Masa Tool Introduces NEW smaller size Microconic F15 & F16 Cartridges and UM5 Collet Series for Swiss Workholding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Masa Tool's NEW products being introduced at IMTS 2022: The F15M5 & F16M5 cartridges and accompanying NEW UM5 collet series which includes over-grip collets and Micrograd Dial Wrench to achieve superior stability with precise, calibrated, repeatable setting of collet closure. CLICK THIS IMAGE TO ADD MASA TOOL'S IMTS BOOTH TO YOUR SHOW PLANNER
OCEANSIDE, CA - Masa Tool has expanded their Microconic line of swiss machine workholding. The new push type F15M5 and F16M5 cartridges replace the standard TF15 and TF16 collets in your CNC spindle. This enables you to use the newly introduced Microconic UM5 collet series with the Micrograd Dial Wrench to achieve superior stability with precise, calibrated, repeatable setting of collet closure. The off-the-shelf Microconic system concentricity of the cartridge and collet system combination is guaranteed to be within 5µm (0.0002") in production use.
F15M5 and F16M5 Cartridges
Both the F15M5 and F16M5 cartridges are a micro-workholding system for use in high precision, small diameter CNC turning applications which enables you to move more work to the sub spindle operations and reduce cycle time.
The F15M5 cartridge is compatible with spindles that accept Schaublin F15 76-580, E120, Southwick & Meister TF15 and Hardinge TF15 / 4607 collets, while the F16M5 cartridge is compatible with spindles that accept Schaublin F16 76-1076, E1212, Southwick & Meister TF16 and Hardinge TF16 / 4609 collets.
UM5 Microconic Collets
Along with the new smaller cartridges comes a comprehensive series of UM5 collets that are ideally suited for small diameter part sizes ranging from 0.2mm/.008" to 5.5mm/.217" in diameter. These are available in regular type UM5 collets as well as all three types of Microconic's T, V and W type Over-Grip collets. Masa Tool offers the most unique variety of over-grip collets in the industry.
Micrograd UM5 Dial Wrench
A full set of UM5 accessory products has also been introduced including a a UM5 series of Microguide EGS™ ejection guide sleeves and a new UM5 Micrograd™ Dial Wrench which is included with the purchase of any of the Microconic Cartridges. Mircrograd Dial Wrenches for the UM5 collets are now available in both metric, CW5-M, and imperial increments CW5-E.
The Micrograd™ Dial Wrenches provides a method of precisely setting clamping pressure on both the regular Microconic collets and on all series of Microconic over-grip collets. It can be adjusted in an infinite number of increments between the metric graduations of 0,02mm and inch/imperial graduations of .001" With the Micrograd Dial you can document the micrometer-adjust collet closure in your set up plan so it's done the same every time, regardless of operator skill and without relying on "feel".
Microconic: Game Changing Technology for Small Parts
Masa’s Cartridge and Collet assembly is designed to vector the chucking force directly over the holding surface. This means that the chucking force can be reduced while at the same time the holding power is increased. This opens up the possibility of shifting part operations from the main to the sub-spindle and dramatically reducing cycle time. 20% ~ 40% cycle time reduction is commonly achieved.
These new cartridges, collets and accessories will be demonstrated for the first time at IMTS 2022 in the West Building, Level 3 — 432163 — Tooling & Workholding Systems
IMTS Press Briefing
Join Masa Tool at
West Building, Level 3
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13 AT 3:30PM central time
We will introduce our NEW Microconic products for Swiss-type CNC Workholding!
Featuring Masa Tool's expands its Microconic system at IMTS 2022: The F15M5 & F16M5 cartridges and accompanying NEW UM5 collet series which includes over-grip collets and Micrograd Dial Wrench to achieve superior stability with precise, calibrated, repeatable setting of collet closure
Be sure to join Matt Saccomanno, President of Masa Tool, presentation on boosting profitability by taking advantage of improvements in sub spindle workholding on Swiss-style CNC Machines.
