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Hwacheon High Speed VMC for Graphite

Hwacheon Machinery America, Inc.'s new Hi-M G1 vertical machining center (VMC) is specially designed to cut graphite. Its quick and precise performance makes it suitable for dry cutting graphite electrode material used in aluminum die-cast work. The rigid yet compact structure, with a design based on 3D/FEM analysis and wide LM guides for X/Y/Z axes, provide accuracy.

For high-speed operation, the 24,000 RPM spindle is integrated with a high power motor, and without any parts to transfer power between the motor and spindle. This design minimizes vibration, noise and power loss during high-speed rotation. In addition, a bearing grease lubrication system and synchronous temperature control decreases the influence of external temperature variation and improves smoothness.

The Hi-M G1 is engineered with a dustproof/waterproof spindle and an advanced dust reduction system. This system includes a sealed roof design that collects the fine dust generated during the machine process. A dustproof air curtain system prevents dust inflow into each axis. Included as standard, the dust collector operates with 5 HP air volume. The design of the Hi-M G1 door enables convenient cleaning.

"The user-friendly Hi-M G1 includes a Siemens-828D controller," said a company spokesperson. "It provides flexible, interactive programming, as well as controls that enable high productivity."

Hi-M G1 specifications include a spindle coolant system, an HSK-E40 spindle taper, a 29.52" x 23.62" table with an 881.84 lb. load capacity and a 16-tool ATC. The machine occupies just 83.26" x 87.8" of floor space and weighs 10,582 lbs. The dimensions of the dust collector are 38.18" x 38.18".

Other applications of the Hi-M G1 include high precision graphite automotive parts machining.

Premier is proud to be the exclusive dealer for Wisconsin and UP of Michigan for all Hwacheon Products. 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Faster Large-Scale Laser Scanning as Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence Expands Flagship Leica Absolute Scanner range

New Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL Defines a New Market Segment with a Larger Scanning Field than Any Other Laser Scanner on the Market

Today saw the announcement of the Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL, a new ultra-large scale portable laser scanner from leading metrology and manufacturing solution specialist Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. Designed for industries and applications where both speed of measurement and metrology-level accuracy are indispensable, the expanded measurement field and point acquisition rate of the LAS-XL means large parts and surfaces can be fully digitized in far less time than ever before.

Operating on the same flying-dot scanning technology as the Leica Absolute Scanner LAS, the LAS-XL benefits from a scan-line width of up to 600 millimeters and a measurement stand-off distance of up to a full meter. The extreme flexibility this delivers makes the LAS-XL as ideal for mapping large blade surfaces as it is for digitizing aircraft and rail carriage interiors. Accurate to within just 150 microns, the LAS-XL is suitable for the wide range of applications for which increased measurement speed is extremely valuable.

“What we’re seeing with our customers is that there is a huge range of applications out there for which much improved speed of measurement is more critical than unbeatable accuracy,” says Daniel Moser, Technical Product Director at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. “The LAS-XL is our attempt to meet the needs of this part of the market that has until now been under-served by the metrology industry. Absolute Accuracy is a key part of our product philosophy, but sometimes really great accuracy done really quickly is the better solution.”

The LAS-XL is compatible with all Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 models and is available to order worldwide immediately.

Premier is proud to work closely with the Hexagon group on all their products. Call us today with your Metrology needs and we will be happy to provide you a winning solution.  414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Happy New Year from all of us at Premier Machine Tool Midwest

All of us at Premier Machine Tool Midwest wish you a Safe, warm and Happy New Year!

In 2018, Premier looks forward to helping make all our customer’s more productive with our solutions we provide.

Learn how PMT Midwest can offer solutions to help achieve your goals for the new year. 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enjoy and be safe!

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“Year in Review” - Another new Hwacheon Lathe and Kira Drill Tap cell being set up for one of our customers

So excited for our customer as he is setting more cells with Hwacheon Lathes and Kira Drill tap centers to help with their growth in their production needs.

Premier is proud to work with these two incredible companies that help make you more productive!

For more information contact your exclusive Hwacheon & Kira distributor for the state of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan – Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Another new Kira ready to be delivered to a Premier Customer

Another new Kira machine waiting for her brother to arrive and the two of them will be delivered and go into FULL production for one of our Wisconsin customer.

