Overcoming a VMC Limitation
Devised as a shopfloor solution, this material handling and loading system enables unattended operation for a VMC.
The vertical machining center is a workhorse in the metalworking industry. In its classic C-frame design, the machine can be found cranking out quality parts in shops around the world. The 20- by 40-inch table is probably the most common configuration, although the design is easily scalable up and down from that table size.
As the need for continuous production, involving unattended or lightly attended shifts, shops are coming up against an inherent weakness of the VMC design. Basically, the machine’s run time is determined by its table capacity.
The problem has been addressed using various loading and unloading schemes including, robots, table shuttles and even bar feeders. This article looks at a new solution to the capacity problem encountered on VMCs.
Versa-Built is a company that developed an in-house solution to the capacity problem on its shop floor and has developed that solution into a commercial product that is applicable in other shops running up against the same issue. Read about the combination pallet storage/robot system designed for supplying VMCs with an adequate supply of raw stock for continuous operations by visiting “Flexible Automation on a VMC.”
The “Pursuit of Perfection” is how Acero Precision defines its mission and while such lofty words make nice copy, all one needs to do is visit this contract manufacturer to experience how serious the company is about the technology, personnel and processes necessary to make it more than an abstract goal.
From watch parts to exotic medical applications, this shop takes on the world of micromachining.
Many factors, such as price, part size and material come into play when deciding whether 3D printing or CNC milling is the best method for making a prototype.