IMTS Conference: Boosting Profits from Swiss-type Machines by Better Use of the Sub-Spindle
Wednesday, September 14 • 10:00 AM - 10:55 AM Central
This is a presentation of new and advanced techniques for gaining productivity from Swiss-type CNC machines, with emphasis on maximizing utilization of the machine’s counter-spindle (“sub-spindle”). Essentially a fully capable machine within a machine, the sub-spindle is rarely used at more than 20% efficiency, which is a huge waste of productive capacity.
Most of the roadblocks to increased usage stem from the limitations of traditional workholding. The presentation is loaded with real-life examples and practical do-right-now techniques.
Swiss-type CNC turning centers are gaining in popularity as the parts they produce trend toward higher precision and micro-sized features. To be competitive, smart use of the machine’s full capabilities is a big advantage. Achieving “lights out” production and minimizing machine cycle times are key tactical objectives.
Join Matt Saccomanno, co-founder and CEO of Masa Tool, as he explains advanced work holding techniques that fundamentally change the scope of what is possible on a Swiss-type machine (also known as “sliding head” or guide bushing machine). Balancing the main and sub-spindle cycle times, achieving reliable untended , lights out production, and reducing scrap and down time will be the focus of this informative and interactive presentation.
Much of this material is also applicable to other types of machining centers, especially when making small parts. Bring your real-world “problem parts” to the session for a strategy discussion with Mr. Saccomanno. This session is beneficial for machinists, CNC programmers, manufacturing engineers, tool crib personnel, and hands-on managers.
About the Speaker
About Masa Tool Inc.
With deep roots in the Swiss-type screw machine industry, Masa Tool Inc. was founded in Oceanside California with the mission of bringing the Microconic System to the world. This revolutionary workholding system consists of the Microconic “cartridge” and “collet”. It was invented to solve the problems created by traditional long nose collets commonly used in the sub-spindle of screw machines for over 100 years.
As screw machines evolved from mechanical cams in the late 1900’s to today’s CNC controls, the complexity of parts being made increased dramatically. Making these modern micro precision parts complete on the machine without additional secondary operations became critical to remain competitive. Using the machine’s sub-spindle to complete the part is a must.
As the demands for precision and complexity increase, the traditional long-nose collet has many limitations that can frustrate the machinist trying to get the most out of the machine.
We created the Microconic system to overcome these limitations of conventional collets. The result is superior rigidity, accuracy, over-grip capability, clamping force control, and long-run stability.
We at Masa built our company from the ground up to ensure that everything in our catalog is available to ship within 2 days. Every size, every type. We currently offer any size from 0.2mm – 10mm diameter (.008” - .394”).
This Swiss shop discovered workholding collets that satisfy the needs of its very small, delicate and complex medical parts production on the subspindle, making once impossible processes not only doable but more efficient and esthetically pleasing.
Workholding, particularly for backworking operations, can be tricky when machining very small parts in a CNC Swiss-type lathe. Depending on their design, pickoff collets can produce a variety of problems, including poor concentricity and runout as well as poor control of clamping force, causing part damage. That is why when Dan Fifer, owner of Lane4 Precision (Santa Rosa, California) discovered collets that worked well for his applications, he became a dedicated customer of the manufacturer and trusted the company’s workholding system with his most delicate and complex parts.
In addition, Fifer says the Microconic collets enable fine adjustment of the collet tension on complex parts. These collets enabled the shop to machine parts it was formerly unable to create with other collets, as well as frequently and effectively perform backworking operations.
From Designer to Job Shop in 1 Month
Although he quickly learned about the workholding necessary to machine his customers’ parts most efficiently, Fifer did not initially have experience with CNC Swiss-type machining. In fact, when he opened Lane4 Precision in 2017, he had never stood in front of a CNC machine control panel before, let alone a CNC Swiss-type lathe. His background was rooted in design/product development for the medical device industry. After working for several startups for over 20 years, he says he was anxious to be the one to create the parts instead of designing them.
So, he took his passion for innovation and rented a warehouse space where he decided to do all the machining processes in-house. He says someone told him he needed a screw machine to do the work he wanted to accomplish. The timing was good for him to attend IMTS 2016 to shop for a machine tool, and that’s where he met Spinetti Machinery, a distributor that sells Marubeni Citizen-Cincom Swiss-types. He was impressed with the machines’ predictability, and he was confident that the Spinetti team would support him and help him learn how to operate his first Swiss-type, a Citizen L20.
