TDI challenge goes online

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has launched the 2020 edition of the Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) challenge.

This flagship competition for schools, which has been running for 17 years, will return this year with a twist. Due to coronavirus, a new format for TDI 2020 is being launched online. Students will enter by submitting a 2-minute video setting out why and how the innovation will benefit its users. Once the video is completed, all the student must do is share it on social media using the hashtag #tdichallenge2020.
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Peiseler appoints exclusive agent in UK

Brown and Holmes is now the exclusive UK and Ireland agent/distributor for Peiseler indexers, trunnions and special pallet systems. In addition, Brown and Holmes is supporting existing and future owners of Peiseler products with full service and repair provision using genuine manufacturer parts.

The Peiseler product range includes the ATC series of compact, high-performance and flexible NC rotary tables. These rotary table can be set up either vertically or horizontally, and come in various face-plate diameters and designs. Frame sizes include ATC 125, ATC 160, ATC 250, ATC 300 and ATC 350.
Further features of the Peiseler ATC rotary table range include: pneumatic or hydraulic clamping; motor attachment at left or right; motor attachment with elastic coupling; various motor makes; the availability of an IP67 version; gearbox to the left or right, 1:1 or 2:1; an optional rotary manifold, 4+1 ports; additionally integrated support bearing; an optional angle measuring system, Heidenhain RCN 2380, with a system precision of ±5”, or RCN 2580 with a system precision of ±2.5”; and an assembled cable set.
Also now available in the UK and Ireland from Brown and Holmes is the Peiseler WTC series of standard fixtures based on the modular ATC series. Here, ATC and counter-bearings are mounted on a steel base plate to a common centre height. A selection of counter bearings is available for the different ATC sizes.
A further element of the portfolio is the ZATC series of two-axis rotary tilt tables, a modular range that uses the cubic housing shape of ATC rotary tables. Special housing adaptations are available to suit specific applications. Frame sizes include ZATC 125, ZATC 160, ZATC 250 and ZATC 300.
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Turning up volume for ventilator parts

When Huntingdon-based Cutting Edge Precision Engineering was asked to produce large quantities of components to support ventilator and respiratory systems for one existing and one new customer, it was faced with the challenge of sourcing tooling.

To meet that demand it turned to Ceratizit UK & Ireland, which could guarantee the delivery, technical support and pricing to make the job work. On this project alone Cutting Edge Precision committed five vertical machining centres, all of which required a range of Ceratizit cutting tools, including end mills, drills, forming taps, thread mills and drill-reamers for holes down to 5.02 mm diameter. A selection of work-holding solutions was also supplied.
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Compact rotary indexing table

Carl Hirschmann has launched a compact two-axis rotary indexing table with direct drives that is designed especially for the production of small parts.

According to the company, this development for simultaneous machining and the exact positioning of workpieces is characterised by flexibility, as well as high speeds and acceleration profiles at the limits of what is technically possible – with maximum precision through the addition of the patented zero-point clamping system, µ-PrisFix-Nano. The Hirschmann µ-PrisFix-Nano is suitable for applications such as wire EDM, die-sink EDM, EDM drilling, laser machining and high-speed cutting.
Another special feature is the integrated compressed air supply for pneumatic connections. During internal pneumatic transfer, an air connection actuates the clamping system and opens the spring packs, which ensure stable attachment of the workpiece. The second compressed air connection is used to clean the installation surfaces, or to automatically check whether there is a workpiece in the machine. The innovation goes back to market enquiries for laser machining.
Notably, the rotary axis and the swivel axis are each driven by a torque motor, which transmits 1:1 rotary motion without reduction.
“Thanks to this concept, the rotary indexing table achieves extraordinarily high values for speed and jerk time on each axis,” explains Rainer Harter, CTO of Carl Hirschmann.
In laser processing, a feed rate is defined that must be precisely maintained, even with small radii and curves. This factor means that the axis must be able to act dynamically. And this with highest demands on the precision of material removal from the workpiece. The dividing accuracy on both axes is ±10 angular seconds.
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Haas releases auto parts loader

Newly introduced to the market is the Haas Mill APL (Automatic Parts Loader), a simple way to automate part production on the company’s small VF-series vertical machining centres.

The unit integrates seamlessly with the Haas control, and features a simple set-up interface that will have users fully automated in minutes, loading and unloading parts for unattended machining. According to Haas, running the APL for just four extra hours per day could generate enough output to pay for the investment in as few as six months.
Designed for use on Haas VF-1, VF-2, VF-2SS, VF-2YT, VF-2SSYT and VM-2 vertical machining centres, an easy-to-use interface in the Haas control guides users through a simple, step-by-step set-up process that ‘teaches’ the APL arm its positions. Parts measuring up to 152 by 152 mm in length and width can be handled by the APL grippers, while table load capacity is 454 kg. A light curtain is included for safe operation.
Workpiece management on the APL table is achieved by creating a grid pattern template of equally spaced rows and columns. Various part shapes, such as round, hexagonal and square, can be loaded, and grippers can be adjusted or modified to best-fit specific customer components.
Programming is achieved directly through the Haas control, and set up using the Haas APL interface, which guides the operator through the steps necessary for quick programming. Answering simple questions, the operator enters basic information by positioning the grippers and pushing a single button to record position, or by entering basic numeric values. All values are calculated automatically by the control, and the APL is ready to go.
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