Workholding system improves productivity

When Chick Workholding launched its One-Lok clamping system seven years ago as an alternative to the conventional machine vice, the company made available more precise workpiece positioning and a time-saving ratchet mechanism to adjust the position of the moveable jaw quickly. New lightweight versions have now been unveiled, offering users additional benefits. Availability in the UK is through sole agent 1st Machine Tool Accessories.

The latest One-Lok comes in two sizes rather than one, 400 or 500 mm long, offering maximum gripping lengths of 180 and 280 mm respectively. Further improvements include a lowering of the clamp profile from 150 to 134 mm, which allows longer spindle travel in the Z axis and halves the unit’s weight for easier handling. With this in mind, an ergonomic hand grip has also been added at either end.
Sometimes, machinists turn a vice through 90° so that it lies transversely across the machine table. This strategy can bring the part closer to the operator, but has the disadvantage that there is no clearance for the handle. With the new One-Lok, workholding in this orientation has been made easier by using a ratchet handle.
The moveable jaw on One-Lok systems can be adjusted quickly and conveniently, as it can now be slid using one hand rather than two over the QwikSlide ratchets. A few turns of the handle move the jaw in the same direction over the last few millimetres to complete the clamping action. The existing BoltFast interface for the 152mm wide, interchangeable hard and stepped steel jaws and aluminium soft jaws, has been retained. A quarter turn of the locking screw is all that is required to exchange them, promoting productivity when machining small batches of components.
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ETG taps into girl power

A UK machine tool supplier is benefitting from ‘girl power’ after its newest technical co-ordinator marked a major milestone. Chloe Reeve, 23, has just completed her 25th training course for Engineering Technology Group (ETG) clients, just four years after joining the business as an apprentice. She has played a key role in the firm’s roll-out of its Technical Academy Network and her latest course involved putting three employees from tool manufacturer Guhring through their paces on the new Hardinge Bridgeport XR760.

“2017 has been a great year for me and I’m really enjoying the new role, where I’m interacting a lot more with customers to make sure they receive the right technical advice and training on some of the new technology we are supplying,” she says. “During my own development, I’ve learned a variety of different CNC Programming languages, including Fanuc Turn and Mill, Siemens ShopTurn, Shop Mill and Heidenhain’s 530, 620 and 640 controls.”
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Open Mind expands UK team

Open Mind Technologies, which last year posted record sales figures, has employed three new staff to help underpin the CAM software specialist’s growth levels. Karl Oram has joined after spending 25 years as a CADCAM specialist in Canada. Appointed as an application engineer, he will apply his experience to conducting demonstrations, on-site support and training for end users. In support, Joshua Harper and Cory Jamieson have also joined Open Mind, as application engineer and junior application engineer respectively.

Adrian Smith, managing director at Open Mind Technologies UK, says: “To underpin our continual growth, we have a strategy in place to employ more sales engineers and application engineers. It is the application engineers that will support new customers beyond the post-sales process with assistance for all technical queries. Our new recruits will enhance customer experience and service while supporting the sales engineers.”
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Micro-abrasive waterjet machines on show

On Stand L1 at Advanced Engineering 2017 (NEC, 1-2 November), micro-machining specialist Rainford Precision will premiere the new line of Finepart micro-abrasive waterjet machines.

Visitors to the stand will find an intriguing new method of cutting common aerospace materials such as CFRP, glass, ceramic and aluminium alloys.
In comparison to conventional methods such as milling, wire erosion or die sink EDM, the Sweden-built Finecut waterjet system eradicates the issue of heat generation through machining. By processing parts without generating high temperatures, the waterjet series eliminates any structural or metallurgical concerns. Finecut machines have a micro-fine jet of just 0.2 mm with a positional accuracy of ±2.5 µm and an adjustable jet pressure from 500 to 4000 bar.
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Swiss-type lathe unveiled

At last week’s open house in Hove, Dugard lifted the wraps on its new Dugard 52 Swiss-type lathe, a turning and milling centre with multi-axis synchronous control. Featuring a double spindle and front and back tooling systems, the machine can be used with or without the guide bush (depending on part length).

The rotary guide bush design reduces bar vibration, improves machining accuracy and has a maximum part length of 350 mm (42 mm maximum turning diameter). When not using the guide bush, the bar end is shorter, saving vital production costs. Further features include roller type linear guideways on all axes, 6000 rpm maximum spindle speed and Mitsubishi M80 control.
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