11

Nov

B600 with Large Part Robot | Video

UNISIG’s proven B600 performs deep hole drilling operations, including BTA drilling and counterboring, with an integrated Fanuc robot to handle part loading and unloading effortlessly. UNISIG’s robotic automation significantly reduces the time and effort to manage large workpieces.

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01

Feb

Fully Automated Barrel Cell | Video

Seamless automation brings together multi-spindle gundrilling, reaming, and rifling machines for unprecedented barrel manufacturing capabilities, in the most advanced cell of its kind.

Fully automated machines include part loading and tool changing, and are brought together with robotic automation. Firearm manufacturers can run high accuracy, high production operations with absolute minimal operator effort.

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19

Jan

Independent Spindle Gundrilling – UNE6-2i | Video

For small diameter gundrilling, our UNE6-2i machine allows manufacturers to maintain tolerances while taking advantage of two independent spindles. Designed for what’s typically medical applications, parts can be drilled easily from each end, for accuracy without sacrificing productivity or floor space.

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03

Oct

Production Gundrilling of Track Pins | Case Study

Industry: Transportation

Customer Product: Military Track Pins

UNISIG Solution: UNI-25HD Multi Spindle Gundrilling Machine

Image credit: William Cook
William Cook is a UK manufacturer of track running gear for armored vehicles. Their relentless drive to engineer, test, and produce the best products in this category has propelled them to their position as a global industry leader. William Cook is the main supplier of vehicle tracks to the British Army, in addition to having their products on the majority of armored fighting vehicles worldwide.

These vehicle tracks include a key component – track pins – which are designed to endure intense wear and tear from large, fast moving vehicles on uneven terrain. Components are produced to be strong, lightweight, and durable – at enormous production volumes. The material used is challenging to machine, and the combination of design and production demands leaves no room for compromise.

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01

Oct

Deep Hole Drilling Control

By Sean Hayes, Controls Engineer, UNISIG
Originally posted in Advanced Manufacturing

Like their peers in the manufacturing sector, many deep hole drilling machine OEMs rely on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) controls or reuse systems from other machine tool platforms they produce. This approach is efficient but often fails to provide a user interface designed specifically for deep hole drilling machines. So some deep hole drilling machine OEMs have opted for custom controls that not only enable greater levels of accuracy but also allow for the optimization of the deep hole drilling process itself.

The process requires careful operator supervision, but a well-constructed control can easily display all pertinent data necessary to facilitate the real-time management of drilling performance. To truly optimize the process, controls must allow for fast and easy on-the-fly manipulation of the most important factors in deep hole drilling: thrust load and feedrates of the drill; the tool and work spindle torque; and the coolant pressure and flow.

For machines with COTS technology or a repurposed CNC platform, such changes to or manipulation of the program after starting a drill cycle is all but impossible. With controls designed for deep hole drilling, though, overriding the program is possible during operation and encouraged.

Deep hole drilling professionals are thrilled to be able to make on-the-fly changes to the speed and torque of the spindle, as well as the feedrate and thrust load of the drill. With this fine-grained control, operators can adjust the feedrate and spindle speed to address issues like chip management and the straightness of a hole. Coolant flow can then be changed to optimize chip evacuation for that application.

Additionally, today’s deep hole drilling control systems aid users in finding the balance between job speed and tool life. As they encounter various materials, shops can make carefully graduated changes that either reduce wear on the equipment and/or tool or that shorten cycle times. Alongside spindle torque and thrust load, the coolant type, flow and pressure can all significantly affect tool life.

While controls designed for deep hole drilling allow experienced operators to make on-the-fly parameter changes, the controls also reduce the learning curve for inexperienced operators: Modern controls let users generate programs by simply inputting part and tool parameters. If some of the data is unavailable, the controls feature tools that will calculate such factors as recommended spindle speeds for tool rotation and workpiece counter rotation based on the known data.

Likewise, operators can easily configure a new tool and its offset, import programs over an Ethernet connection and handle other functions through the innovative human machine interfaces (HMI) of today’s controls. Unlike previous generations of drilling machines, current HMI-based solutions present users with all of the data necessary to set up a deep hole drilling operation.

That same simplicity and ease of use makes these systems far more modular. Today’s deep hole drilling machines can easily be upgraded to become fully automated with the help of robots that can transfer materials to other stations. These systems can then easily integrate into cellular manufacturing settings.

Advanced deep hole drilling controls can now even assist manufacturers in protecting their investment with a suite of safety features and fail-safes. Software in the controls can alert operators when problems like dirty filters or metal chips clogging the tool threaten to cause significant damage if not corrected. The software can also keep track of how often tools are used, or when a machine is due for scheduled maintenance, so that shops can make any necessary repairs or replacements with the least amount of production downtime.

Fully integrating the control system with the drilling machine requires building them in tandem. An advanced control’s ability to monitor mechanical processes and provide precise feedback, for example, requires a high-efficiency, low-friction system designed around the control’s motion control objectives. Likewise, coolant pumping systems must have the intelligence to vary the process as operators override parameters, yet be low maintenance and robust for long life. Only machines built around such intelligent control systems, and vice versa, can offer operators the highest level of on-the-fly process visibility and management.