Machine Both Shaft Ends Simultaneously
If your production operations include shaft work, you will want to know about this rotary transfer machine, which produces up to 30 shafts per minute by machining both shaft ends simultaneously.
If your production operations include shaft work, you will want to know about the KE-D rotary transfer machine, which produces up to 30 shafts per minute by machining both shaft ends simultaneously. The working area of the machine consists of vertically oriented, left- and right-hand machining heads, each with nine horizontal machining stations arranged in a circle, and three vertical machining stations.
Each machining head also has a circular workholding fixture—analogous to a stock reel on a multi-spindle screw machine, but with some important differences—with clamps that secure one end of the shafts being machined. (See photos.) The two workholding fixtures are precisely aligned and index together (0.5-second station-to-station time), presenting a shaft to each station where both ends are simultaneously machined.
The machine will accommodate workpieces ranging from 4 mm to 40 mm in diameter and 50 to 650 mm long. As shown in the photos, the right-hand machining head can be repositioned as needed—via handwheel or CNC control—to accommodate shaft length. As shown in the close-up view, only that portion of the shaft end that will be machined extends beyond the workholding clamp, providing maximum support for the workpiece for best machining results.
Designed for medium- to large-quantity runs, the KE-D boasts fast changeover times, particularly for family-of-parts production. Changing to shafts of slightly different length and diameter but requiring the same machining operations involves adjusting the position of the right-hand machining head for the new part length. The workholder clamps are self-centering and automatically adjust to slight changes in diameter (within a total 5 mm range), eliminating the need to change clamping jaws. According to the manufacturer, Eubama USA Inc. (Elkhart, Indiana), family-of-part changes that are limited to shaft length and diameter changes can be made in a matter of seconds on machines equipped with a CNC control.
Customers interested in optimizing production for a specific job can choose from mechanical, hydraulic and CNC controlled versions of the KE-D. The machine can be fitted with coil feed, bar feed or discrete-part loading as appropriate to the application. Turnkey arrangements are possible where the machine is provided as part of a complete manufacturing cell designed for maximum productivity and profitability to the customer.
In addition to the customary on-site maintenance and service arrangements, customers with CNC-controlled machines can take advantage of a tele-service that provides instant access to Eubama engineers for remote diagnosis of machine problems, technical support and other services.
If one horizontal machining center is good, then three on a single platform should be better, right? That’s the thinking behind the Multicenter concept from Italian builder, Porta Solutions. It blends the volume production capabilities of rotary transfer technology with the flexibility of a machining center in a single platform.
Increasingly, new machine tools are being developed that defy existing classification code by virtue of their multi-tasking capabilities.
Applying CNC technology to the manufacturing of precision parts is generally accepted as a premium that one must pay for the advantages over conventional actuation systems. Increasingly, however, the gap is narrowing as economies of scale for producing CNC equipped machine tools are incorporated in the unit price of a given machine. In other words, spreading the costs of manufacturing over a larger base of installations will reduce the price of each machine.