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Artificial Hip Joint Manufactured For Precision Fit

Artificial Hip Joint Manufactured For Precision Fit

Artificial hip joints must be manufactured with high precision, especially in the area where the hip stem and the ball joint connect. CERATIZIT has developed an economical production solution for precise interface between hip stem and ball joint.

If a hip joint is affecting quality of life by restricting movement and causing chronic pain, and if conservative treatment methods are no longer helping, the only option is to have an artificial replacement joint implanted – over 200,000 such operations are performed in Germany-alone each year. Those who take this route are hoping for long-lasting improvements. In order to make this hope a reality, as well as a good surgeon and first-rate care, the highest quality ‘spare parts’ are needed.

Prosthetics like this usually consist of a hip stem with ball joint, a hip socket and an intermediate piece to ensure movement is as smooth as possible. Particular attention must be paid to the connection between the hip stem and the ball joint. For the conical surfaces to fit together perfectly, they need to be produced with the highest precision and surface quality. Therefore, the tools used play a crucial role when manufacturing these components. 

“An artificial hip joint consists of difficult-to-machine materials, which not only need to be machined within the narrowest tolerances but also as economically as possible. Ultimately, an artificial hip replacement should be affordable for as many people as possible. We work with great dedication to find suitable tool solutions for these tasks,” explained Dirk Martin, Application Manager Medical at CERATIZIT and member of Team Cutting Tools. 

Meeting Machining Requirements

CERATIZIT is a full-range provider in the machining sector that has a wide range of standard and specially-made tools as well as in-depth machining expertise at its disposal. “With our huge product range and the expertise of our application specialists, we are extremely well equipped for tasks like machining the area where the hip stem and joint ball connect,” stresses Martin. “With our range of tools, we can test all manner of approaches to ultimately find the optimal solution.”

In the case of the artificial hip joint, the customer has particularly demanding and varied requirements. For the hip stem, made from high-strength titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, an angle tolerance of just +/-5‘ must be achieved in the conical connection area. Other tolerances are 3 µm for straightness, 8 µm for roundness and 60 µm for the diameter. It is also important that the specified contact ratio for the cone is achieved and a precisely defined groove profile produced.

The ball joint is made from a cobalt-based alloy (Co-Cr-Mo). Its conical hole must have the same shape, angle and dimension tolerances, as well as the specified contact ratio. However, there must be no marks, ridges or grooves made during machining. Martin mentions another crucial factor: “We need a production solution that is suitable for mass production. This means the machining must be process-secure and require as little monitoring as possible.”

Flexible u-Axis and Special Conical Reamer

To produce the conical outside profile, CERATIZIT’s application specialists opted for pre-machining with a solid carbide conical milling cutter. The subsequent roughing and finishing are then completed using a CERATIZIT u-axis system. 

“This is an interchangeable, freely programmable NC axis for machining centres, which can be used to machine contours or for turning.” explains Martin. 

“Attachment tools and indexable inserts can be used to create contours in holes and external machining work. This usually means that production times can be reduced considerably, while providing optimal surface quality and higher shape accuracy than usual,” he continued.  

This means the desired groove structure can be produced on the stem cone even on a machining centre. This has the benefit that all machining processes can be done on a single machine. Using the conventional process, a lathe and a milling machine would be required, which means additional clamping, aligning, time and money.

To make the conical hole in the ball joint, CERATIZIT’s solution involved the following steps being carried out on a lathe: First, the part is faced to provide a flat surface for the subsequent special solid carbide 180 deg drill with four cutting edges. This is then used to make a hole with a flat bottom. After this an EcoCut Classic drill and turning tool is used to produce the cone with close-contour boring, while a special solid carbide conical reamer ensures the ideal contact pattern and perfect surface quality and tolerance is achieved. The regrinding capability also saves the user further production costs. 

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Machining The Super Material—Titanium

Machining The Super Material—Titanium

Anyone who has machined the super-material titanium knows it can be something of a trouble-maker if not handled properly. Chips do not break, heat does not dissipate, edges build up – these are the difficulties that titanium creates when machined. On the uptick, titanium has outstanding properties that make it a hot favourite in aviation, motor racing and medical engineering, so it is well worthwhile amassing some know-how beforehand. Article by ARNO Werkzeuge.

