Schubert said that since they acquired the Studers, for the first time they have a machine that grinds more accu- rately than they can check. Measuring tight-tolerance OD grinding accurately is a costly process. To address this issue, they acquired master setting disks of virtually every bearing diameter size that they do.
AME grinds IDs on each shaft as well. “We OD grind the tapered tools that go inside the spindles,” Schubert said. “We have acquired virtually every size CAT taper to grind CAT tools, plus we do HSK tools. We have air gaging made by STOTZ, so we have a proven process on the diameters, on the bores, and diameters of the tools that are going in our bores. Some of these tolerances are in the millionths. The tighter tolerances are on the HSK tools, and some of the smaller ones are ±60 millionths in diameter. The industry calls these ‘simultaneous fits’. Right now on my floor I have a couple of shafts with HSK 125 tapered tools. These shafts have a 14" [356-mm] diam- eter and weigh 400 lb [181 kg]. The HSK in this case is going to be about 4" [102-mm] diameter on the taper. ME For more information from United Grinding Technologies, phone 937-847-1229, or go to www.grinding.com; Advanced Machine & Engineering, phone 815-962-6076, or go to www.ame.com; Integrated Machinery Systems, phone 630-250-8305, or go to www.imscnc.com
Workholding Challenge Becomes Shop’s Product
ne company’s machining challenge became an opportu- nity while it was trying to find ways to improve workhold- ing for machining radio-controlled helicopter engine parts. The end result was a new state-of-the-art workholding product that the company now markets.
In 2007, Kevin Liboon, owner of K2 CNC, met Jerome Mezzasalma, a mechanical engineer who also set up manu- facturing facilities, through a shared interest in flying the high- end radio-controlled helicopters that feature KME engines. The two of them then collaborated to significantly enhance the already high-performance characteristics of the heli engine. Many of the components used in KME engines must be machined to extremely tight tolerances for the engines to work at a high-performance level. They found that the answer to holding tight tolerances while machining KME engine parts lay in perfecting the production of the unique tombstone they designed for use in their manufacturing process. “We needed
to be precise, repeatedly. We are making machines that make the machines,” said Mezzasalma.
The company designed a patent-pending atypical work- holding device; a tombstone with a hollow core, an integrated five-axis rotary indexer, and the ability to add up to eight indexers. The two-sided column design allows for multiple five-axis machining work in one setup. The indexer allows the workpiece to rotate so the user can perform several operations on one part, allowing the operator to cut up to five sides in one operation, cut four parts simultaneously, or cut four different parts in four different operations.
The tombstones allowed KME Engines to quadruple the output on manufacturing the heli engine parts by reducing four operations to just one. It also provided much faster rapids, tool changes were three times as fast, and the machining process was more accurate.
The tombstones worked so well, they realized there was great potential in their design for all types of manufacturers. As a result, in 2009, KME CNC (Orange, CA) was born with Li- boon and Mezzasalma as partners and co-owners. KMC CNC offers custom-designed dynamic workholding and fixtures based on their five-axis tombstone design.
KME CNC selected a KIWA KH-45 HMC from Methods Ma- chine Tools for its accuracy and speed in machining high- precision parts for radio-controlled helicopter engines.
In four short years, KME CNC has grown to 14 employees with an 18,000 ft2
(1672-m2 ) manufacturing facility. KME has
28 independent sales representatives across the US and is focused on expanding their OEM business. KME CNC’s cus- tomers span a wide range of industries. KME CNC’s indexers, tombstones, and trunnions can be utilized for both vertical and horizontal machining applications. The indexers can be mounted directly to a vertical mill or a KME five-axis tombstone in a horizontal machining center. They