Once this sophisticated machine was set up, an industry colleague asked Fifer if he thought he could make a part that had already been designed. His colleague said no one could build it for him, not because it was not able to be done, but because the colleague did not want to wait 12 weeks to have the order complete.
“I said, well, I have nothing else to do, so I will figure it out,” Fifer says. “So, basically, within a month I was absolutely swamped from a team of about six engineers feeding me more parts that I was able to do.”
With Spinetti’s assistance, he has since selected four more of the Citizen Swiss lathes with different work envelopes and capabilities such as a live B-axis, automatic toolchanger and the machine tool builder’s low frequency vibration technology that helps create small, easily evacuated chips. The distributor was also responsible for introducing Fifer to the Microconic workholding system. A very small part on an L12 was the first job he ran with the workholding system.
Extended Nose Without Extension
Three-quarters of the machining done at Lane4 Precision, which is mostly a prototype shop, is for the medical industry, and the rest are premium parts for the semiconductor, defense, aerospace and consumer products industries, according to Fifer. Parts range in size from fitting within a work envelope of a grain of rice (length or diameter of a half a millimeter or so) to long slender parts over two feet long.
Quickly moving from a designer to a job shop, Fifer never has put his eye for design on the back burner. He considers his niche to be that of helping his customers with design when appropriate. For instance, if he understands a more efficient way to machine something, he volunteers his expertise. “If I can see their design intent, I might say, ‘By the way, you can chamfer this edge, and it won’t cost you anything because I already have the tool’,” he explains. “They might have had two parts I was making that they were welding together.”
Because some parts produced by the shop contain thin walls and have short pickoff lands, it was critical that the workholding system installed offer acceptable tool clearances and fine adjustability for subspindle backworking. The shop also needed compact and reliable over-grip collets for the most complex applications (more about that later). Fifer found his expectations met and then some after installing the Microconic workholding system. In fact, he was so pleased that he eventually added it to all five of his Swiss-types.
Masa Tool, which only specializes in subspindle collet workholding, has designed the Microconic workholding system which consists of cartridges that are installed in a machine like a standard collet. The cartridge, which offers 0.0002-inch TIR, can be used as a gage to verify machine spindle accuracy. Also, the adjustment dial wrench offers precise and repeatable control of the clamping force, according to the company. Because the cartridge is built with an extended nose, extended nose collets are not necessary, making this system well-suited for Lane4 Precision considering most of its applications require an extended nose pickoff collet. Fifer explains that the Masa collet closure mechanism has been moved right up to the collet nose, improving rigidity relative to standard extended nose collets.
All Masa collets fit into the machine’s cartridge or an adaptor sleeve from the company, making it easy for Fifer to change back and forth between collet styles on all his lathes.
He also points out that it usually takes only 5 minutes when changing over his lathes from machining “large” parts (which for Lane4 are those that are a half-inch diameter and larger) to machining smaller parts when using the Microconic collets. According to Masa, the changeover from a 16C to a 5C collet usually results in a tolerance accumulation and can sometimes take more than 15 minutes to change the collets. But, with the Masa system, once the cartridge is in place, collets can be quickly installed and clamping pressure set right at the spindle nose without tolerance stackup in less than a minute.
Fifer also appreciates Masa’s over-grip collets for parts that require those. He explains that, although these collets are compact, they offer a large opening and rigid holding. He says they outperform any alternatives he has tried in the past. “My cycle times, rigidity, tooling, everything is better,” he says. “They took away the fear of doing over-grip parts.”
However, the over-grip collets open up to 0.156-inch diameter larger than the holding diameter. According to Masa, these collets are still capable of 0.0002 inch of TIR. With such reliable gripping, Lane4 Precision has been able to expand its capabilities, even machining some intricate parts “backward,” providing higher quality parts, with fewer defects and a lower scrap rate, enabling operation without interruption.