The history books make no mention whether the chemist Heinrich Klapproth named the element titanium after the deity of Greek mythology because of its divine properties. The fact is, however, its properties make it into a super-material. Titanium combines properties such as an extremely high tensile strength, light weight and outstanding corrosion resistance – but these cause conflicts with other materials or alloys. As titanium is also anti-magnetic, biocompatible and resistant even to the most aggressive media, the expensive material is gaining favour in an increasingly greater number of sectors and applications. Engineers at Bugatti know this very well since they use a lot of titanium in their supercars.

Titanium is Expensive So Scrap Must Be Avoided

Anyone wanting to machine titanium must first invest a lot of money as it costs about three to five times more than tool steel. So, it is obvious you would want to avoid scrap. But the choice of material alone is not enough. The proper tools are needed to machine the precision turned parts made of titanium required in the aerospace industry, chemical industry, vehicle construction or medical technology. This is the only way to bring even obstinate titanium alloys into the desired shape.

These are the special attributes of titanium that make life hard for tools: 

  • Extremely poor thermal conductivity
  • Non breaking chips
  • Extreme tendency to stick to the flute
  • Low modulus of elasticity
    (Ti6Al4V = 110 kN/mm2, steel Ck45 = 210 kN/mm2) 

As only the very few are likely to find themselves in the awkward situation of producing titanium screws for the 1500 hp Bugatti Chiron super sports car, let’s first look at the production of a threaded shaft with recess made of the common titanium alloy Ti6Al4V Grade 5/23 as used in medical technology. Its tensile strength of Rm = 990 N/mm2, yield stress of Re = 880 N/mm2, hardness HV between 330 and 380 and elongation factor A5D of about 18 percent make it ideal for use in implants in medical technology and for applications in aviation (3.7164) or industry (3.7165). The alloy contains six percent aluminium, four percent vanadium and ELI (extra low interstitials), giving it very good biocompatibility and practically no known allergic reactions.

Heat Must Be Extracted From the Cutting Zone

The requirements call for a high surface quality, reproducible process reliability and controlled chip evacuation – all this including short process times and possibly a high chip removal rate. If you expect most of the heat generated during turning is normally dissipated through the chip, you are in for your first big surprise: titanium is a very poor conductor of heat and heat is not dissipated when the chip is removed from the cutting zone. In addition, at temperatures of over 1200 deg C prevailing in the cutting zone, the cutting tool is very quick to “burn”. Immediate help is provided by introducing measures such as feeding coolant directly to the cutting zone, reducing cutting force by using a sharp flute and adapting the cutting speed to the process.

 

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Orthopaedic Implant Grinding Takes Off As Elective Surgery Resumes

Orthopaedic Implant Grinding Takes Off As Elective Surgery Resumes

Growth in the global orthopaedic devices market offers an attractive diversification strategy for the CNC tool cutting industry. Article by ANCA. 

The global impacts of COVID-19 are numerous and continue to affect people in ways that are unexpected. Stemming from this, the crisis response from the healthcare system in many countries was the necessary decision to stop all non-emergency procedures in order to direct resources towards tackling rising COVID cases. While the health system continues to face the challenges of the pandemic, many institutions are looking to ramp up elective surgery to address the backlog with careful planning. 

Growth of the Orthopaedics Implant Market

In the UK, it is estimated that nearly 10 million people are waiting for surgical procedures, including joint replacement surgeries* while one recent study in the US predicts that the post-pandemic backlog will exceed one million cases in orthopaedic surgery alone.* Compounding these backlogs is the steady growth in orthopaedic surgery due to an ageing population, with osteoarthritis being one of the most disabling diseases in developed countries.

The macro-economic challenges of the pandemic are also being experienced worldwide. For the tool grinding industry many traditional sectors are characterised by uncertainty. Now more than ever, diversification for tool and cutter grinding companies is a smart strategy. Diversification that follows opportunity is a proven method to protect and grow your business. 

