in-house to ensure the fit with the work is just as exacting as the fit with the chuck on the machine table. The shop has also taken steps to keep parts secure when exposed to milling forces that typi- cally exceed any thing they would experience Omega has two Grob G350 five-axis machining centers. The second was outfitted for automa- tion, but this one, the shop's first, isn't tended by the robot. Still, System 3R fixturing keeps the machine integrated with Omega's standardized manufacturing system. This air-amplification system on the back of the G350 machine ensures the System 3R chuck securely clamps even the largest parts. Air supply is controlled by the robot, and various safety mechanisms ensure the chuck stays clamped in the event of a power outage or other unexpected loss of air pressure. during sinker EDM burning. "Making our own subpallets allows us to take advantage of System 3R's accuracy, but double and triple the size of the component we can mount," he explains. All pallets are surface-ground to ensure size varies by no more than 0.0001 inch. Attention was also given to the shape and the pattern of the set of holes linking subpallet to work as well as those linking custom subpallet to System 3R pallet. Experimenting with these and other features has enabled the shop to develop a system that ensures exacting precision and rigidity all the way from chuck to workpiece, Mr. Arbic says. Raw stock is cut from square barstock into blocks measuring 2.5 by 2.5 by 3.5 inches (large enough to cover most work), and pre-machined, pallet- connecting hole patterns provide a mix of hori- zontal and vertical mounting configurations. Setup personnel simply select the proper block, mount it to a pallet, insert the pallet into the robot car- ousel, and let the part program do the rest. The shop's common master reference, a cus- tom-designed tooling ball, is just as important as precise fixturing for ensuring parts can removed and placed back into the system without re- alignment, Mr. Arbic says. For ever y job, this tooling ball is referenced in the CAD file along with a model of the pallet. By locating every feature of

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