While learning the ins and outs of the Microconic system, Fifer says he realized how much confidence the workholding system’s design has given him to complete high-quality and miniature parts for his customers.For example, he appreciates that the collet nose is not chamfered. This design leaves more room for pickoff, he explains. “I used to have to face the collet before I could use it, so I could know what I was dealing with. But then it would alter the length of the collet.”
The advantages of excellent runout on the workholding system is another realization Fifer came to after he started putting it to use. It is possible to put very fine features on the backside of a part and maintain concentricity while also producing a “pretty” part. “If you have a 0.005-inch wall and you are trying to put 0.001-inch edge break on it, and you’ve got 0.001 inch of runout, the result is a really ugly part,” Fifer explains. “Using a Masa Microconic collet is like firm footing from the subspindle. At least you know you are starting in a good place for the most critical applications.”
To avoid crushing and ruining parts, Swiss precision manufacturer Micro-Matics turned to Masa Tool’s Microconic collet and cartridge system.
Since 1973, Micro-Matics of Fridley, MN, has been manufacturing CNC Swiss precision screw machine products including many kinds of contacts & pins, ground shafts, hardened bushings, rivets, screws, spacers and other custom parts for the medical, dental, aerospace, commercial, defense, computer, telecommunications and automotive industries.
According to Jason Wobig, Operations Manager, "Micro-Matics is primarily an aerospace and medical components, Swiss machining job shop. We make components that are thousandths of an inch up to an 1-1/4" in diameter. We started out with the old manual style, Cam driven Swiss machines and we're one of the largest Escomatic shops in the Midwest. And as the company's grown and evolved, we've turned into Swiss job shop, mostly Citizen machines like the M16, a L12, and a M32, as well as a few Star and Tsugami machines that give us a wide variety of capabilities."
A while back Micro-Matics was running a small medical part, a catheter part, that they were struggling with.
They had some custom collets made for pickoff and, according to Dave Thayer, Department Manager,
"It was a constant struggle. This particular catheter part has very thin walls, it got crushed with a standard M16 collet system because you have very little accuracy in how much tension you're putting on your collet. If you put too much force on it, my parts started turning to collapse into triangles. If you don't have enough tension on it, the part pushes back into the pickoff and you get varying part lengths and varying chamfer diameters. The parts would be out round and they wouldn't be on-center."
Wobig had heard about Masa Tool's Microconic™ sytems through Todd Pakiz, President of High Tech Representation Inc., New Prague, Minnesota. "Todd had told me about this system a couple years back. And we had been struggling with these parts. So I reached out to Todd and see if he's still selling that system."
Wobig continues, "I wanted to try this system for the catheter part which is a small thin-walled part approximately 0.040" in diameter and another 0.040" in length and with a wall thickness of 0.010". So I wanted something that wasn't crushing the part. It was really hard to adjust the machines pickoff spindle itself to any degree of accuracy without crushing a part."
What Wobig found with the Masa Microconic system was that they could set up the clamping with a gage pin and set the clamping tension with the Micrograd™ Dial Wrench which has little indicators to set an actual tension.
Cartridge and collet solution
The Microconic system consists of a cartridge and collet, with the cartridge fitting in the machine just like a standard legacy collet. The cartridge is a self-contained precision mechanism using the machine’s standard collet closing function, which means that the Microconic system can be used on any machine utilizing 5C, TF20, TF25 or TF37 collets.
According to Saccomanno "Since a collet system for any given machine must be made large enough to fit the maximum workpiece diameter capacity of the machine, the result is the standard collet mechanism is designed to handle the largest workpieces, which means it is excessively forceful and bulky when used for the smaller workpieces. Smaller parts get sacrificed, because they typically require a higher degree of accuracy and the workholding is more critical."
The Microconic system consists of the cartridge, which fits into your machine like a standard collet, and the Microconic collets which fit into Masa's unique cartridge. Every Microconic cartridge comes standard with extended nose for unsurpassed rigidity because of it's single piece construction.
"In fact, the cartridge is so accurate that it can be used as a gauge to verify machine spindle accuracy," said Pakiz.
