Robotic cell highlights work holding

At this year’s MACH exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, which has now been postponed until January 2021, Schunk had planned to demonstrate its expertise in gripping systems and clamping technology with live demonstrations of a robotic cell co-ordinated with a machining centre featuring robotic loading, unloading and measuring.

The automated machining cell would have seen components loaded into a FANUC RoboDrill machining centre from a racking system via a FANUC robot, and subsequently removed from the machining centre and loaded to a Renishaw Equator gauging system. On the bed of the FANUC RoboDrill would have been Schunk’s Vero-S zero-point clamping technology, clamping components for the machining process.
The base table of the Renishaw Equator was due to be fitted with a Schunk NSL Mini 100-2 clamping station, a compact stationary clamping system that has an area of 199 x 99 x 30 mm. Despite the compact design, the Schunk NSL Mini offers a clamping force of 1000 N, which is extended to 3,000 N with the Schunk NSL Mini Turbo variant.
The multiple components in the automation cell would have been clamped in pallets all fitted with Schunk NSR robot modules. NSR is a maintenance-free robot coupling system for pallet handling that provides easy adaption to robot arms of all kinds. The compact, quick and easy-to-integrate pallet-handling system allows automated loading extremely close to the machine table, robot module and loading station. NSR robot modules can be operated with a system pressure of 6 bar, which ensures that additional pressure intensifiers are not required. From a positional and repeatability perspective, the NSR has been designed with an easy joining process that ensures a repeat accuracy of 0.005 mm.
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Efficient bending tool production

German press brake tooling and guillotine shear blade manufacturer, UKB Uwe Krumm GmbH, whose products range from 60 to 6000 mm in length and weigh from a few hundred grams to several tonnes, has 14 machining centres on its shop floor.

Across all of the company’s equipment, which is also employed for general subcontract machining, only two types of vice are used regardless of the size and geometry of the component and material being processed.
The work-holding devices are supplied exclusively by the Hilma division of the Roemheld group. There are around 90 vices in use from the firm’s NC160 and VL160 series. The standard base length of the vices is 750 mm, providing a clamping range of 508 mm, sufficient for most of UKB’s workpieces, while various top jaws enlarge the range to a maximum of 772 mm. Configurations vary from five vices on the smaller milling machines, up to 14 vices on a DMG Mori DMF 600 linear five-axis model with 6 m in the X axis.
UKB’s head of production Peter Diehl says: “We use the vices for everything from simple three-axis operations to complex five-axis machining applications requiring multiple set-ups. They are highly precise, always dependable and easy to use.”
In view of the requirement for high-precision machining, typically to within ± 0.01 mm, Diehl places special emphasis on process reliability.
“Clamping components with minimum deformation is of major importance to us,” he says. “With Hilma machine vices, we can hold the workpiece at maximum pressure for roughing – say to reduce a tough Hardox steel blank for a 5 m tool weighing 6 tonnes, to just 1.5 tonnes – then lower the clamping force for finish machining.”
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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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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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Clamp almost all part geometries

SMW Autoblok has introduced the four-in-one Centco4 2+2 self-centring and compensating chuck. According to the company, the Centco4’s engineering and flexibility enables it to securely and efficiently clamp virtually any type or shape of geometric part, including round, cubic, angular and irregular.

The Centco4 is available in both power and manual models, and is suitable for deformation-sensitive workpieces. With its four jaws, Centco4 provides four times less deformation compared with three-jaw clamping and can be used on all industry-specific machine tools. The ability to handle virtually any part shape means fewer chuck change-outs and reduced downtime. Diverse manual and hydraulic applications include turning, milling, inspection and
finishing operations.
Some of the many Centco4 benefits are that it features two independent self-centring and compensating jaws, and single wedge actuation that eliminates the need for a dual-piston cylinder. SMW Autoblok’s latest innovation is said to be suitable for aerospace and automotive manufacturers seeking a standard chuck that can clamp any part geometry.
The drive of the Centco4 moves toward or apart on two parallel axes, and needs only one standard-stroke, single-piston cylinder for actuation. This design allows for independent self-centring via both axes. Centrifugal force compensation permits maximum rotational speeds up to 210 kN of gripping force with an optimised lubrication system that saves both time and money in repairs and maintenance. Four sizes are available in the power version, while a variety of precision jaws is also offered.
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