Clearview National March 2016 - Issue 172 - Page 105

MACHINERY Andy Bates: The machine is ready to start. The operative selects the required program and the machine gets into action. It checks that the tools loaded have the required diameter and cutting depth. It then selects the most effective tool for the job. Once the tool has been selected the machine calculates where the pneumatic clamps need to be and moves them into position. When the clamps are in position a message on the screen will ask the operator to load the profile. The cross-section of the profile is shown on the screen so it is clear which way the bar should be loaded. Clearview: Could this improve manufacturing efficiency? Is that one of the main production benefits of CNC profile machining? Andy Bates: A CNC profile machining centre can optimise workflow by eliminating the movement of parts through multiple machines. One CNC machine will typically replace three machines: an end miller, a copy router and a pedestal drill. This means all the processes the machine performs are carried out in one operation, with no marking out required. Using a door lock as an example in a manual production line, the bar length of profile will normally need to be cut then routed for the lock which takes several operations on a copy router including marking out where the machining is required. It is then sent to assembly where more holes for the fixings will be drilled by hand. In contrast, the CNC combines all these steps into one operation. The bar is cut on the saw, it then moves to the CNC profile machining centre where all the other processing operations are carried out, after which it is simply passed to the assembly line as a fully machined part. We say CNC profile machining helps a fabricator build a better business. With a CNC profile machining centre production times can be substantially decreased – often by up to 50%. In summary, a CNC machine centre can help towards; • Reducing manufacturing time, thus reducing your labour costs • Increase output rate to shorten lead times • Increase capacity, to enable to manufacture more products • Material goes through fewer processes; minimising possible damage to the profile that can be caused by the clamping and unclamping and moving between machines • Accuracy is greatly improved as the machine can perform operations to tolerances of a few tenths of a millimetre • There is no reset time, unlike working with a template copy router • The templates are replaced by programs • The machine can work unsupervised once the machining cycle has started, freeing up the operator to do other jobs • Improved safety as the operator is not near the cutting tool For more information visit elumatec at the FIT Show 2016, Hall 1 Stands 168 and 184 or contact 01908 580800 or email C L E A RV I E W-U K . C O M » M A R 2016 » 105