Matt Saccomanno at Masa Tool describes how the Microconic workholding system functions without the need for an extended nose. He says the accuracy and rigidity greatly improve with the diameter clearance already built into the system.
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.”
Matt goes on to explain how the Microconic System solves all of the problems with traditional pickoff collet with a guaranteed 0002" TIR accuracy and ships everything from stock within two days of placing an order!
Masa Tool’s Microconic push-type F201M10 cartridge pairs with its Microconic collets
for concentricity within 5 microns (0.0002") in production use
Masa Tool’s Microconic push-type F201M10 cartridge pairs with its Microconic collets for concentricity said to be within 5 microns (0.0002") in production use. The cartridge is a micro-workholding system for use in high-precision, small-diameter CNC turning applications. The cartridge is compatible with spindles that accept F20-201 collets.
The cartridge and accompanying collet are designed to vector the chucking force directly over the holding surface, reducing the chucking force while also increasing the holding power. This reduces chucking damage on the workpiece and reduces cycle times by 20 to 40 percent, the company says.
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.
We have just released the NEW 2018-2019 Masa Tool Catalog! Our first batch of new catalogs is shipping directly to our IMTS booth in Chicago for release, but you can download your own copy right here!
OCEANSIDE, CA - Masa Tool has just released the newest product in the Microconic line of cartridges for swiss machine workholding. The NEW push type F37M10 Cartridge replaces the standard TF37 collet in your CNC spindle. This enables you to use our Microconic collets to achieve concentricity guaranteed to be within 5µm (0.0002") in production use.
The F37M10 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.
Compatible with spindles that accept DIN 1536E, Meister Swiss 563, Schaublin F37 (76-740), Southwick & Meister TF37, KEB (MasWerks) MC37, Hardinge TF37 / 4619 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.
This new cartridge will be demonstrated for the first time at IMTS 2018 in the West Building, Level 3 & Annex - Tooling & Workholding Systems - 432232
Matt Saccomanno, the Co-Founder of Masa Tool and inventor of the Microconic Workholding sytem will talking about process innovations in the metalcutting manufacturing industry during the International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS, in September at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
Swiss-type CNC machines have gained in capability and demand as the machined components they produce are trending toward higher precision and micro-sized features. As the machines have become more sophisticated, the underlying basics of workholding remained unchanged until recently.
This presentation is an overview of new developments as well as traditional approaches with relevance to today’s highly capable sliding headstock “Swiss-type” CNC turning centers. The goal is to summarize best-practices for optimizing use of both main and sub-spindle to maximize productivity and overall equipment effectiveness. The material presented is useful for machinists, CNC programmers, tool crib personnel, manufacturing engineers, estimators, and hands-on managers.
If you would like to reserve your spot in this technical presentation and discussion please click the below button.
Set ups are quicker and more repeatable with Microconic™. 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".
How to use the Micrograd™ Face Dial Wrench
For a complete set of instructions please see our installation procedures for more details on how to set up and replicate your clamping pressure on every machine in your shop.
Revolutionary Micro Workholding System with Tighter Grip and Greater Accuracy allowing Manufacturers to Produce Micro-Precision Products on their CNC Machines
Mr. Saccomanno, what is the idea at Masa Tool, Inc? What is your Microconic Workholding System
Masa Tool is basically formed from our life experience in the machining of micro-precision parts; primarily on Swiss-type screw machines, although the real focus is for high precision small parts manufacturing on any machine type to better the world of micro machining. Specifically, our first major product release is the Microconic line,
as you mentioned. Microconic is a high precision, collet-type workholding system that fits in conventional machine tools of all types. It provides extremely precise, extremely rigid and also very easy to use workholding for the manufacturing of micro precision products.
What are you replacing or enhancing? What are people doing now?
We are replacing an existing collet design. A collet is a traditional workholding device. It is like a split sleeve that has a taper on it and it slides into another tapered receptacle. It clamps down on the work piece and traditionally has been the most precise and rigid way to hold small work pieces for production machining. The most widely
used collet system design was invented about a hundred years ago. It has essentially been used to this day with very little improvement until now. The Microconic system was created to resolve many of the limitations of existing legacy systems.
The neat thing about Microconic is that we fit directly into the existing legacy workholding system, so that it is an
advanced, self contained workholding unit that fits within what is already in the machine. Therefore, the costumer does not have to modify their machine or anything. They can install our product right inside their existing spindle. Then we provide improved accuracy, repeatability, adjustability, consistency, rigidity and everything in every way. There are quite a few different ways that we improved the state of the art.
Have manufacturers been looking for a better way or is it once they find Microconic they are excited?
That is a great question! There is excitement when they see what we have, but it is not an easy sell at first. That is because, as you say, it is hard to look for something that you do not know exists. That has been a big part of our marketing hurdle to get over; to distinguish ourselves from the systems that are out there. To answer your question it is both a yes and a no answer. Yes, people have been looking for something else. There are pervasive complaints
throughout the industry about the quality of existing systems and the availability and the consistency. Those are just like part of the landscape. They have been around for years.
Everyone is kind of used to dealing with it and they are always trying to find better sources to get better collets and things like that. On the flip side, because people are so used to dealing with that, they do not really anticipate the revolutionary change that you can get by all of the benefits of the Microconic system. Therefore, it takes a skilled technical person to really talk to the customers specifically about what they can do with their own applications. The cost of Microconic is not trivial, so it is important to show how the value is created by providing capabilities to significantly improve productivity over what can be done with traditional legacy collets.
Here you will find the latest press releases, news coverage and technical information about our Microconic™ system