The below article excert originally appeared in Advanced Manufacturing magazine.
You can read the entire article at the title link at the bottom of this page.
Medical parts are often delicate, which can create problems when they are picked off with the subspindle for backwork. It is important but difficult to apply just the right amount of pressure to hold the part in the subspindle. And once the optimum gripping force is determined, it is not easy to communicate to other operators how the adjustment was made.
Machine tool accessory maker Masa Tool Inc. (Oceanside, CA) has developed a collet system that makes this process easier. The collet is set using a special tool with marked graduations that enable precise adjustments to the gripping force of the collet.
“You can document the micrometer-like adjustment for the collet closure in your setup plan,” said Matt Saccomanno, CEO. “It’s done the same way every time, regardless of operator skill and without relying on feel.”
One of the more challenging Swiss applications is making dental implants because of their small size. Saccomanno said that Masa recently helped a customer broach a dental implant on the subspindle with the Masa collet system holding only a small land. Considering how much force is applied to the workpiece during a broaching operation, this might have seemed impossible to accomplish.
The reason it is possible is that the Masa collet system applies the gripping forces directly over the area where the collet grips the part. The collet system has two main parts, a cartridge that replaces the standard machine collet and a smaller collet made by Masa that is installed into the cartridge. These components are held to a high accuracy and are made by Masa with proprietary grinding methods. Concentricity variation is held to 0.0002″ (0.005 mm).
“This particular broaching application used an over-grip collet,” Saccomanno said. “The process change moved an operation from the main-spindle to the subspindle and so allowed some simultaneous machining not possible previously. Before they used our system, the part was made entirely on the main spindle.”
An over-grip collet opens up to pass over a shoulder or some other feature on a part in order to grip the part past the shoulder. Masa makes over-grip collets that can open up to 4 mm over the chucking diameter. This is the largest difference in diameter in the industry and still holds 0.0002″ TIR, according to Masa.
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Special Thanks to Mark Hurst from HiTech Industrial for bringing this application solution to their attention.
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