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Grinding Optics On CNC Machining Centers


D


uring the past decade, Optimax (Ontario, NY) has expe- rienced exceptional growth due to the tremendous demand for specialized optics and lenses that it manufactures for a wide range of applications including: aerospace, defense and medical devices, lithography, and biomedical. As a result, the company’s staff has expanded from approximately 100 to 200 people, shifts have risen from two to three (fi ve days a week), and manufacturing technology equipment has grown from ten to approx- imately fi fty pieces of CNC machinery. Three, four, and fi ve-axis machining centers are used for grinding, polishing and shaping the lenses with diamond tooling. Even though there is fi ve times more equipment operating over three shifts (a nearly 10x increase in spindle hours), the manpower required to write programs for and operate this advanced CNC equipment has barely doubled. Be- ing able to output ten times the work with only double the manpower translates into roughly a fi ve-fold increase in manufac- turing productivity. Of course, the actual productivity increase is signifi cantly greater than that because four- and fi ve- axis equipment allows many of the more complex operations to be performed at high speeds with a single setup. Al Gould, mechanical engineer for Optimax, said his company’s ever- improving manufacturing agility and productivity has occurred in tandem with the rapidly expanding feature set of its chosen CAM software, Mastercam from CNC Software (Tolland, CT). The company has three seats of Master- cam with a maintenance license that entitles it to free annual upgrades. Working closely with its reseller, Optipro


Systems, the company routinely implements new toolpaths and features that will enhance programming productivity and reduce machine cycles. Eight staff members at Opti- max use Mastercam day in and day out. Another eight are


“We have two VMC1000B Vertical Machining Centers, and the rigidity of the machines give us exceptional accuracy and part finishes our Automotive and Aerospace customers demand.”


Shawn K., Tri-Wind International Los Angeles, California


Engineered in Germany, SMTCL’s VMC Vertical Machining Centers feature the heaviest and most rigid construction in their class. For less than $79,000, the VMC1000B comes equipped with a FANUC 0i-MD Control, 10,000 RPM high torque spindle with spindle chiller, coolant thru the spindle, 24.0" Y-Axis and 25.5" Z-Axis travels, 24 position dual-arm tool changer, and a chain-type chip conveyor. Stock machines are available for immediate delivery.


SMTCL offers over 300 different machine models, including 30 models of vertical machining centers. Our California-based team and network of local distributors provide the applications engineering and service support that you demand. Call or visit our website to see how SMTCL can deliver for you.


www.smtcl-americas.com 626-667-1192


Booth #S-8148


June 2014 | ManufacturingEngineeringMedia.com 43


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