Learn more about why Kira production centers are the machine of choice for serious production shops.

Contact Premier Machine Tool Midwest your exclusive Wisconsin and UP of Michigan dealer for all Kira products.

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“Year in Review” - Breaking NEWS: Toolmex Corp announces a new partnership with Premier Machine Tool Midwest

Toolmex Corp announces a new partnership with Premier Machine Tool Midwest of Hartland, WI. The company will assume sales and service support for the Toolmex line of long bed lathe technology in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Toolmex Industrial Solutions continues to be a leader in long bed lathe technology. Our superior European built lathes are designed for heavy high precision work with greater horsepower and larger spindle bores. We offer a full line of 22”-118” swing lathes, most with our exceptional TRI-V bedway design, Fanuc or Siemens CNC packages, custom enhancements, factory technical support and virtually limitless options.

Click here to learn more about all the great products that Toolmex offers

Premier is proud to announce our new partnership with Toolmex and to be able to offer all their products to our Wisconsin and UP of Michigan customers.

Learn more from your Premier account manager- Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Niigata HN-S Horz Machining Center the right solution for all your large work

New from NIIGATA-the Model S. The HN-S Series incorporates the most innovative technology available today on horizontal machining centers. These machines boast a new “Hybrid Style” design that features an ultra rigid roller guide system on the X and Z axes that allows for maximum machine rigidity. The Y axis features a linear boxway system that provides unparalled vibration dampening at the tool point to improve accuracy and increase tool life. The new NIIGATA HN-S Series is the new leader in metalworking technology.

Features/Benefits

Unique “Hybrid Style” design

-allows for unmatched accuracy in machining of large workpieces

High torque heavy-duty spindle

-mono-cast construction achieves more powerful milling capability and greater accuracy

Outstanding chip removal system

-allows for greater accuracy and longer tool life

Excellent workzone accessibility

-easy and safe access to machining area promotes operator safety

HN-S BAR Series models can be equipped with BAR/Quill style spindle

-greatly enhances performance and accuracy to work done on horizontal boring mills

Contact Premier Machine Tool Midwest your source for Wisconsin and UP of Michigan for all Niigata machinery including sales, service and parts support needs.

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“Year in Review” - HWACHEON - THE STANDARD IN 6”- 8” HORIZONTAL TURNING CENTERS

Hwacheon Cutex 160- 6"-8" Chuck, Horizontal Machining Center

The pinnacle of Hwacheon technology, the CUTEX-160 quickly became the industry standard in small-size turning centers when it was introduced. With its compact design, rigid construction, and a wide range of options such as bar feeder and parts catcher, the CUTEX-160 is a perfect solution for all your production requirements. The machine incorporates L-HTLD, the Hwacheon Lathe Tool Load Detection system, which monitors the tool load in real time to protect your valuable assets and to provide consistent, quality results.

Contact Premier Machine Tool Midwest your exclusive Wisconsin and UP of Michigan dealer for all Hwacheon products.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The holidays are a time when everything feels a little happier and the landscape seems a bit more luminous. The season we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped continue to shape our business in a most significant way. As our company continues to grow we value those relationships and look forward to working with you in the year to come.

Today, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with peace and prosperity.

From your friends at Premier Machine Tool Midwest

Happy Holidays,

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“Year in Review” - Another new Hwacheon delivered to a Premier Customer

Another new Hwacheon machine goes into production for one of our Wisconsin customer.

Learn more about why Hwacheon machines are becoming so popular in Wisconsin and UP of Michigan.

Contact Premier Machine Tool Midwest your exclusive Wisconsin and UP of Michigan dealer for all Hwacheon products.

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“Year in Review” - Hexagon – Vero Software WorkNC 2017 R1 unveils powerful new strategies

Vero Software has just released the 2017 R1 edition of WorkNC, which includes a number of items of powerful new strategies to improve productivity for its CAM users.

WorkNC 2017 R1 is the first version under the new six-month cycle release plan. Brand Manager Miguel Johann says: “This allows us to deliver the latest features to our customers much faster, keeping them on the cutting edge of technology.”

