It's that time of year for IMTS!
Here's a preview of some of the products that are going to be featured during the International Manufacturing Technology Show September 12-17. You can see all of these new products and talk to the manufacturers in the Tooling & Workholding Systems Pavilion in the West Building Level 3.
Blue Photon Workholding
Horn USA, Inc.
Supermini Set. Horn USA is featuring the Supermini tool holder system with face clamping as a set, in response to customer requests for different tooling system heights. With this holder variant, clamping is not carried out via the lateral surface of the cutting insert but via a clamping wedge on the face. This results in a greater holding force on the insert and thus high rigidity of the entire system. This increases repeatability when changing the insert and provides better utilization of the available space. This is a big time saver on Swiss-type lathes, as the user can change the cutting insert without removing the tool holder.
New carbide grades for system DAH8 - Horn USA is expanding its range of carbide grades for its DAH milling system to enable its use for machining a wider range of materials. The new grades SC6A and IG6B complement the tool system for high-feed milling. The SC6A grade is suitable for machining the ISO M material group, as well as ISO S materials as a secondary application. Horn has developed the IG6B grade for machining the ISO P group, while it is also suitable as a multipurpose grade for other material groups.
Techniks Tool Group
If you would like to learn more about any of these products or to see a demonstration, get in contact with us and we'll set up some time with you to visit your shop!
Blue Photon’s Grip Pallets are designed for quick change and adhesive workholding of complex and hard-to-hold parts for EDM, grinding, inspection, laser and milling operations
Edited by JENNY RUSH, Senior Managing Editor, Modern Machine Shop
Blue Photon has added five Grip Pallets and three new inserts for 52- and 96-mm quick-change receiver systems. The addition enables more applications using existing fixturing systems in machining centers. Blue Photon Grip Pallets are designed to simplify how parts are loaded, reduce scrap and increase spindle uptime.
Blue Photon’s grippers are inserted into new external inserts, designed specifically for the Grip Pallets. The external inserts are available for use with small, medium and large grippers. The new inserts allow for simple installation of the grippers at the required height for maximum holding power.
The 150-mm square pallet is available in aluminum and steel with a 52-mm pattern for a quick change receiver that will hold up to nine grippers. The 225-mm square pallet is available in aluminum and steel with a 96-mm pattern for a quick change receiver that will hold up to 21 grippers. The 300-mm square pallet is available in aluminum with a 96-mm pattern for a quick change receiver that will hold up to 33 grippers.
Each Grip Pallet includes two handles with multiple color choices and four spacers, with a 25.4-mm standoff that allows for the recommended nominal of 1-mm joint thickness between gripper and part.
Optional clamp studs are available for both 52 mm and 96 mm patterns for 5th axis, Jergens, Lang and Mate systems. Part can be removed with a ¼ turn twist of the gripper or hot-water soak. Residual adhesive is removed by using a handheld steamer or a hot-water soak and a light peeling action.
Check out the video clip about Blue Photon using ultraviolet light to cure BlueGrip workholding adhesive on the grippers!
Watch the full episode covering workholding on Swarf Talk HERE
Swarf and Chips is sponsored by Intoco Special Steels and Alloys.
Courtesy of MTD CNC Media and Swarf and Chips.
Blue Photon’s workholding technology solutions
Now features a Universal Fixture Kit.
Check it out in the new 2021 catalog below!
Blue Photon is pleased to announce the release of new products to the Blue Photon workholding system line-up. Blue Photon is committed to revolutionizing the workholding industry. This is achieved by using innovative ultraviolet (UV) technology to design unique workholding and fixturing for specialized applications.
Our customers in turn receive the solutions they need most. If you have machining challenges, you’re sure to find a solution with Blue Photon’s workholding system.
Blue Photon manufactures a patented photo-activated adhesive workholding system in the U.S.
They also offer fixture design and engineering for milling, turning, grinding, electrical discharge machining (EDM), 3D printing/additive manufacturing, laser, inspection and assembly applications for the aerospace, medical, optical, and robotic industries.
You can view or download the catalog below.
For a more in-depth visual of how Blue Photon’s UV workholding technology is a solution to your workholding needs, check out their videos HERE.