The global orthopaedic devices market size was valued at US$53.44 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $68.51 billion by 2027 returning a CAGR of 6.6% between 2020 and 2027*, with joint reconstruction leading the market. For these reasons, the field of medical orthopaedic implant grinding is an attractive diversification strategy for the CNC tool cutting business. Joint reconstructive surgery is largely dominated by knee, hip and shoulder procedures, all of which involve orthopaedic implants and associated instruments that typically require grinding during the manufacturing process. 

Grinding For Orthopaedic Applications

Grinding applications for the medical industry are characterised by high levels of customisation and complexity. Growth and technological advances in this area are opening doorways of opportunity to enter a lucrative market with strong historical and projected growth. Investment in the right machine tool coupled with industry-leading CAD/CAM software is crucial to remain competitive in this evolving market. 

Grinding routines for orthopaedic applications, such as knee implants and bone rasps, are commonly produced using CAD/CAM packages such as Siemens PLM NX. Machine NC programs are generated using an NC Post-Processor for a specific machine target and are then used to manufacture the part. The post-processor forms an integral part of the integration between the CAD/CAM software and the machine. It is therefore important to ensure that this integration allows maximum flexibility during the design and production process.  

Satisfying geometry and surface finish requirements when grinding orthopaedic-grade alloys for medical implants can prove challenging. Integration between the CAD/CAM software and machine should ideally allow for easy and flexible programming of wheel-dressing routines as well as freedom to select various roughing and finishing grinding wheel geometries. A clear distinction should exist between the role of the CAD/CAM system and machine to avoid inefficiencies that arise when grinding-process changes require NC program regeneration from the CAD model. 

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CNC Machining & 3D Printing: A Mixed Approach To Precision Manufacturing

CNC Machining & 3D Printing: A Mixed Approach To Precision Manufacturing

Peter Jacobs, Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters shares how a meaningful combination of CNC machining and 3D Printing can help manufacture even the most intricate parts and boost overall productivity.

The advancing 3D printing capabilities have made it convenient for manufacturers to use additive manufacturing to develop parts from a wide variety of materials. These materials include polymers such as ABS, PLA, TPE, and carbon fibre composites, polycarbonates, and nylon.

Alongside 3D printing, precision CNC machining also enjoys a crucial role in the additive manufacturing process, with a new process called hybrid manufacturing quickly assuming its hold in the industry.

Combining CNC machining and 3D printing can meet all crucial design requirements and eliminate limitations in these individual domains. 

Benefits of Combining Machining and 3D Printing

Here’s why the combination of CNC machining and 3D printing is relevant and the benefits that will follow:

  • Conservation of Time

The process of 3D printing a part and then having it delivered to the next section for CNC machining involves too many steps; however, this process is relatively less time-consuming relative to injection moulding.

In Injection moulding, the design and development of a specialised tool must go through every workpiece in the moulding process, making it more time-consuming.

While we can alternatively use 3D printed injection moulds to reduce production time, incorporating the potential of CNC machining can be more fruitful.

We can seamlessly tweak the digital files that end up getting 3D printed as prototypes rather than making alterations to an existing injection moulding machine tool.

  • Higher Tolerance Rate

3D printing has encountered hindrances in its progress due to the tolerances of modern 3D printers. Many end-use parts have specific tolerances and other vital requirements that are only feasible by incumbent manufacturing methods.

Unlike 3D printing, CNC machining is consistent. It offers a more refined product because its equipment does not exhibit sensitivity to heat as a 3D printer, which might warp and distort the product and result in uncertain runs of products.

Merging the two domains provides us with the perks of rapid prototyping brought to the table by 3D printers. It also enables us to dial in the tolerance from 0.1 mm to 0.3 mm as anticipated from a DMLS or SLS 3D printer to about 0.025 to 0.125 mm rendered by CNC Milling Machines.

  • Use a Bigger Workpiece

A congregation of these two domains involves 3D printing a part and then forwarding it to CNC milling to balance the final tolerances and providing it with the desired finish.

There has been excitements about merging these two technologies into one machine. This scenario could result in something that resembles the industrial-scale hybrid milling machines.

Such machines are speculated to harbour a build volume of about 40 feet in diameter and 10 feet in height. These hybrid 3D printing-milling machines can mill the surface of a new 3D print while the operation would still be underway.

With state-of-the-art CNC Benchtop Milling Machines, you can enjoy peak performance while occupying a minimum floor.