Time Savings: Increased Productivity

One of the major new items of functionality is the Parallel Finishing toolpath, based on the paradigm-shifting "Advanced Toolform" technology from Vero Software. The new Parallel Finishing toolpath calculation considers the real physical geometry of the cutting tool, whether it is a high-feed cutter, a standard tool or whatever form of convex tool shape.

Miguel Johann says: “We invite customers and prospects to break away from the limitations of standard tool shapes and explore the world of High Feed Cutter shapes." And he explains why this technology is so important for improving productivity. “Touching the part with a bigger radius results in smaller and smoother cusps, which are more widely spaced, allowing the use of larger stepovers and machining times to be reduced by up to 80 per cent. Furthermore, thanks to this new technology, positive or negative stock allowances can be defined. This is new.”

A myriad of other innovative features allowing important time savings in terms of programming are available in WorkNC 2017 R1. For example, 3D Tool Compensation, which is a unique new feature for 3 axis and 3+2 axis machining. “No more need to program and calculate several different toolpaths to determine the required result. And this applies to whatever controller is fitted to the milling center.”

Among other highly anticipated improvements by established users of WorkNC is the Dynamic Calculation Queueing function which offers important time savings. Operators can now launch the creation of several toolpaths one after the other, run postprocessors, or check for eventual tool holder collisions without having to wait until the end of the calculations in progress.

High Performance, Top Quality Machining

WorkNC 2017 R1 ensures improved quality and machining performance on large parts, with the addition of the new 3 Axis Special Vertical Rotation strategy in Auto5, offering a genuine solution for out-of-limit conditions. This takes advantage of the machine's capabilities to trigger automatic table rotation to provide continuous machining, ensuring minimal setup down time and higher surface quality.

5-axis machining welcomes the new Manual option to the existing Surface, Curve and Axis modes for creating and editing 5-axis curve sets. “Say goodbye to jerky machine head movements. Users can quickly and progressively adjust tool orientation during the curve creation process while maintaining precise control of machine head rotational movements. Toolpath fluidity and surface finishing are both greatly improved. This option is recommended for engraving and trimming operations,” says Miguel Johann.

Flexibility and user autonomy

WorkNC 2017 R1 addresses the need for further autonomy and flexibility of the machine operator in the workshop. The new WorkNC Shop Floor Editor is a genuine analysis tool which allows toolpaths to be displayed, simulated and checked before running the routines on the machine. With this independence, operators will be able to rapidly postprocess toolpaths in the machining context, predefined by the CAM programmer, and then run the toolpaths on the machine itself.

The new WorkNC Launcher presents the entire suite of WorkNC tools to the user, as well as a customizable zone for users to drag and drop their favourite applications or folders. And the new ToolStore, shared with other Vero Software CAM solutions, is based on a modern user interface. This application is compatible with other tool libraries available on the market. Tool duplication is no longer necessary; a single tool can have different cutting conditions according to the material to be machined.

The continuous and regular improvements made to existing toolpaths are reflected in both the Z-Level Finishing and Waveform Roughing toolpaths. “These ensure that WorkNC users fully benefit from new algorithms and machining technologies, offering best-in-class machining efficiency,” concludes Miguel Johann.

Headquartered in England, Vero Software designs, develops, and supplies CAD/CAM/CAE software radically enhancing the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes, providing its customers with exceptional value through high productivity gains and significantly reducing time to market. The company’s world-renowned brands include Alphacam, Cabinet Vision, Edgecam, Machining STRATEGIST, PEPS, Radan, SMIRT, SURFCAM, WorkNC and VISI, along with the production control MRP system Javelin. Despite the diversity of application, these solutions have one thing in common: they all address the rising challenges of achieving manufacturing efficiencies and bring huge value to the operations in which they are deployed.

Vero has direct offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, USA, Brazil, Netherlands, China, South Korea, Spain and India supplying products to more than 45 countries through its wholly owned subsidiaries and reseller network.

Vero is part of Hexagon (Nordic exchange: HEXA B), a leading global provider of design, measurement and visualisation technologies that enable customers to design, measure and position objects, and process and present data.

