Modern Machine Shop

JUL 2018

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MMS JULY 2018 72 mmsonline.com SWISS-T YPE L ATHES | Swiss Turn Solutions | 763-260-0947 swissturnsolutions.com main spindle to the subspindle to the tools is typically required for aligning tools with the main spindle, which can lead to error stacking. Mr. York says his company developed a non-contact camera system that offers a more precise and repeatable way to determine not only the current state of spindle and tool alignment, but also the amount of misalignment to correct it. The Perfect Zero Swiss system uses cameras that are installed in the main and subspindles to enable the user to view tools under magnification to determine their actual position when they are moved to the theoretical spindle centerline posi- tion. The system's software then determines how much the tool must be moved to bring it to the actual centerline position. To perform tool alignment with the main spindle, the user installs an 50× magnifica- tion camera in the guide bushing and plugs the camera into the system's dedicated computer with Perfect Zero software via a USB port. A 5-minute cal- ibration cycle that uses a sup- plied target as a reference point enables the soft- ware to determine and record the location of the spindle centerline. Next, each tool is driven to the spindle centerline and a magnified image of the tool is shown on the computer screen. Crosshairs on the screen represent the spindle centerline, and the distance that the tool center point (for drills) or insert edge (for boring bars) is away from the centerline can be seen. The gang slide is then manually moved to align the tool with the centerline. The software, in combination with machine position, calculates the difference, which the user inputs into the control. Guide-bushing cameras are available in diam- eters as small as 10 mm. A more general shank- type camera can be installed in a subspindle to perform similar alignment of backworking tools to the subspindle centerline as well as aligning main and subspindle centerlines. The latter is important to ensure proper subspindle part pickoff from the main spindle for subsequent backworking operations. Mr. York cites a shop that was experiencing a problem with small parts being scratched when the subspindle picked them off the main spindle. This shop tried using a dial indicator installed in the main spindle, but the device could not align the spindles as accu- rately as needed. However, a Perfect Zero camera installed in the guide bushing could be positioned 0.1 inch away from a target installed in the sub- spindle (essentially where the part would be picked) and proper alignment was attained. Mr. York says the system is valuable even for very accurate Swiss-types as it can detect posi- tioning error because of tool runout or variabil- ity when small tools are installed in collet-style toolholders. It achieves position repeatability of 0.0002 inch and can be used for tools as small as 0.005 inch in diameter. The system includes a guide-bushing camera, a shank-type subspindle camera, a dedicated laptop computer with Perfect Zero software, various visual calibration tar- gets and a portable service cart. The subspindle camera is a universal model and can be used in lathes as well as mills to determine work coordi- nates, especially for small parts and parts made from delicate materials. Crosshairs on the screen represent the spindle centerline, and the distance that the tool center point or insert edge is away from the centerline can be seen. The software calculates the amount of distance the tool is from the theoretical spindle centerline and that data are input into the control to correct for the misalignment. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION Cameras can also be used for lights-out machining as described at gbm.media.com/camera

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