Thayer explained how the Microconic system has worked for Micro-Matics "With the Masa system we're able to dial in a nice specific tension to hold that catheter part without crushing it or deforming it at all and having it on center. In a nutshell, we get better quality parts consistently with tighter tolerances. It's lead to a really significant improvement, it's increased throughput, so we have more parts at the end of the day."
"As a result of the implementation, the scrap rate on this part dropped dramatically once we added the new Masa system by at least 30%." added Wobig.
According to Masa Tool, the Microconic cartridge concentricity is guaranteed to be within 5µm (.0002") runnout and the collets are hardened and precision ground to the highest quality standards. The regular, UM10, 10mm collets, that Micro-Matics is using in their F20M10 Cartidge are available from Ø0.2mm (.008") to 10mm (.394"). In additon to the TF 20 spindles, the same collets can be used in TF25, TF37 and 5C sub spindles.
Applying technology to other applications
Micro-Matics has been running one of the collets for a couple of months straight now on a distal coupler.
Thayer explains, "The distal coupler part has a unique shape. It's not perfectly round. It has some small flats milled on either side of the part. It's like a cylindrical pill, like a capsule except with two sides of the long length milled in so there's flats on it. The part is 0.080" in length 0.040" in a cylindrical diameter. We then mill the cylindrical diameter 180 degrees from each other to a thickness of 0.030", so you're taking 0.10" off then drilling and centering two holes on each end of that through the flats."
"Our customer is extremely concerned about any collet indication marks or chip marks on the outside of that cylindrical diameter. The previous collets we were using were custom made collets that actually had the profile of the part basically machined into it" says Wobig.
Thayer picks it up, "It was a straight cylinder round collet it but it was split in half so it was like two halves of a collet so we were trying to keep the flats in the spaces and then the round cylinder on the collet part that's round. The holding portion it would move and we didn't have them pinned at all. And then we had the same issue as on the catheter part: If you squeeze it too tight you're starting to push the diameter into the flat so it would deform the OD into the flat and make deformed flats. If you squeezed it too hard, it would make the flat bump up. If it didn't sit perfectly right in the custom collet you'd have the split marks of the collet that start interfering with the transition between the flat to the diameter and it would make lines on the diameter."
Remedying the issues
Thayer continued "The extended nose pieces on the Microconic cartridge helps on the catheter tips because you can get closer up to where I actually have a supporting back end. Because if I'm too far away from that supporting back and you have more of a tendency to crush the front of that part. The Microconic gives me a better tension on the part. On the distal coupler, we have to use a boring bar, or a facing tool to create the back face, which is round. We'd have a lot of trouble trying to hold without nibs or anything on there. And this holds it so that the part stays a little more square, and we're able to turn it better."
When dealing with very small parts and setting with small gage pins, accidents do sometimes happen. "The only problem I've had with it was when somebody was trying to set the collet tension with a pin. They put the pin into the slot and not the hole and wrecked the collet. Because the pin was able to fit inside the slot so when they started tightening it up, and the pins started deforming the collet was wrecked because it wasn't in the hole in the center." said Thayer.
Masa has indicated that they will release a new TF 15 and TF16 Cartridge with an entire series of smaller 5mm capacity collets at IMTS 2022.
Microconic over-grip collets have unmatched rigidity and concentricity compared to other manufacturers. The same collets can be used in TF20, TF25, and 5C sub spindles. Microconic collets permit interchangeability between machines, and the collets fit in any Microconic cartridge, no matter which collet system is in the machine.
It’s been a fantastic trip and an amazing closing day to the SIAMS 2022 exhibition! A hectic schedule and more talking and trying to decipher French than I’m built for, but super worthwhile.
SIAMS is in the village of Moutier, in the heart of the “Jura” region, which spans a distinct area in the lower mountains overlapping the border of Switzerland and France. It is the historic center of the Swiss watch industry, but also is a dense cluster of high precision manufacturing like probably no other in the world.
For our customer base of “Swiss-type” machining (“décolletage” in French), you literally can find the best of everything, including the awesome products of a particular company in Oceanside California.
We are represented here by Dunner SA, based about a half mile from the exhibition hall in Moutier.