VERO Software

Vero develops and distributes CAD/CAM software for aiding the design and manufacturing processes, providing solutions for the tooling, production engineering, sheet metal,...

Premier is proud to a agent for all Hexagon products in the state of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan – Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Premier is so excited to help Arrowhead High School’s Manufacturing program

Premier, Hwacheon and Arrowhead are excited to announce a new partnership to enhance their Design Engineering Manufacturing Facility.

Look for more information about this exciting news that is going to enhance Arrowhead’s manufacturing program to help prepare our youth for their future in the manufacturing industry.

Premier is proud to be your exclusive distributor of all Hwacheon products for the state of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan and friend of Wisconsin High School’s looking to help our youth prosper in the manufacturing industry like Arrowhead.

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“Year in Review” - Breaking NEWS: GROB Systems announces a new partnership with Premier Machine Tool Midwest

Bluffton, Ohio -- GROB Systems announces a new partnership with Premier Machine Tool Midwest of Hartland, WI. The company will assume sales and service for the GROB line of 5-axis universal machining centers and automation systems in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“We choose GROB’s horizontal solution for 5-axis applications because it is truly a unique design,” said A.J. Schweda, Owner/ Solution Provider for Premier Machine Tool Midwest. “We believe that with the technology and reputation of GROB Systems, our customers will be able to separate themselves in a competitive global market,” he said.

Mark Schem, Regional Sales Manager at GROB Systems, says he was impressed by Premier’s experience as a machine tool service provider to many of the top manufacturer’s in Wisconsin. “Premier is focused on the customer’s success before and after the machine is installed. Support and implementation of new technology are equally important to guaranteeing our customers’ success.”

As an added level of service, new machine installations, technical support and replacement parts are directly supported by the GROB Systems factory in western Ohio.

Premier Machine Tool Midwest offers a diverse assortment of machine tools and accessories. It is a service-oriented company focused on delivering the highest quality equipment, service, and manufacturing solutions. See the full line at www.pmtmidwest.com.

A family-owned company, GROB Systems is among the world’s largest machine tool builders with a full range of production and universal machining centers manufactured in Bluffton, Ohio as well as Germany, Brazil and China.

Learn more about all the great products that GROB offers (Click here)

Premier is very proud of our NEWEST partnership that we can offer exclusively to our Wisconsin and UP of Michigan customers - Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Another Successful Automation Project with our customer - Innovation Mold & Design

Your Solutions Start with us!

We are so excited to announce another automation project with our friends at Innovation Mold & Design in Germantown, WI. (Click here for their website) This is the third automation projects that Innovation has collaborated with Premier and System 3R.

Customer-specific Solutions - Modularly adapted to your needs

WorkPartner 1+ offers maximum magazine capacity in minimum floor space. Unlike many other solutions on the market, there is no risk of “painting yourself into a corner”. Our modular magazines give an unprecedented flexibility that can be adapted to each user’s needs. If you start with a single magazine, one or two more can be added whenever required. WorkPartner 1+ is equally ideal for milling machines, die-sinking, wire EDM machines, laser machines and grinding machines. Similarly, it is equally efficient whether used in one-off or series production. With generous magazine doors that facilitate loading/unloading, WorkPartner 1+ is extremely user friendly. Other advantages include rapid change cycles, integrated pneumatic control of gripping devices and table chucks and minimal floor space requirements. Achieve greater return on your investment!

Premier is proud to have Innovation Mold trust us with their Automation needs and we look forward to the growth of their company. Congrats to all at Innovation!

For your automation needs please contact Premier - Your Solution Providers. Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Hwacheon VESTA-1300B, 8,000RPM, CAT50 30 Tools VERTICAL MACHINING CENTER

Everything about VESTA-1300B is detail. This machining center doesn't miss even the smallest detail to ensure top performance.

The spindle is the heart of a machining center, and Hwacheon's technical know-how for the spindle is unrivaled. Hwacheon's high-performance spindle is designed using 3D simulations and FEM analysis. The motor is directly integrated into the spindle for stable and high speed cutting. To minimize thermal displacement and to increase the life of the spindle assembly, the unit is grease-lubricated and jacket cooled. The advanced feed drive complements the spindle for highly precise machining results every time.

