Chuck delivers precision and durability

SMW Autoblok is introducing its BP chuck, which the company says is the only standard fully sealed power chuck on the market with a large through hole for maximum lifespan, throughput and durability. Suitable for lathe applications, BP’s large through-hole provides flexibility for virtually any application that requires the use of a standard chuck, including OD and ID clamping, bar-stock clamping and shaft clamping. In addition, it is easy to convert the BP to a collet chuck using collet pads for small diameter parts.

A true workhorse, BP maintains high efficiency even in the harsh environments of dry machining, abrasive powders, high-pressure or corrosive coolants, and more. Constant grease lubrication provides clamping force consistency and reduced wear, reducing downtime and loss of productivity. With BP, daily maintenance intervals become a thing of the past as maintenance checks are only required every 2000 hours.

Being fully Proofline sealed from outside contaminants allows BP to maintain a consistent grip force for more repeatability at high speed in comparison with non-sealed chucks, which can lose more than 50% grip force if not maintained properly. Other advantages include a case-hardened body and internal parts for high resistance and longer life.

Available in 210, 260 and 320 mm sizes, BP series chucks accept all industry top jaws. SMW Autoblok’s BP-D utilises master jaws with inch serration, while the BP-M operates with metric serration (suitable for Japanese jaws). The American standard, tongue and groove master jaws are available on the BP-C.

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Rotary table puts subcontractor in pole position

Oxfordshire-based specialist subcontractor CNC Techniques specialises in machining Formula One components from exotic metals such as titanium, Waspaloy, Inconel and Hastelloy. The mainstays of the company’s machining capabilities are its Hurco three- and five-axis machine tools. To provide an additional two axes to the three-axis machines, CNC Techniques recently invested in a rotary table from PL Lehmann.

“Although we are kept busy throughout the year, our workload more than doubles in the traditionally busy Formula One months of December through to February,” says company founder Paul Eden. “Therefore, at that time of year, apart from working around the clock, we need to work smarter and employ equipment with greater flexibility.

“As well as giving us the ability to achieve five-sided machining in a single set up, I was assured that a PL Lehmann CNC rotary table would withstand the high forces involved in machining exotics and deliver the required levels of precision,” he continues. “The installation of the rotary table was carried-out by knowledgeable technicians who made all of the connections to our machine tool’s control system. Then, whilst observing the rotary table’s try-out I realised how easy it was to operate. We now use the rotary table along with our Lang Technik work holding. In addition to standing up to the machining forces involved in machining exotics, our new CNC rotary table is simple and fast to operate, and is making a significant contribution to our 3+2 axis machining capabilities.”

As floor space is at a premium in most machining environments, mounting a CNC rotary table inside an existing three-axis VMC provides a major advantage over purchasing a large five-axis machine tool.

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Robotic tool changer series expanded

Stäubli has expanded its MPS robotic tool changer series to cover all robots and payloads. Five new sizes are now available, covering payload capacities from 15 to 80 kg. Key characteristics of the new compact range include repeat accuracy of ±1.5 µm and a wide variety of available transfer technologies.

Automatic tool changing systems can significantly increase the flexibility and productivity of a robot. Indeed, for many manufacturing processes and applications across a wide range of sectors, automatic tool change systems are the only way to address the specific and individual operations required.

All Stäubli robotic tool changing systems are based on a modular product concept, with three different and efficient ways for customers to obtain their ideal tool changing system. The MPS Complete designation offers pre-configured complete systems ready for immediate use and available on short delivery times, while Stäubli’s MPS Modular option offers production-ready solutions tailored to meet individual customer requirements. The third option is MPS Customized, which is designed around the pre-requisites of each unique application.

Feed-throughs for pneumatics or vacuum are already integrated into the locking units of the new systems. For customers considering future flexibility and functionality, there are numerous additional modules available for the transmission of pneumatics, vacuum, signals, data transmission up to 10 Gbit/S, shielding, earthing, RFID tool coding and data storage. Combining these different technologies and modules as required makes it possible to configure a solution for the widest possible range of applications.

The location of the transmission modules is also highly flexible, allowing users to position them as required to suit the individual robot’s cable package, and order them using a simple code.

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Hyfore offers pallet full of benefits

Streamlining productivity on machining centres has never been so easy with the arrival of the Midaco manual pallet changing system from Hyfore Workholding. This cost-effective system integrates into virtually any machining centre to improve up-time and spindle utilisation rates, while reducing costs.

The Midaco manual pallet interface incorporates a compact shuttle with telescopic legs that can be adapted to fit all machine tools, including those with swarf and coolant systems. Sitting on the guide rails are a receiver and pallet with precision retention studs to guarantee positional accuracy in the machine tool, while an ‘easy-flip’ cast iron handle precisely locks the pallet on to the receiver. As the low-profile receiver does not require an air supply, it is extremely versatile and compatible with vertical, horizontal and special purpose machine tools.

By creating a uniform pallet system outside the work envelope, the Midaco pallet changer enables operators to load, unload and inspect components – and set up jobs – whilst the alternative pallet is in the machine processing components. For batch, production and repeat components, this dedicated solution offers significantly improved production times. In addition, it is possible to easily interchange the uniform pallet configuration between machine tools or even departments.

Manufacturers can also opt for Midaco’s front-loading ‘side by side’ shuttle pallet system that is supplied with one cast-iron pneumatically-powered receiver, or cast aluminium pallets and one ‘side by side’ shuttle interface that allows the operator to switch pallets in seconds. With this system, the operator simply activates the pneumatically powered receiver that mounts to the machine table and clamps the pallet.

The system is available in a range of variations that include pallet sizes from 406 x 356 mm to the largest 1829 x 762 mm.

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Compact chuck boosts versatility

Forkardt, a Hardinge brand and international provider of work-holding solutions and accessories, has upgraded its FNC+ quick jaw change power chuck, a universally applicable wedge style power chuck offering increased versatility and manufacturing efficiencies, as well as reduced set up time.

New features and capabilities include a revised base jaw profile that allows the chuck to accept base jaws from competitive brands. This capability permits users to continue utilising the current inventory of base jaws, irrespective of manufacturer. In addition, the through-hole is now larger to meet the needs of today’s machine tool builders and dealers.

The chuck also features a more compact design, where the FNC+’s reduced chuck body weight results in less mass on the spindle, allowing machine manufacturers to permit/machine a higher workpiece weight and attain higher spindle speeds than ever before. Furthermore, the low overall height allows customers to machine longer parts, simultaneously increasing the usable work envelope of the machine.

Another upgrade is the newly designed and installed piston safety device, which makes it possible to easily and safely mount FNC+ on vertical spindles, while the clamping chuck jaws can now only be unlocked, adjusted and changed with the original actuating key.

Forkardt’s FNC+ also now mounts with six instead of three bolts to the spindle, offering a higher rigidity of the chuck body.

The 3FNC+ is available as straight or angled serration version in sizes 185 to 630.

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