For the system’s introduction, the company offers a cartridge for draw-type, 5C collets and one for push-type, or “dead-length,” TF25 collets, which are typically used on the subspindle of Swiss-type lathes. Market demand will dictate future versions, he added.
“The Microconic collet is a draw-type collet, but we can use our colleting system inside a push-type closer,” Saccomanno said, adding that a draw-type collet provides more clamping force and is more accurate in terms of concentricity than a push-type one. This is because the draw-type collet slides into the spindle nose rather than the spindle nose pushing over the collet taper.
Saccomanno said the concentricity of the company’s collet is typically from 0.0001 " to 0.00015 " and guaranteed to be concentric within 0.0002 " while holding a part in a machine. “Especially with extended-nose collets used in Swiss-type machines, the collet can hold the gage fairly accurately, but if you try chucking a part in it, forget it.”
The system components are not inexpensive, with the cartridge priced at $2,200 to $2,500 and each collet at about $140, but end users often achieve payback after one or two jobs using Microconic on a Swiss-style machine, according to Saccomanno. He explained that the quick return on investment is a result of the workholding system’s ability to shift operations to the subspindle that machinists and programmers usually delegate to the main spindle, such as cutting force intensive, blind-hole broaching. This provides better load balancing between the two spindles and reduces cycle times, essentially gaining “free time” on the subspindle.
“Because of the reliability and rigidity of the chucking system, it causes a change in mindset over time and you start doing things you wouldn’t have considered doing before,” Saccomanno said.
He emphasized that no machine modification is necessary to use the system, and it can be removed from a machine and replaced with a standard collet for making larger parts, thereby preserving machine capacity.
For more information about Masa Tool Inc., Oceanside, Calif., contact Masa Tool.
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