MACHINE Standard Features

Air Blower

Coolant System

Base Around Splash Guard

Door Interlock

Lubrication System

MPG Handle (1ea)

Operator Manual & Parts List

Pneumatics System

Rigid Tapping

Coil Conveyor

Signal Lamp (R/G, 2 colors)

Ethernet Interface

Spindle Cooler (Jacket Cooling) Fan Coolar Type

Tool Kit & Box

Work Light

Lubrication Oil Separation Tank

Part Program Storage Length (512K)

10.4" LCD Color Screen

Manual Guide - i

Hwacheon Chip Conveyor (hinge type)

Cutting Feed Optimization System (OPTIMA)

Hwacheon Ai Nano Contour Control System (HAI) 40 Blocks

Hwacheon Efficient Contour Control System (HECC)

Hwacheon Tool Load Detection (HTLD)

Hwacheon Thermal Displacement Control System (HTDC)

Hwacheon Spindle Displacement Control System (HSDC)

Hwacheon Frame Displacement Control System (HFDC)

30 Tool Magazine

CAT 50

Profluid Coolant Through Spindle 30bar (435PSI)

Renishaw Work & Tool Probe IR Interface with GUI Software

High-Speed Precision - Heavy Duty Machining

STABILITY

In heavy duty cutting, stability is the key

- Main Features

1. High-Performance

- High-rigid Box way design for whole axes

- Hwacheon’s Handmade Spindle - Built-Out: Std.

- Max. Spindle Speed: 10,000rpm(Std.), 12,000/8,000/6,000rpm(Opt.)

2. High-Speed

- Max. Spindle Speed: 10,000rpm(Std.), 12,000/8,000/6,000rpm(Opt.)

3. High-Dignity

- Compact machine design

- Full Splash Guard (Perfect protection of leaking)

- Easy access & Maintenance design

- Environment friendly oil separation system

4. High-Productivity

- Hwacheon’s Original Technology

Premier is proud to be the exclusive dealer for Wisconsin and UP of Michigan for all Hwacheon products - Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Another HAPPY Hwacheon customer in Wisconsin

We visited Another Happy New Hwacheon turning center customer in Wisconsin this week.

Hwacheon offers turning centers in the range of 6" chucks to over 35" chucks with many different bed lengths. (Y axis and Milling are also available on most models)

Learn more about why Hwacheon is one of the best turning partners in the industry.

Premier is proud to be the exclusive representative for all Hwacheon products in the state of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan.

Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Another NEW Kira being installed into full production for one of our Premier Customers

Another new Kira machine going into FULL production for one of our Wisconsin customers.

Learn more about why Kira production centers are the machine of choice for serious production shops.

Click here to see a simple vide on the Kira Drill Tap Machines

Contact Premier Machine Tool Midwest your exclusive Wisconsin and UP of Michigan dealer for all Kira products.

Learn more: Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Mold Manufacturing Automation Leaves No Part Behind - Grob & System 3R

Mold Manufacturing Automation Leaves No Part Behind

As seen in Modern Machine Shop (CLICK HERE)

The worktable on Omega Plastics’ newest, most sophisticated machining center doesn’t have T slots. It doesn’t need them.

From EDM electrodes to mold cavities to the simplest assembly items, virtually every part machined for the company’s plastic injection molds travels from workstation to workstation on a pallet with pre-established work coordinates that eliminate the need to re-indicate. At first, such a system might not seem all that unusual—at least not until one of the shop’s larger, 200-odd-pound mold base blocks is brought into the workzone on one of the same kinds of pallets for complete, single-setup machining. At this point, Omega’s thinking becomes clear: The automated production process in place at this 70,000-square-foot, 75-employee facility is not only reliable enough, but also comprehensive enough that the pallet receiver is the only interface the new machine’s worktable will ever require.

Putting together the three-machine robotic cell at the center of this Clinton Township, Michigan, shop’s production strategy required pushing technology beyond off-the-shelf capability, says Ken Arbic, mold engineering manager. Accommodating heavier steel required modifications to both machine and tooling, with the latter resulting in fixturing so precisely repeatable that some parts can even be removed from and returned to their pallets (or another of the same style) without losing references.

