Hardinge Demonstrates Super-Precision Turning with Automation
December 17, 2012—Hardinge Inc. an international provider of advanced metal-cutting solutions, demonstrates automated production of hydraulic spool valve housings on their T51 MSY SP Super-Precision Turning Center. The automated machine-tending package, designed by Gosiger Automation, features a Fanuc M-10iA six-axis, industrial robot integrated to the Hardinge T-51 CNC multi-function sub-spindle lathe and a Renishaw Equator programmable comparative gage. The gage provides high-speed scanning with rapid moves between features, and has impressive repeatability. This package demonstrates the effectiveness of robotic automation when coupling a machine tool with an automated gaging device for process control. “Extended periods of unattended operation are possible with complete assurance that quality, close-tolerance parts will be produced, all in a small footprint,” states Brad Devon, sales manager at Hardinge Inc.
The automation system uses minimal floor space and allows easy, ergonomic access to the machine tool for part-to-part changeover and routine tool service. The Fanuc robot is positioned close to the front of the lathe and offset to the left-hand side of the Hardinge machine door to maximize operator access to the machine tool. This machine and setup will accommodate a wide variety of parts with quick changeover features for relatively small production lot sizes.
The Hardinge T-51 MSY SP turning center, released earlier this year, is the culmination of many years of Hardinge expertise. The turning center has a 2-inch capacity, collet-ready main spindle allowing the cutting location to be closest to the spindle bearings. “This exclusive spindle design along with Hardinge’s patented Harcrete-reinforced cast iron base provides an extremely rigid machining process with unmatched stability,” says Devon. The main spindle has thru-spindle coolant and part present detector. The A2-6 sub-spindle is equipped with a Hardinge Sure-Grip expanding collet with true parallel gripping. The Hardinge-designed BMT 55 turret has twelve stations that are tooled for turning, boring, drilling, grooving and milling. The sealing surfaces on the housing need to be "super precise". High-precision surface finishes, part roundness, and size control is critical, making this an ideal part for a Hardinge Super-Precision machine. The housing ID is held to a close tolerance to mate with the spool valve. Linear glass scales on each axis of the machine assure high machining accuracy and repeatability.
Gosiger Automation provided automation integration for this application. Hardinge Custom Solutions engineers are also available for part process development, machine modifications, custom-designed machines, machine re-deployment/part re-processing, automation and training.
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