OCEANSIDE, CA. - At IMTS 2022 we where visited by the great folks at GIE Media, Inc. who publish Today's Medical Developments, Aerospace Manufacturing and Design and Today’s eMobility. They asked Matt Saccomanno, the inventor of the Microconic system to give them an on-camera overview of our products and how they work.
As you probably already know, Masa’s Microconic Cartridge and Collet assembly is designed to vector the chucking force directly over the holding surface in your Swiss type CNC screw machine. 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.
At IMTS 2022, we expanded our Microconic line of swiss type CNC 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.
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.
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.
And yes, if you listened closely to the video, you heard correctly, Matt spilled the beans on the new product that we'll be releasing next: The F13M5 Cartridge. And after that, we're going to heed that advise of "go big or go home. Yea, that was a spoiler alert.
The things that seems to excite Swiss machinists the most is our Micrograd™ wrench. 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".
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.
“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.
Swiss Machine Workholding Cartridges
For use in high precision, small diameter CNC turning applications, it enables users to move more work to the sub-spindle for reduced cycle time.
The F201M10 cartridge is compatible with spindles that accept F20-201 collets including DIN 136E, Meister Swiss 136E, Schaublin F20 (76-201), Southwick & Meister F20-201, KEB (MasWerks) MC20-201, and Hardinge F20-201/4709 collets.
- Solid extended nose, minimal overhang
- Single piece construction of cartridge’s core diameter.
- Maintains 5µm (0.0002") concentricity at extended nose tip.
- Micrometer dial control of collet clamping pressure when using Micrograd Wrench.
- Suited for part diameters sizes from 0.2mm (0.0080") to 10.0mm (0.3934").
Today's Medical Developments
July 5, 2018
for concentricity within 5 microns (0.0002") in production use
The cartridge’s solid extended nose enables access for tooling and coolant with minimal overhang. Its core diameter is a single-piece construction that is designed to maintain 5 microns (0.002") concentricity at the extended nose tip. Used with the company’s Micrograd wrench, the cartridge features micrometer dial control of collet clamping pressure regardless of the machine’s hydraulic or pneumatic collet closing force. The cartridge is suited for small-diameter parts ranging from 0.22 mm (0.008") to 10 mm (0.3934") in diameter.
"Micro-movement" of the workpiece is reduced, resulting in a longer tool life, better finishes, fewer chatter problems, and less damage to the workpiece. The cartridge eliminates secondary operations, saves time and enables operations to be done in the subspindle. Broaching, milling, saw cutting/slotting, turning, boring and drilling can be machined in the subspindle.
This article originally appeared at
Modern Machine Shop
Product Post: 7/11/2018
Edited by Hannah Mason
The 2018-2019 catalog features NEW PRODUCTS including:
The Microconic system provides:
- Solid extended nose — extremely rigid
- Micrometer-adjust control of collet closure — even the most fragile parts can be held safely and firmly.
- Extreme accuracy — concentricity within 5μm (0.0002”) runout.
- The Microconic cartridge can be used as a gauge to verify machine spindle accuracy.
- Collets available from Ø0.2mm (0.008”) to 10mm (0.394”).
- All collets hardened and precision ground to the highest quality standards.
- Over-grip collets with performance unlike anything else! Open 4mm larger than the clamping diameter. Unmatched rigidity and concentricity. If you have tried other over-grip collets then you will be shocked at the difference — our Microconic over-grip collets are amazing.
- The Microconic collets fit in any Microconic cartridge, no matter which machine.
The F201M10 Cartridge is 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 F201M10 Cartridge is compatible with spindles that accept F20-201 collets including DIN 136E, Meister Swiss 136E, Schaublin F20 (76-201), Southwick & Meister F20-201, KEB (MasWerks) MC20-201, Hardinge F20-201 / 4709 collets.
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 moving part operations to the sub-spindle and dramatically reducing cycle time. 20% ~ 40% cycle time reduction is commonly achieved.
- Solid extended nose, giving superior access for tooling and coolant, with minimal overhang.
- The cartridge's core diameter is a single piece construction that will maintain 5 µm/.0002" concentricity at the extended nose tip.
- Micrometer dial control of collet clamping pressure regardless of the machines hydraulic or pneumatic collet closing force with the use of our Micrograd™ Wrench. Ideally suited for small diameter part size range from .2mm/.008" to 10mm/.3934" diameter
- 2-days shipping on all cartridges and collets.
Masa Expands Offering of Microconic Over-Grip Collets with New Long-Land T-type Series.
The Microconic over-grip collets provide more work holding and programming options than previously available. It enables you to move operations from the main spindle to the sub-spindle. This balances the work being performed between the main and sub time which can dramatically reduce cycle time.
The land width on the W-type over-grip collet, pictured at the right, is approximately 1 X Diameter of the workpiece.
Masa's new T-type collet provides the solution for longer workpieces
However, with longer parts, with more surface area for clamping and gripping room, a longer land length is often preferred to provide more stability to support the longer length workpiece.
It may also be necessary with very wide-pitched threads, such as on bone screws, where a long land in the collet allows spanning several thread pitches instead of just one or two. This same spanning issue can occur with parts that have wide grooves.
The new "T-type" over-grip collet, has a longer gripping surface than our original W-type: Typically 2 - 3 times the diameter of the workpiece.
For extra long parts, the T-type collet provides the opening needed for the larger head to pass through the collet, so it can be pushed through the back end of the spindle for ejection when required.
Microconic T-Type Over-grip Collet features
Here you will find the latest press releases, news coverage and technical information about our Microconic™ system
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