As was the case with implementing automated control in the first place, expanding it to cover the majority of a highly varied, low-volume part mix also required a strong foundation in what many modern mold manufacturers consider a key guiding philosophy. “Everything we do is about achieving a predictable result,” explains Jerry Heckendorn, business development manager. “Whatever the result, we can work with it as long as it’s repeatable.”

Process Takes Precedence

The basic idea is to eliminate the variability associated with the artisanship that defined traditional moldmaking. That means process must take precedence on every job. Specifically, a standardized, cut-to-the-CAD-model process, one that’s developed in advance and that leverages evidence-based practices, parameters and strategies to ensure consistent quality from tool to tool.

Of course, buying into a philosophy is one thing; living it is another. Among the best ways to make a process predictable—to reduce the impact of natural, human-induced variation—is to implement robotics. However, automation can be difficult in an environment like a mold shop where every part is different.

For Omega, that’s arguably even more so. The company was founded in 1984 by Tom Kaczperski, who saw an opportunity to provide quick-turnaround, prototype bridge tooling for customers ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 medical firms. The company has since expanded its stable of “a la carte” services to include low- to mid-volume production tools, components, molding and assemblies, but high-end prototyping/development and bridge tools still constitute the bulk of the approximately 450 molds produced annually at Omega, Mr. Heckendorn says. Complex by prototyping standards, this tooling produces plastic parts to final specifications, but only a few at a time at most, whereas the more feature-rich production mold might churn out 30, 60 or even upwards of 100 parts per cycle. Such low-cavity work provides little opportunity to machine parts in any significant volume.

One exception to that rule is perhaps the most obvious target for automation at any mold shop: graphite EDM electrodes (Omega produces about 40 per day). Given the labor involved with swapping these components in and out of the toolchanger, the shop’s ram EDM was the first to be integrated with a Workmaster carousel robot purchased from System 3R (a division of GF Machining Solutions) in 2003. Next came a three-axis graphite-machining mill that, once integrated with the robot, could keep the EDM fed with enough electrodes for an entire weekend of completely unattended production. Before long, Omega was taking on additional electrode work from other shops rather than outsourcing its own.

However, the team still wasn’t satisfied. As far as Mr. Arbic and Mr. Heckendorn are concerned, efforts to integrate another machining center for metalcutting set the shop apart from many others with a similar manufacturing philosophy.

Everything on a Pallet

Today, the robotic cell contains a Mitsubishi EA-12V ram EDM from MC Machinery Systems, a Makino V56 three-axis machining center outfitted for cutting graphite, and a five-axis G350 universal machining center from Grob Systems that cuts tool steel and aluminum. The common interface linking these three machines is modular tooling from System 3R, which consists of drawbar-linked chucks and pallets that provide repeatable, three-point referencing to within ±0.002 mm. That’s more than sufficient to shuttle pallets from machine to machine without re-indicating the work at each station, Mr. Arbic says.

However, this strategy proved easier to implement for the EDM and graphite-cutting machines than for the metalcutting mill. For one, the interface between workpiece and pallet wasn’t as rigid as the vises and magnets the shop used previously for milling operations. In addition, EDM operations tend to occur at the end of the process, he explains. That is, parts emerge from the machine complete, and electrodes stay on their pallets throughout their entire lifetimes. In contrast, work slated for the metal mill often has to be sent outside the shop for heat treatment first, and it is more likely to experience mid-stream engineering changes.

Even with sufficient rigidity, that meant taking parts off their pallets and losing all offsets in the process, but no longer. Now, the reference system for any CAM program is intact as soon as the part is mounted on a pallet. In addition to heat-treat and engineering-change situations, this capability is particularly useful for emergency repair or replacement work. “We can put damaged parts back on pallets with intact references, and we can also make new inserts from original CAD files with very high confidence that they’ll fit,” Mr. Heckendorn says. How is this possible? The shop has developed its own, proprietary referencing scheme and taken efforts to eliminate variation within the fixturing system.

