Tooling for Micromachining
Production Machining readers are accustomed to working with small workpieces. But applications continue to increase in complexity as tolerances get tighter and parts get even smaller. In industries such as medical and aerospace, holding tolerances to a tenth on parts with diameters as small as a human hair is not uncommon. The size of the part does not necessarily determine the necessity for micromachining, but rather the size of the features on the part.
To deliver on micromachining requirements, machine tools must have fine resolution in the feed axis and precise spindles capable of high speed rotation with low dynamic runout. But that’s only part of the equation. The cutting tools play a very significant role as well.
Utilization of technological advancements and recognition of unique differences between micro and standard tooling are necessary to succeed in the highly competitive micro manufacturing industry. In “Micro-Drilling: Some Questions to Think About,” we look at the different set of process skills required on the shop floor to handle successful machining with these tiny tools.
In October, Cory Cetkovic, applications engineer and Sphinx product manager at Big Kaiser, presented a webinar that helped give a clearer understanding of how modern technology and techniques can be used to increase productivity and ROI in common micro-manufacturing applications. The recorded webinar can be downloaded from our website.
Resources such as these help to build a knowledge foundation for shops interested in getting more involved in micromachining. This growing manufacturing specialty is worthy of attention.
For many shops, the decision comes down to a 4- or 12-foot-capacity magazine-style bar feeder. Here are some guidelines for choosing between them.
An ongoing effort towards more efficient operations drove this shop to take a closer look at indirect material usage, subsequently leading to implementation of a new system for tracking toolroom inventory.
Producing a keyway, spline or similar longitudinal feature on a turned part usually necessitates an additional, time-consuming, secondary operation on a broaching or slotting machine. That means moving the part to and from a secondary operation, an extra setup, additional labor and hourly machine costs and all of the other headaches that go with secondary operations.