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Beneficial Modularity

Beneficial Modularity

Modular systems have succeeded in finding their way into the lives of many people, from LEGO construction toys to IKEA’s modular furniture.

Article by ISCAR.


In metalworking, typical examples of these systems are unit-built machines and modular fixtures. As for cutting tools, modular structures have proven their efficiency in this area as well, and various tool manufacturers have developed their own modular products that are popular with their customers. The main benefits of modularity are versatility and time savings. A modular concept facilitates the quick and easy building of an optimally customized cutting tool using an assembly of standardized elements. Hence, customers don’t have to order a costly, specialised tool and wait months for delivery. If a tool is urgently needed for immediate production, a suitable solution is close at hand.

This concept contributes to reducing warehouse stock and diminishing inventory lists that cut manufacturing costs. However, the modular tool concept is not free of disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the decrease of rigidity; an assembly of several elements is not as stiff as an integral product and the assembled structure may lose accuracy when compared to a one-piece design. When deciding on a particular tool, both advantages and disadvantages of the modular concept need to be considered. The customer is the only one that can decide which is the best tool for his needs based on production strategy, current production demands, or an immediate need for a tool. The cutting tool manufacturer should provide the customer with the means to make the correct choice and at the same time continue to develop modular products that achieve greater adaptability, rigidity, and accuracy.

A glance at ISCAR’s modular cutting tools makes it possible to showcase the design features of a product.

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ESCO Tool Enables Easy Modular Tooling

ESCO Tool Enables Easy Modular Tooling

A new clamshell style, O.D. mounted split frame machine that features fast, accurate, and easy to setup indexable tooling to part and bevel tube and pipe from 51 mm TO 1220 mm dia. is being introduced by ESCO Tool of Holliston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

The Esco COHOG Split Frame Machine has a robust stationary ring machined from 7075 aluminum alloy that is hard coated and supports a custom steel forged, heat-treated and nickel-plated rotating ring using precision tuned eccentric bearings.  Featuring indexable tooling with slides and trip mechanisms and a marked locating system, this clamshell style machine can be precisely aligned and quickly attached without shims or guesswork.

Providing vibration-free operation, Esco COHOG Split Frame Machines have sealed construction to protect bearings and bearing races from debris.  Modular tool slides use tool steel blades or inserts with multiple cutting edges that offer more cuts per blade, and come in a variety of sizes for space-restricted applications.  Motor options include pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric power that can be mounted in different orientations.

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