Mr. Arbic emphasizes that there’s nothing lacking about off-the-shelf tooling from System 3R. Rather, the chief concern was the interface between the supplier’s precision-engineered components and the workpiece itself, which varies by user and can’t always be guaranteed by the supplier. At Omega, this interface takes the form of custom, high-precision subpallets in various sizes and configurations, all designed and machined in-house to ensure the fit with the work is just as exacting as the fit with the chuck on the machine table. The shop has also taken steps to keep parts secure when exposed to milling forces that typically exceed anything they would experience during sinker EDM burning. “Making our own subpallets allows us to take advantage of System 3R’s accuracy, but double and triple the size of the component we can mount,” he explains.

All pallets are surface-ground to ensure size varies by no more than 0.0001 inch. Attention was also given to the shape and the pattern of the set of holes linking subpallet to work as well as those linking custom subpallet to System 3R pallet. Experimenting with these and other features has enabled the shop to develop a system that ensures exacting precision and rigidity all the way from chuck to workpiece, Mr. Arbic says. Raw stock is cut from square barstock into blocks measuring 2.5 by 2.5 by 3.5 inches (large enough to cover most work), and pre-machined, pallet-connecting hole patterns provide a mix of horizontal and vertical mounting configurations. Setup personnel simply select the proper block, mount it to a pallet, insert the pallet into the robot carousel, and let the part program do the rest.

The shop’s common master reference, a custom-designed tooling ball, is just as important as precise fixturing for ensuring parts can removed and placed back into the system without re-alignment, Mr. Arbic says. For every job, this tooling ball is referenced in the CAD file along with a model of the pallet. By locating every feature of every part in relation to the ball geometry, programmers ensure consistent quality across all work. When a pallet moves to a new machine, the only extra step is a brief spindle probe touch-off to confirm not part zero, but the machine’s own zero position. “What (Mr. Arbic and the rest of the team) have done is packaged a method of referencing all workpieces through the entire process, and that scheme is a standard for Omega,” Mr. Heckendorn says.

Getting here wasn’t “rocket science,” Mr. Arbic says about the shop’s work with its pallets and referencing scheme. In fact, he claims any shop with sufficient expertise could likely do the same thing with a system as exacting as System 3R’s. That’s not to suggest such expertise is easy to find, or that applying even basic physics and engineering principles is easy. “It took a lot of trial and error, and having a collaborative internal team of lead moldmakers, tooling engineers, experienced CNC programmers, operators and designers made all the difference,” he says.

The System 3R-based tooling extends standardization and control beyond machines directly tended by the robot. For example, manually loading the shop-floor CMM (coordinate measuring machine) is fast and easy enough that every part, including all electrodes, can be inspected without affecting the shop’s average three- to four-week lead times. Fast, repeatable setups also make it viable to remove parts from the pallets on manually loaded wire EDM machines rather than the cruder sawing process. In addition to being more precise, the EDM can eliminate an extra setup when geometry must be wire-cut into the mounting face of a part anyway. Even the Grob must be loaded manually with the largest mold bases and base plates because the robot’s weight limit is 110 pounds. Nonetheless, a common workholding interface keeps it integrated with the shop’s manufacturing system.

At first, leadership had to enforce adherence to the palletization system, he adds. However, it didn’t take long for crewmembers to begin requesting pallets on their own for virtually everything, including very basic components like custom fixtures, gibs, stripper plates and other minor assembly items. The system’s stability and precision also facilitates mounting long or odd-shaped components that wouldn’t have previously seemed suitable for pallets, such as custom ejector pins. “Pretty much everything here goes on a pallet,” he says.

Scaling Up

The first custom subpallets were developed for the smallest work: 5-by-8-inch core and cavity inserts for the quick-change mold frames favored by company’s bridge tooling customers. Once finalized, the subpallet design was simply scaled up to also cover 7-by-11-, 10-by-15-, and, finally, 18-by-18-inch plates. Today, Omega employs a combination of small, medium and large custom subpallets of various styles as well as multiple variations of System 3R pallets in 54-mm, 70-mm, and 156-mm sizes.

