FEB 2018

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

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K E Y C O N S I D E R A T I O N S F O R S E L E C T I N G A C N C L A T H E 6 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Barry Rogers recently retired as global director of sales for a major machine tool OEM. 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. Search Machines Smarter. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: The Machine Tool Search Engine The key point is that automation solutions should not be an afterthought in the purchasing process. Explore the options with the machine builder or dealer from the start. Magazine-style bar feeders are designed for automatically feeding round, square and hexagonal barstock into lathes. Many bar feeders can handle stock from 0.030 inch to 4.0 inches in diameter. Where floor space is tight, compact bar feeders handling barstock only 4 feet long are popular. Bar feeders for stock as long as 12 feet are common, and units for 40-foot bars are available on special order. Because the bar being fed into a lathe must rotate at the same speed as the portion clamped by the chuck for machining, special precautions must be taken with full-length, large-diameter bar. Consider a bar 2 inches in diameter and 12 feet long. Rotating a bar of this size at high speed may cause it to whip excessively in the bar feeder, risking damage to the bar feeder and the machine. In addition to bar feeders, gantry loaders and articulating robots can be used on lathes to increase production and enable lights- out operations. Probing for Lathes Ultra-compact 3D touch-trigger probes with optical signal transmission are available on lathes of all sizes, as well as on small multitasking machines. They are specifically designed for workpiece positioning, tooling setup and inspection. Probing solutions can help reduce setup times by as much as 90 percent, while improving process control and quality. The lathe commonly is considered "the mother of machine tools" because it led to the invention of other machine tools. It is available in a variety of iterations, with a wide variety of features to suite an even wider variety of applications. Taking into account all the information provided here hopefully will help you determine which version is right for your needs.

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