Modern Machine Shop

DEC 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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BETTER PRODUCTION Shops Using Technology December 2017 MMS 109 our shop to put a very large mill," Mr. Fisher says. Eventually, Glen Burston, Hudson's operations manager, came across the Datron VMC. "The MLCube machine just seemed to kind of hit all of the points that we needed," Mr. Fisher says. The MLCube has a 60- by 40-inch machining area and a 95- by 90- by 77-inch footprint. It features an automatic toolchanger that holds as many as 45 tools, a spray-mist coolant system and a high-frequency spindle with as much as 60,0 0 0 rpm. Feed rate is 866 ipm. It also h a s l i n e a r g u i d e s , ballscrews and brush- less direct drives, as well as a workholding system with modular plate s cla mp e d onto the table using conical centering sleeves, said to provide positioning r e p e a t a b i l i t y a n d flexibility. To ensure that the machine's work area would be large enough fo r i ts re q u i re m e nts, Hudson sent its largest mold model to Datron's technology center for a test fit. This mold, which is curved in a boomer- ang shape, has a span of 64 inches between the two tips. To accom- modate this size, Datron got cre ati ve w ith the par t's placement and relocated the tool mag- azine on the machine bed. Because this part represented a "worst- case scenario," Datron says it was confident it had the right solution for Hudson. In just over a ye a r, th e s ho p h a s milled all the molds for World Class Manufacturer of Rotary Cutting Tools 965 Harbor Lake Dr. • Safety Harbor, FL 34695 727.726.5336 • Email: Made in U.S.A. the USP boat and moved to the production phase, using the MLCube to manufacture aluminum parts for the boat rigging. As it transitions from making molds to making production par ts, the company has found the machine's conical system of workholding posi- tioning to be especially useful. This feature allows the machine to mill conical cavities into its table, resulting in a "boss-in-cavity" system for location

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