Likely Mergers of CNC Machining and 3D Printing

Some of the cases where we can successfully implement the merger of 3D printing and CNC machining for the manufacturing process includes:

  • Plastic Manufacturing

If we intend to develop a component from plastic, it is essential to consider that additive manufacturing might not adequately deliver the needed precision as we would require high tolerances.

In such cases, employing 3D printing to manufacture the component and then bring in CNC machining to trim it to the desired dimensions could be beneficial. This gesture can help dispose of any shortcomings that may have surfaced due to the additive manufacturing hardware.

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Innovating In Times Of Crisis

Innovating In Times Of Crisis

In an interview with APMEN, Laurent Blaevoet, Asia Managing Director of Novacel discusses the challenges the company faced due to the pandemic and how it innovates sustainably. 

Laurent Blaevoet

Novacel is a French company, part of Chargeurs Group, with more than 40 years of experience in the field of temporary protection of industrial surfaces, technical tapes, performance coatings and specialties machinery. Novacel is a supplier of industrial solutions in various industries (Windows, Glass, Plastics, Metals, Decorative laminates) with a strong focus in metal industries in Asia. Here, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) spoke to Laurent Blaevoet, Asia Managing Director of Novacel to understand how the company was impacted by the pandemic and how it innovates sustainably. 

Q: What was the impact of Covid-19 for your company in Asia and your customers?

Laurent Blaevoet (LB): The pandemic has disrupted a global balanced supply chain and an economic system, which are complex and fragile. 

Our presence in different countries allowed us to deal with the Covid-19 complications using different approaches. Asia was in the front line of the pandemic; it allows us to appreciate how different countries recovered from the disruption due to the pandemic and reopened their economies.

The negative impact of the Covid-19 on our sales was very strong, in the first quarter 2020, especially in China. Most of our customers reduced theirs orders because their production lines were shut down. However, they resumed their activities equally abruptly, in April-May 2020 in order to offset the major effects in the supply chain and in the stocks pipeline. Consequently, we dealt with a strong recovery in China firstly and then to other countries.

We faced various difficulties in finding shipping, both for domestic transportation and for international shipping as most of our products are produced in Europe. Raw material supply was also a concern because the production capacities are limited and not adapted for excessive pent-up demand. This has caused an explosion of prices on most of the raw materials such as plastic resins, chemicals and natural materials for adhesives.

Q: How has Novacel adapted during this crisis?

LB: Novacel is a human-centric company, which facilitates the response to such crisis. 

Novacel was prompt to set up sanitary and contagion prevention protocols at its different locations: temperature measurement, wearing a mask, installation of terminals with hydro-alcoholic gels—measures that are today widely recommended, were implemented in Novacel as early as February 2020. 

In Europe, not only did we set up these health protocols in our factories, but also we dedicated part of our industrial production capacities to develop sanitary products for protection like hydro-alcoholic gels, antibacterial films and disinfection tunnel. More recently, Novacel even developed an anti-microbial and anti-covid spray that can last of three months on every surface, reducing the risk of contamination by contact. In France administrative authorities designated Novacel as an essential industrial activity, which permitted us to remain productive, even during the various containment plan enforced by the Government.

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Answering The Call For Lifesaving Equipment

Answering The Call For Lifesaving Equipment

Emergency responders require the very best tools available to get their challenging jobs done. Here’s how ESPRIT is helping Holmatro in manufacturing hydraulic rescue equipment. 

Emergency responders require the very best tools available to get their challenging jobs done. In critical life-and-death situations, every second matters. Countless fire, police, and other first response organisations around the world count on Holmatro to equip them with the most reliable and efficient tools available. To satisfy these demands, Holmatro has relied on ESPRIT for more than two decades. From the products that Holmatro makes to the manufacturing processes required to complete them, efficiency is key—and ESPRIT fits the bill by allowing them to machine more features in a single operation.

Since 1999, the Maryland-based company has been using ESPRIT to manufacture hydraulic rescue equipment (like cutters and spreaders), as well as cylinders, plungers, check valves, and more from aluminum, steel, and exotic alloys. Although the Holmatro name is most often associated with hydraulic rescue equipment, the brand makes complex parts for many demanding industries, including railways and energy. 

