Techspex

Nov 2017

Techspex provides metalworkers free research and analysis tools to help them find the right machine for their job.

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techspex.com | The Machine Tool Search Engine 7 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Barry Rogers recently retired as global director of sales at Haas Automation. Prior positions include director of global sales and marketing for Sunnen Products, and national sales and market manager for Renishaw North America. He also has served as general manager of Cincinnati Milacron's LK CMM division in Detroit, Michigan. Barry recently started Alpha Strategies, a Chicago-based consulting firm which he serves as president. alphastrategiesconsulting.com recommended, spindle probing on a five-axis machining center is compulsory. Although probing is used to automatically set fixtures and multiple work offsets; locate the part precisely without the need for expensive fixtures; and obtain other benefits, there's yet another reason for a spindle probe on a five- axis machine: A spindle probe is the quickest, most repeatable and most accurate method for establishing centers of rotation for the rotary axes and tables, trunnions, or programmable C axes relative to the center point of the cutter. To define the exact location of this point in space, appropriately called a pivot point, an offset value (like a tool offset or work offset) must be applied to control parameters. A probe determines this offset precisely. The probe will also help compensate for any pointing error the machine spindle or table may have. Once this point is defined, all axes are then relative to the center point of the tool. The pivot point is normally set using a known artifact and a calibration routine, a process that automatically maps the entire machine. This artifact data is then analyzed to derive a compensation value that is uploaded to the control. Periodically, the calibration routine can be quickly run and the values checked to see if movement in any of the five axes has occurred. Today's Five-Axis Technology The current technology in today's five-axis machines delivers greater capability. These machines always seem to get the job done faster by enabling you to do more work in a single operation. There are fewer operations to program and fewer fixtures to create, and there is less flipping of parts and less in-process movement of parts around the shop. This overall increase in shop efficiency means more money in the bank. Perhaps it's time to start thinking seriously about five-axis machining. techspex.com Search Machines Smarter. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: The Machine Tool Search Engine

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