Modern Machine Shop

NOV 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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78 MMS November 2017 FEATURE Grant Hughson, machinist, developed a microscope camera system to easily see everything going on inside the tight workzone of the shop's Tornos Deco Swiss-type lathe. As shown in the inset, the micro- scope camera fits in a sleeve that's installed in one of the gang-slide toolholders. On the VMC, workholding has been the focus of the most significant strides toward speeding prototype iteration. Specifically, Mr. Hughson prefers to focus on ensuring an accurate, repeat- able interface between fixture and machine rather than putting too much effort into the interface between part and fixture, as his original designs did with their precision locating pins. After all, prototyping often requires taking parts off the machine for examination. As long as the fixture location doesn't vary more than a few thousandths of an inch from its original position, on-machine probing can quickly and automatically update the work offset around the part. As a former Sandvik employee, he naturally turned to modifying Capto quick-change tooling blanks to provide the critical interface between machine and prototype workholding. Compared to relying solely on a repeatable fit, this strategy makes it easier to ensure features on opposite par t sides are located correctly in relation to o n e a n ot h e r. F i x t u r e d e s i g n s c a n b e m o r e forgiv ing, the re pe rcus sions of wor k holding wear or damage are less severe, and problems are easier to troubleshoot. TICKING AHEAD The company's first movement to be constructed almost entirely of U.S. parts is pictured on the cover of this magazine: the CAL 1003 that powers the American Issue Field Watch. This gold-plated first version was limited to just 50 pieces. Now, the movement is on its fourth production iteration, which features a higher beat rate than previous versions as well as a "hacking" mechanism that enables users of the $1,995 watch to start and stop it at will. Moving forward, the goal is to bring production of the last few components still pro- duced in Switzerland—hairsprings and jewels— onto U.S. soil. Although the capability is here,

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