Manufacturing Complex Parts 

Although the Holmatro team have been long-time ESPRIT users, they’re far from complacent. “We periodically check in with our team to ensure ESPRIT is evolving with our needs,” said Chuck Cain, Manufacturing Engineer at Holmatro. 

“ESPRIT was very good at multi-function machining when we bought it in 1999. A few years ago, we reviewed many other CAM packages to evaluate if we were keeping up with the times. After many demos, we concluded that ESPRIT was still the best choice for us. We ended up adding multiple seats of ESPRIT to our facility in the Netherlands,” he continued. 

Holmatro’s sprawling US headquarters is home to more than 30 CNC machines, ranging from 9-axis mill-turn to 5-axis simultaneous equipment, mostly made by Mori Seiki and Okuma. This highly specialised company uses incredibly demanding processes to get the job done. 

“The parts that we manufacture are complex due to the nature of manufacturing parts to such close tolerances. A typical product will have tolerances not to exceed 30 microns. We also have many products with 20-micron [.0007 inches] tolerances,” said Chuck. And because many of their products save lives, there’s no room for error.

Chuck and his team regularly use ESPRIT to manufacture new fixtures and program parts on their 5-axis milling machines in record time. “We were able to save approximately 30 minutes per part by utilising a 3+2 machining mentality. ProfitMilling also helped with cycle time reduction,” he said. 

Improving Efficiency with Automation

In recent years, the team at Holmatro has also been interested in exploring how automation could improve their efficiency and, ultimately, their bottom line. 

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Tool Craft For Aircraft

Tool Craft For Aircraft

Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager of ISCAR showcases its new developments for aircraft machining of tomorrow.  

In machining aerospace components, the main challenges relate to component materials. Titanium, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA), and creep-resisting steel are difficult to cut and machining is a real bottleneck in the whole aircraft supply chain. Poor machinability of these materials results in low cutting speeds, which significantly reduces productivity and shortens tool life. Both these factors are directly connected with cutting tools. 

In fact, when dealing with hard-to-machine typical aerospace materials, cutting tool functionality defines the existing level of productivity. The truth is, cutting tools in their development lag machine tools, and this development gap limits the capabilities of leading-edge machines in the manufacturing of aerospace components.  

Modern aircraft, especially unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), feature a considerably increased share of composite materials. Effective machining composites demand specific cutting tools, which is the focus of a technological leap in the aerospace industry.

Aircraft-grade aluminum continues to be a widely used material for fuselage elements. It may seem that machining aluminum is simple, however, selecting the right cutting tool is a necessary key to success in high-efficiency machining of aluminum.

A complex part shape is a specific feature of the turbine engine technology. Most geometrically complicated parts of aero engines work in highly corrosive environments and are made from hard-to-cut materials, such as titanium and HTSA, to ensure the required life cycle. A combination of complex shape, low material machinability, and high accuracy requirements are the main difficulties in producing these parts. Leading multi-axis machining centers enable various chip removal strategies to provide complex profiles in a more effective way. But a cutting tool, which comes into direct contact with a part, has a strong impact on the success of machining. Intensive tool wear affects surface accuracy, while an unpredictable tool breakage may lead to the discarding of a whole part. 

A cutting tool – the smallest element of a manufacturing system – turns into a key pillar for substantially improved performance. Therefore, aerospace part manufacturers and machine tool builders are waiting for innovative solutions for a new level of chip removal processes from their cutting tool producers. The solution targets are evident: more productivity and more tool life. Machining complex shapes of specific aerospace parts and large-sized fuselage components demand a predictable tool life period for reliable process planning and a well-timed replacement of worn tools or their exchangeable cutting components.

Coolant jet

In machining titanium, HTSA and creep-resisting steel, high pressure cooling (HPC) is an efficient tool for improving performance and increasing productivity. Pinpointed HPC significantly reduces the temperature at the cutting edge, ensures better chip formation and provides small, segmented chips. This contributes to higher cutting data and better tool life when compared with conventional cooling methods. More and more intensive applying HPC to machining difficult-to-cut materials is a clear trend in manufacturing aerospace components. Understandably, cutting tool manufacturers consider HPC tooling an important direction of development.