Machining scaled up along with workholding, both in terms of size and sophistication, Mr. Arbic says. The first major change was from a three-axis VMC to one with a two-axis rotary table that enabled 3+2 machining. This eliminated the need for manual setup adjustments to provide spindle access to multiple part faces. However, he says that machine’s rotary table, spindle housing and other components left no room for larger parts like mold bases and base plates, particularly when mounted on pallet stacks. The model in place now, Grob’s G350, suffers no such restrictions, offering the ability to accommodate blocks even larger than the 18-by-18-by-3-inch plates for the largest, standard quick-change frames. With an auto-opening door, a feature requested by Omega and incorporated by Grob, the machine can also be integrated with the robot. That’s a contrast with previous models that required human operators to swap pallets in and out of the table chuck.

The machine’s spacious workzone is thanks largely to its horizontal spindle, which retracts back into the enclosure (including for toolchanges), as well as its one-sided trunnion table, which can flip a full 180 degrees. These two features allow the shop to machine mold base waterlines as deep as 22 inches by drilling to half depth, then flipping the part to bore the rest of the hole from the other side, Mr. Arbic says. Along with carefully programmed 3+2 machining routines, this configuration also makes complex features more accessible than ever before, he adds. That facilitates the use of shorter, more rigid tool assemblies to achieve tighter tolerances and smoother finishes. The machines’ 202-tool-capacity automatic toolchanger (ATC) also prevents tool availability or breakage from limiting lights-out capacity. He adds that the combination of a 26,000-rpm, HSK63A spindle and 63 Nm of torque provide versatility for both heavy material removal and fine finishing operations.

Grob and Grob dealer Merrifield Machinery Solutions (Pontiac, Michigan) deserve much of the credit for getting the machine up and running in the way the shop prefers, Mr. Arbic says. For instance, few users request smooth worktables with nothing but a specific chuck style (a choice that provides a mild chip evacuation advantage while also evidencing the shop’s confidence in its manufacturing strategy). Another example was the addition of a pneumatic amplification system at the back of the machine, a project that also involved consultations with System 3R representatives. Pictured in the slideshow at the top of the article, this system boosts the locking force of the System 3R MacroMagnum automatic table chuck to its maximum. That wouldn’t have been possible with standard shop air.

Altogether, the new machine and modified fixturing have advanced the cell to the point where it can accommodate about 80 percent of all Omega’s work. Based on this shop’s experience, near-comprehensive automation in a high-mix, low-volume environment like a mold shop is anything but out of reach for anyone with not only the expertise, but the will to make it happen.

What a great Automation Cell- Premier is your Grob and System 3R representative for the State of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan- Learn more from your account manager - Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” - Hexagon GLOBAL Classic - Quality at an affordable price

The GLOBAL Classic is an affordable all-purpose CMM for the dimensional inspection of a variety of components. It can be equipped with touch-trigger probes or optional scanning probes. GLOBAL Classic CMMs are used in a number of industries for first and final part inspection, fixture qualification and more.

GLOBAL Classic is a cost-effective solution for dimensional quality control. This CMM is equipped in its standard configuration with touch-trigger probes. Scanning probes are also available as an option. GLOBAL Classic offers the best price/performance ratio throughout the entire GLOBAL family.

The scanning version also benefits from the throughput improvements that characterize the GLOBAL line. The optional CLIMA structural temperature compensation ensures good accuracy in a wide temperature range.

Learn more from Premier Machine Tool Midwest an agent for all Hexagon Products- Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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“Year in Review” Earlier this year Premier met with the management of the Hwacheon team

Premier recently met with Hyoung-DO Kwon (International Director) and Robert Nedler (US Managing Director) to further cement our relationship with Hwacheon and discuss some exciting new information that we will be reveling shortly.

As Hwacheon’s #1 sales distributor of 2016, we both look forward to expand our relationship as we continue to grow together in 2017 and beyond.

Premier is proud to be the exclusive Hwacheon dealer for the state of Wisconsin and UP of Michigan for all their products.

Learn more about the best kept secret in the machine tool industry and all the unbelievable solutions they offer. If you have turning or milling needs, you should look at Hwacheon & Premier.

Sales 414-254-5150 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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