An automatic process that compensates for tool wear is said to offer significant labor-cost savings, higher yields, and increased throughput to singlepass, bore-finishing operations, according to officials at Engis Corp., Wheeling, Ill. (www.engis.com).
The key lies in monitoring all progressively sized diamond tools and automatically making any necessary adjustments for tool wear, explains Ken Werner, the company's vice president.
A robot arm loads parts into fixtures on the machine, which typically features four to six spindles outfitted with highprecision, diamond-plated tools. A series of single passes finishes the bore, and the robot then transfers the parts to another finishing station, such as an OD grinding operation, or to a gaging unit.
If measurements indicate tool wear (or after a preset number of cycles), the system controller initiates a check mode. The robot arm takes parts from each position on the index table and drops them onto a gaging device that measures each part. Based on data from the gaging-system computer, the robot uses special tooling to adjust the size of the diamond tools.
While specialized autocompensation packages are available that use internal drawbars and servodriven adjustment mechanisms through the spindles, Werner states the robot offers a simpler approach that incorporates finishing and inspection stations in a totally automated, integrated machining cell.