ISCAR, one of leaders in cutting tool manufacturing, has a vast product range for machining with HPC. In the last year, ISCAR has expanded its range by introducing new milling cutters carrying “classical” HELI200 and HELIMILL indexable inserts with 2 cutting edges (Fig. 1). This step brings an entire page of history to ISCAR’s product line.

The HELIMILL was modified and underwent changes which led to additional milling families and inserts with more cutting edges. The excellent performance and its close derivatives of the original tools ensured their phenomenal popularity in metalworking. Therefore, by adding a modern HPC tool design to the proven HELIMILL family was a direct response to customer demand and the next logical tool line to develop.

In Turning, ISCAR considerably expanded its line of assembled modular tools comprising of bars and exchangeable heads with indexable inserts. The bars have both traditional and anti-vibration designs and differ by their adaptation: cylindrical or polygonal taper shank. A common feature for the nodular tools is the delivery of internal coolant to be supplied directly to the required insert cutting edge (Fig. 2). The efficient distribution of coolant increases the insert’s tool life by reducing the temperature and improving chip control and chip evacuation; substantially increasing this application line in the aerospace industry.

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Advancing Aerospace Manufacturing With CAD/CAM

Advancing Aerospace Manufacturing With CAD/CAM

CNC Software (Mastercam) explains how today’s CAD/CAM can help you succeed in the increasingly competitive aircraft component manufacturing space.

Innovation in the aerospace industry is experiencing a resurgence of sorts, with the idea of tourist flights into space becoming more of a reality with the new technologies coming out of Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic. From space age materials to tiny, tight-tolerance components, to cutting-edge engine and propulsion technologies, aerospace manufacturers have always been the visionaries of innovative design. Innovative design brings with it, however, the need for innovative manufacturing practices. A design is no good unless it can be turned into an actual part. 

Machining technology has evolved ten-fold since that first rocket ship was built. As has the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to power those machines. Here, we shall discuss the latest innovations in CAM software and how the new functionality helps push the machines to their full potential, yielding parts never before imaginable in record time.

Commercial Aviation Industry: Current Industry Snapshot

As of January 2020, the global commercial aviation industry, with a market value of nearly $5 trillion, was expected to grow slowly but steadily thanks to soaring travel demand, increasing globalisation, rising gross domestic product, liberalisation of air transport, and urbanisation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption to the global economy have led to a “wait and see” approach to determine the full impact on aerospace manufacturing and whether or not it will make an already highly competitive situation even more so.

While order backlogs decreased slightly with the reduction in fleets, it remains to be seen as to whether these orders will be filled in the near-term. For now, the aerospace industry is contending with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis and adjusting as necessary.

Industry Challenges: Aircraft Component Supply

Aerospace component manufacturing is one of the most demanding industries and will be for the foreseeable future. Part design and development innovations have exploded since the order boom first began about 10 years ago. New materials and effective, profitable production processes have also followed suit. 

However, despite the fact that aerospace component manufacturing is more high-tech than ever, the pressure is still on for quick turnaround times to meet high delivery rates. Although the current statistics show a slowdown in orders, the production and delivery backlogs are still very real. Generally speaking, the supplier must take a systematic approach with the optimal CNC machine tools, spindles, fixtures, cutting tools, coolant systems, controls, and software. 

How CAD/CAM Software Can Benefit Aircraft Component Manufacturing

Focusing on one aspect of the system, CAD/CAM software, is one area of opportunity for improved aircraft component production. One might not initially think that it is a vital aspect of success in making aircraft components. However, it is an important behind-the-scenes player in producing the complex parts specified by aerospace manufacturers.

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Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders With Cool Flow For Optimised Machining

Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders With Cool Flow For Optimised Machining

SCHUNK breaks down the development of its Cool Flow technology—a highly efficient cooling system which feeds coolant directly through the tool mounting, with the help of a model, tool and mould-making company from Germany. 

At the model, tool and mold-making company KRIEGER, standardisation is a key success factor. Within a decade, the variety of machine control systems, tool mountings and tools that had been developed were systematically analysed, structured and overhauled. 