New optical workholding adhesives provide alternate solutions
to the challenges of traditional holding methods
written by Dan Billings & Shannon Osborn, Blue Photon
The way optical workpieces are held during processing has changed little over the decades. During grinding and polishing, vacuum fixturing and adhesives such as wax, pitch, and epoxy resins have traditionally been used. The waxes and pitches are heated to reach a flowable state and are then applied to the fixture or part. Once the wax or pitch has cooled, the workpiece is placed into a holding device for processing.
In both fixed and rotating applications, the vacuum is often applied with a rotary union. Once the workpiece is loaded into the fixture, the vacuum is turned on to allow the part to be pushed into the fixture by atmospheric pressure. The vacuum is turned off to remove or release the part.
While traditional methods have worked well, they are not without problems. Hot wax and pitch can lead to safety concerns for the people who use them. The vacuum, with seals and pumps that require regular repair and maintenance, can add additional cost and downtime (Figures 1 and 2).
Unexpected loss of the vacuum during machining can be catastrophic to the workpiece and grinding wheel. Epoxy products can be time-consuming and difficult to remove. Furthermore, the part may require solvents or slow heating after processing to remove the epoxy, which can lead to longer cycle and setup times, as well as environmental issues related to the disposal of those solvents.
A variety of newly available adhesives designed specifically for workholding can eliminate part movement during machining, can speed processing times, and can resolve other challenges created by traditional methods (Figure 3). UV-curable adhesives are well suited for holding parts during processing and they enable easy part removal and quick cleanup. High-viscosity adhesives, which can fill gaps between the surface of a part and fixture, supply strong holding power.
If the optical material is transparent to UV light, the adhesive can be cured through the optical material in as little as 60 seconds. If the material does not transmit enough UV light to set off the curing process, then grippers are used and the UV light is transmitted through the gripper to cure the adhesive from the underside of the part. Grippers are patented, load-bearing, and light-transmitting fixture components that enable complete photoactivated adhesive curing.
With new adhesives, traditional holding processes change. First, a thick layer of adhesive is applied between the part and holding device. Grippers are inserted into a fixture and can serve as the interface between the workpiece and holding device if needed. The workpiece is then secured to the grippers with the workholding adhesive, which is cured with UV light transmitted through the core of the gripper. The average tensile holding power of the gripper is between 200 and 605 lbs per adhesive joint and based on the size of the gripper selected.
When the workpiece is loaded, UV light is either passed through the grippers or the workpiece material for 60 seconds to cure the workholding adhesive. Once cured, the workpiece is held in place securely, which allows for aggressive processing. The parts can then be removed from the holding device by hot water soak with a temperature between 170 and 200 ºF. The high temperature eliminates the need for toxic solvents and allows for faster release of the adhesive. Typical debonding time generally runs 2 to 5 minutes. Residual adhesive is easily removed by applying pressurized steam or hot water spray in conjunction with a gentle peeling action (Figure 4).
Tests have shown that the holding force produced by the adhesive and grippers can withstand the requirements of most machining applications. And the material removal rate can exceed expectations when compared to wax, resin, or mechanical clamps. In traditional circumstances, clamp pressure is often limited to avoid component damage.
New adhesives require significantly less preparation than wax, resin, or mechanical clamps, and setup times can be reduced by as much as 75%. For example, once a workholding adhesive is implemented, hours per day can be saved just by eliminating the waxing process, which includes several time-consuming steps: warming wax, mounting the workpiece on wax, allowing the wax to cool before machining, and degreasing wax to clean parts.
New adhesives reduce setup times, eliminate scrap and toxins, enable the operator to have precise control between operations, and ensure the surface integrity of the optical workpiece.
Meet the authors
Dan Billings is president and CEO of Blue Photon Technology & Workholding Systems LLC. He has worked in manufacturing for more than 30 years in the aerospace, medical, optics, and additive manufacturing industries. He is also experienced with the challenges of holding difficult parts for machining.
Shannon Osborn is marketing manager and works on product development at Blue Photon Technology & Workholding Systems. She has a bachelor’s degree in visual communications from Kendall College of Art and Design.
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