Engine plant gains from boring control

Rigibore says that an engine manufacturer has gained total control over its boring processes thanks to the introduction of the company’s automated boring tool compensation system, Zenith.

The system was selected for its ability to make compensations automatically from measurement data to an accuracy of 1 µm on diameter. Maintaining much closer machining tolerances on crankshaft bearing journals not only enhances the quality of the finished component, but has a direct impact on engine efficiency and emissions.
The concept was to produce line boring bars with five semi-finish cartridges set 0.1 mm below nominal, thus allowing five ActiveEdge finish cartridges to machine all journals in a single pass. ActiveEdge line bars were automatically compensated to nominal from data provided by offline gauging that was transferred to the machine control as part of the Zenith closed-loop system.
Before installing ActiveEdge tools, the customer carried out verification checks to confirm that each cartridge could be adjusted independently in increments of 0.001 mm on diameter. With this ability confirmed, an extended live cutting trial was instigated. The trial took place on a twin-spindle machining centre, with each spindle machining 946 crankshaft bores over a 24-hour period, so 1892 in total. In this time, not a single bore was out of tolerance thanks to ActiveEdge’s intervention. The finished bores had a mean diameter of 52.965 mm with a tolerance of ±0.015 mm. During the test period, bore sizes were maintained within a variance of just 2 µm.
Prior to installing the tooling, the process of ensuring nominal size before the production run took 45 minutes on average. In contrast, Zenith allows automatic, individual cutting edge compensations to be made with the tool located anywhere in the machine, completing the setting process after an insert change within a matter of minutes.
For further information www.rigibore.com

Largest-ever graduation at AME

The UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ celebrated its largest graduation recently, when 29 students received their BEng and MEng qualifications.

A joint collaboration between Coventry University and Unipart Manufacturing, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) saw its second cohort graduate in style, with many of the industry-ready engineers going into high-profile jobs at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Wipac Ltd, Precision Castparts Corp and Unipart.
Marking a successful four years in operation, the initiative was designed specifically to give young people the opportunity to learn on real-world manufacturing projects. Over 100 students are now currently working their way through the hands-on course at AME, aided by a specially compiled textbook that is linked directly to what ‘first’ and ‘second’ year students will be trained on.
For further information www.ame.co.uk

Casting light on first-stage aluminium machining

In order to boost the first stage roughing operation on newly cast aluminium parts for the automotive industry, Sandvik Coromant is introducing its M5Q90 tangential milling cutter.

Automotive – Milling – Aluminium – Machining example

Designed to complete ‘cubing’ (first machining of faces after casting) in a single operation without creating burrs, the new tool is fitted with PCD tangential inserts that provide a smooth and stable cutting action to lower power consumption and eliminate vibration. This concept ensures reliable performance, improved tool life, exceptional surface finish, high metal removal rate and an increased number of parts per insert.
“To enhance efficiency, our new M5Q90 tangential milling cutter features fully engineered cutter bodies matched with dedicated PCD insert geometries that feature a positive cutting angle to reduce cutting force and load on the machined component,” explains Emmanuel David, global automotive product manager.
M5Q90 cutter bodies are designed according to customer specifications and hence meet the requirements of high-productivity machining – the tool can operate in high-speed conditions in excess of 20,000 rpm. However, all cutter bodies offer the same design of tip seat, coolant channel, lead angle and rake angle. Inserts are always kept in stock.
Aluminium cylinder heads and engine blocks will be among the principal components to benefit, typically at automotive foundries or tier one/two suppliers. By way of example, the cubing operation on a cast cylinder head would involve machining the camshaft face, inlet/outlet face and combustion face. Typical cutting data using M5Q90 might include a speed of 2500 m/min and feed per teeth of 0.20 mm. Users also benefit from high-precision coolant channels that provide the option for either emulsion or MQL application.
For further information www.sandvik.coromant.com

End mill and slot drill ranges released

Expanding the series of solid-carbide end mills and slot drills defined by Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal as its “global standard”, the GSX Mill series is now available. The latest milling cutters have been developed based on a fine carbide substrate to increase toughness.

GSX Mill tools also have a high transverse rupture strength and provide high levels of shock resistance with enhanced orders of consistency and reliability, especially in wet cutting conditions.
The GSX Mill series, covering tools between 1 and 25 mm diameter, has a special flute design and large rake angle. The cutters come in many varieties, covering two, three and four-flute types, in four different lengths of flute. A novel combination of flute design and rake angle enables effective chip evacuation from the cutting zone, while the specific design of two cutting edges improves sharpness and extends the type of workpiece that can be machined.
Typical end mill and slot drill applications cover surface milling, drilling and grooving, with two types of cutting edge profiles. The sharper edged S-Type is suitable for removing inside corners when finish-cutting, while the strengthened edge C-Type, having a gashed land, creates higher resistance to fracture for both roughing and finishing cycles.
The GSX-SLT slot-type cutter is a multi-purpose tool developed for plunge drilling and slot milling, having a large rake angle for efficient chip removal. Also within the GSX Mill series is the GSXVL, which is an anti-vibration, square-type cutter for shoulder milling with an optimised irregular pitch and lead angle that improves resistance to chatter.
Finally, the Sumitomo GSXB Mill ball-type cutter has two flutes and a large 30° helix angle that reduces any resistance to cutting forces, so is suitable for milling hardened steel up to 60 HRc, titanium alloys and cast iron.
For further information www.sumitomotool.com

Westermans broadens ProArc distributorship

Westermans International is enhancing its services to customers in both the home and international markets with a sole UK and Ireland distributorship agreement for the ProArc range of welding, cutting and drilling systems.

Although a supplier of ProArc equipment into worldwide markets for some 25 years, this latest move is set to strengthen product availability and choice in the UK and Ireland, while also providing support where needed for the company’s European sales activity.
Key markets where the development will be of particular note include automotive exhaust, vacuum component and cryogenic vessel manufacturing, as well as water tank, aircraft component, flexible metal hose and sheet metal fabrication. Westermans will be stocking a broad range of ProArc products. Also, a number of units will be set-up for viewing and demonstration at the company’s Leicester premises.
For further information www.westermans.com