Technology days at Horn

Last month, German tooling manufacturer Paul Horn GmbH opened its doors in Tübingen to customers and business partners for the seventh time, using the event to help celebrate its 50th year of trading.

In addition to sharing in the celebrations, Horn offered the 4700 visitors eight in-depth lectures with corresponding practical demonstrations.
They included: From powder to finished component; Trends and perspectives in the precision tool industry; Machining of sintered carbide; Gear cutting; Milling at the highest level; and Successful grooving and parting off.
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Engineering skill and prowess

This year’s Inspiration through Innovation brand identity has been machined from solid on a Hermle C32 five-axis machine by technician apprentice, Emma Roberts.

The part was machined from a solid aluminium billet (200 x 200 x 30 mm) in a total cycle time of two hours. Seco’s Inspiration through Innovation manufacturing best-practice event is taking place at the company’s Innovation Hub facility in Alcester on 9-10 October. As this year’s event is focused exclusively on the aerospace segment, the long-standing brand logo has been slightly modified and redesigned accordingly.
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Roemheld steps up to automation challenge

Henley-based Rousant Sherwood selected Roemheld UK as the supplier of various hydraulic items to fulfil a project to automate a Topper VMC.

The items included: an MC100Z concentric vice and a block cylinder that acts as a tailstock to secure the component between centres for Op 1; a pair of swing clamps to hold the component for Op 2; rotary unions for both pre-existing, pneumatically-operated indexing heads to feed the hydraulics to the fixtures without tangling the hoses; and a hydraulic power pack.
When production commences, the robot opens the VMC’s doors, picks up a stainless steel billet from a table at the front of the machine, and places it in a horizontal orientation in the hydraulic Roemheld vice, which executes a soft close. The tailstock advances so that its centre pushes the billet to an end stop at the back of the jaw, whereupon full clamping pressure is applied.
Op 1 consists of milling two diametrically opposed flats along the length of the billet, drilling and chamfering three holes through the flats, and drilling and grooving two blind holes on either side. The component is then indexed through 90° for a small pocket to be milled.
Once the doors have been opened, the robot picks up the part-machined component and transfers it to the Op 2 fixture, where the workpiece is secured by Roemheld swing clamps. A fresh billet is loaded into the vice so that its Op 1 cycle can be completed with Op 2 on the previous part while the doors are closed.
Op 2 comprises drilling and tapping a blind hole in one end face of the billet and drilling two holes at an angle through the small pocket on the side so that they intersect internally. The entire cycle takes just over one hour to complete.
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Eclipse Magnetics invests in VMC

An XYZ 1000 LR vertical machining centre from XYZ Machine Tools has been installed at Eclipse Magnetics, a manufacturer of magnetic chucks and lifting equipment, as well as magnetic filtration and separation systems.

A recent review of the company’s in-house machining capacity identified the need to replace an ageing vertical machining centre that had 25 years of service and was seen to be on “borrowed time”. Due to the nature of the work, with a mix of standard catalogue and bespoke systems, any new machine had to be versatile, easy to set-up and program, as well as provide the Y-axis travel needed to accommodate taller parts in the product range.
“In addition to the size of machine, the price/performance ratio was a major driver in our decision making when it came to the new machining centre,” says John Parker, design engineer at Eclipse Magnetics. “We looked at lots of options, but after discussions with one of our subcontractors, Impact Toolroom Services, who use XYZ machines, we settled on the XYZ 1000 LR vertical machining centre.”
The type of machining undertaken includes light milling, drilling and tapping in materials from stainless steel to aluminium, so the use of linear rail technology in the XYZ machining centre range provided the cost-effective solution Eclipse Magnetics sought. Choosing the XYZ 1000 LR also delivered the table size and Y-axis travel required, as well as the overall performance in terms of traverse rates and spindle speed, these being 20 m/min in all axes and 8000 rpm, respectively.
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LoneStar Leeds invests in InoTop

At the Leeds facility of the LoneStar Group, investment has been made in work-holding equipment that reduces job changeover times and increases production efficiencies.

LoneStar Leeds specialises in the manufacture of products such as valve gates, stems, seats and metallic seals for the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, and renewable energy markets. The facility houses 13 machining centres, consisting of vertical, horizontal and twin-pallet machines with capacities up to 2,300 by 800 mm.
The managing director at LoneStar Leeds, Jon Collinge, says: “Having invited Thame Workholding to visit our site and assess a series of soon-to-be-manufactured thin walled parts with challenging specifications, the InoTop jaw system was recommended. The system proved to be ideal for securely holding the parts without causing deformation or compromising roundness. In addition, the use of InoTop accelerated production in this potentially problematic area. Given the elimination of scrap and the significant time savings we now achieve, our InoTop jaw system is ahead of schedule on its projected ROI.”
Operating on the principle of centring the workpiece on its outside diameter without the application of pressure, then clamping from the inside diameter, InoTop prevents unwanted polygon formations in the clamping process.
“The great success of the InoTop jaw system means that we have since invited Thame to look at several of our other machine tool applications,” says Collinge. “Their recommendations and our subsequent purchases of additional Thame Workholding products have enabled us to achieve further efficiencies and helped us to uphold our demanding quality standards.”
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