The Swiss approach to selling is amazingly low key. They didn’t even have any actual product displayed at the Dunner booth!
When I asked Daniel Dünner about this, he said “If we show the product, everyone will immediately recognize it as a collet (“pince” in French, pronounced pin-seh), and then they will assume they already know what it is and keep walking.
Instead, we show only the video and brochure, so they must stop and ask about it.” I was skeptical at first, but his method works!
We are still the new kids on the block, but known and perhaps even admired.
Dunner SA, founded in Moutier for 4 generations, is very respected. Daniel and his son Sébastien Dünner, now transitioning into being the managing director of the company, basically know everybody who’s anybody.
They received a plaque and bottle of champagne to celebrate that they are one of only 14 companies that have exhibited continuously at every SIAMS (photo attached).
Later today, I was introduced to the mayor of Moutier, who graciously tried to converse with me (he speaks French and German).
With joy and gratitude,
About SIAMS -
Even today, however, SIAMS still focuses and shall continue to focus on its core competencies: the means of production of microtechnology, establishing contacts between visitors and exhibitors, and the industrial pragmatism that characterize it since 1989.
As a trade fair for the entire production chain of microtechnology for a total of 15 events, SIAMS has always been a pioneer in the development of synergies between exhibitors.
Machinery equipment, assembly measurement, control, and quality assurance automation tools, accessories, mechanics raw materials semi-finished products metalworking – suppliers plastics processing installation service companies organizations.
Set ups are quicker and more repeatable with Microconic. With the Microgram Dial Wrench You can document the micrometer-adjust collet closure in your set up plan so it's done the same every time, regardless of operator skill and without relying on "feel".
Calibrate spindle accuracy with the Microconic cartridge as a precision cylinder gauge. When that is good, EVERY Microconic collet will run within .0002" TIR -- no fiddling and swapping collet after collet looking for a "good" one. Set ups go smoothly and predictably.
Included with each cartridge, the MicrogradTM Dial Wrench is a dual-purpose tool used to install and adjust the collet in the cartridge. With dial graduations in either .02mm or .001-inch increments, the closure of the Microconic collet can be set with calibrated precision using a common pin gage the diameter of the work piece.
These surgical components are made from 465 SS, 17-4PH, and Titanium. The shop makes them complete with cutting edges on a Swiss-type CNC turning center.
Due to the complexity of the cutting edge configurations, they are machined entirely on the main spindle, with the cutting edges out first. In all cases the cutting edges are larger in diameter than the shank.
Before Microconic: The Workholding Problems
- The cutting edges would be damaged by contact with the pick-off collet.
- All operations had to be performed in the main spindle because the part could not be held rigidly enough in the sub-spindle. This made for a very long cycle time.
- The milled flat and groove operations on the shank end had to be finished in the main spindle because of the lack of rigidity & lack of concentricity in the sub spindle
- The cut off tool took a beating due to the interrupted cut at the milled flat. The cut off tool had to be sharpened or replaced every 60 pieces.
- Due to high tool maintenance and frequent adjustments, these jobs required a skilled setup person to run this product with little time to spend elsewhere.
During the New England Tool Corp Oktoberfest Open House in September 2021, Matt Saccomanno, President of Masa Tool, presented a webinar "Solving Pick Off Collet Problems"
Matt talks about why traditional Pickoff Collets suck so bad: Micro-movement, Poor concentricity, Size is not available NOW and poor control of clamping pressure which leads to overall length variations and crushed parts.
“The cartridge can be used as a calibration gage to verify the machine spindle accuracy,” Co-owner Chip Prescott notes.
Microconic collets are finished to exacting standards with a five-step grinding process that removes the effect of heat-treat warpage. Also, the proprietary Microconic form of the closure surfaces is inherently more accurate than traditional collets, providing for a greater full-accuracy working range.
Cartridges are available to fit in push-type dead-length collet closers and also draw-type closers: F20M10 (for TF20 collet replacement), F25M10 (for TF25 collet replacement), and 5CM10 (for 5C collet replacement). All of these cartridges use the same Microconic UM10 collets, with more cartridge sizes in development to be released soon.
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