Today, all machines come with standardised control systems, a uniform interface and specific tool pools. Even for special and customised tools, an in-house tool catalog has been drawn up in order to cut down on uncontrolled growth. This creates clarity and makes it easier to detect and eliminate even the smallest of deviations in processes. 

This includes deviations such as vibrations that can occur, in particular on machines with large traverse paths (2500 mm x 2000 mm x 1000 mm). Although the vibrations had been kept in check by changing the cutting parameters, there had long since been dissatisfaction with the overall process. 

Technological Progress with Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders

KRIEGER first deployed the TENDO Slim 4ax vibration-damping hydraulic expansion toolholders in a milling test to replace the previous standard heat shrinking mounting which was susceptible to vibrations. They found that the machines absorb the vibrations considerably better and no longer come to a standstill during demanding processes if they are equipped with the toolholders. 

Particularly on machining centers that lack stability due to their design and size, the effect has been enormous. The toolholders could simply be replaced without any reprogramming or collision check. 

It made sense for the 40-person company to deviate from what was hitherto tried-and-tested and the company was convinced.

Simple Replacement Via Plug & Work

Test series have proven that mounting with the vibration-damping characteristics of hydraulic expansion toolholder technology results in significant process improvements, especially during drilling, as well as demanding finish milling. Users benefit from shining surfaces, long tool service live, and efficient metal cutting. 

Unlike heat shrinking toolholders, the TENDO Slim 4ax can be seamlessly integrated into SCHUNK’s tried-and-tested hydraulic expansion program, with a constant run-out accuracy of < 0.003 mm at an unclamped length of 2.5 x D and a balancing grade of G 2.5 at 25,000 RPM. 

Since precision mountings can replace conventional heat shrinking toolholders by means of Plug & Work without having to reprogram the outside contour, its advantages can be immediately tested in real applications and used in the long term – just like at KRIEGER.

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Electrification In The Automotive Industry

Electrification in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes. Marat Faingertz of ISCAR looks into the impact of this trend on the metalworking industry, and how new machining requirements can be addressed.

Public awareness of global warming, together with a pressing concern to create and maintain a clean environment, has led to a series of legislations worldwide that is forcing automakers to decrease CO2 emissions. Apart from improving fuel consumption, downsizing engines, and making lighter vehicles, automakers must turn to new technologies in order to cope with these emission limitations.

A rapid increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development, manufacture, and implementation, shows that electric vehicles are not only the future but are, in fact, the present. The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes and soon our perception of cars and transportation may alter completely.

ISCAR, a company with many years of experience in the production of metal cutting tools, offers unique, cutting-edge solutions for the new BEV Industry. As a leader in providing productive and cost-effective machining solutions, ISCAR strives to stay up to date with all the new trends and technologies and be a part of a brighter, greener future.

The following is a list of some of the common component machining processes in the BEV industry and some of the leading possible machining solutions and recommendations for each part.

Stator Housing Machining

One of the most notable trends of the electric vehicle powertrain is its simplicity. There are far fewer moving parts compared to the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), therefore, manufacturing time and cost dramatically drop when producing BEVs. 

One of the main components of an electric motor is the motor (stator) housing made from aluminium. A special approach is needed to achieve this part’s critical key characteristics of lightweight, durability, ductility, surface finish and precision, including geometrical tolerances. The partially hollow form represents an additional challenge and maintaining low cutting forces is essential for roughness and cylindricity requirements.

ISCAR’s complete machining solution for this process has facilitated the transformation from the standard costly lathe-based process to an economical machining centre. Our aim is to reduce scrapped parts and reach an optimal CPK ratio (Process Capability Index—a producer’s capability to produce parts within the required tolerance).

Main Diameter Reaming

The most challenging operation in machining the aluminium stator housing is the main diameter boring and reaming. Because of the trend to use low power machines, the tool’s large diameter and long overhang require creative thinking to minimise weight and spindle load while maintaining rigidity. Exotic materials such as titanium and carbon fibre are used for the tool body, as well as the welded frame design.

The use of Finite Element Method (FEM) helps resolve the obstacles associated with this challenging application by enabling the consideration of many parameters, such as cutting forces, displacement field during machining, natural frequency, and maximum deformation.

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