On Manufacturing/Dec. 2016

Modular Machine Tools


While the term “modularity” isn’t heard as much as it was a few years ago, the DLFn line of machines from Fuji Machine is something that could bring that back into discussion in a big way, as the turning and vertical machining centers that are part of the lineup are designed with a small footprint and to be setup one next to each other in a compact configuration and, notably, to be swapped out in as little as 15 minutes.

That’s right: a machine change in 15 minutes.

Consider: A unit with two modules is just 900 mm wide. Four: 1,800. Eight: 3,600 mm. Ten: 4,500 mm.
And know that there is capability. For example, consider a 10-module line. It includes stocking, turning, measuring, machining, washing and off-loading. According to Fuji, one of its own lines that performs those operations would require a length of 11 meters. Yet the DLFn line requires just 4.5 m.

The lathe module can handle parts up to 200 mm. The spindle motor is either 7.5- or 11-kW, and depending on the type of module (there are three, with chuck sizes going from 6 to 8 inches to 8 to 12 inches) the maximum spindle speed is up to 4,300 rpm. There are 8 tool stations.

The vertical machining center module has a 3.7-, 5.5- or 22-kW motor. It provides 180 mm in the X-axis, 300 mm Y, and 330 mm Z. The rapids are 25 m/min X and 45 m/min in Y and Z.

It can handle 16 tools. Tool dimensions are up to 200 mm long and 60 mm in diameter. Tool-to-tool change can be performed in 1.3 seconds.

Kitting Cart for Electronics Applications


A cart specifically designed to allow associates to pull electronics parts from a supermarket area and then transport them to the site of production where needed has been developed by Creform Corp.
The cart has 12 compartments, each with a corrugated plastic floor, sides and back. The compartments are designed for easy access as well as for damage-free handling of components or subassemblies.

There are two levels of part presentation provided; these can be readily set to meet specific ergonomic requirements.

The cart has a 19 x 66-inch footprint and can handle up to 500 pounds. Among the many uses and options, the cart could be used for warehouse picking of 12 different orders at once.  It is small and light enough to be used on the mezzanine of a distribution center and travel down narrow aisles. The cart could be outfitted with a hitch for towing by a Creform AGV tugger to make it part of an AGV supported kitting system. 

Optional accessories include hanging hooks, clipboards, label holders and large diameter casters for rugged floor environments. 

Four-in-One Inspection


The 300GMSL Multi-Sensor Inspection Machine from Gleason is designed to handle gears, as in spur, helical, spiral and straight bevel gears up to 300 mm in diameter. In addition to which, the machine can handle non-gear components.

It performs tactile probing to support traditional gear feature data collection but it also supports non-contact laser full-form scanning that can collect larger amounts of data more quickly than is possible with tactile approaches. This makes the 300GMSL suitable for applications including R&D as well as reverse engineering.

What’s more, optionally available for the unit are surface finish measurement and Barkhausen Noise Analysis capabilities.

It is capable of handling both metallic and plastic gears.

Gleason is also offering an advanced operator interface that provides a range of capabilities ranging from QR and barcode reading to video telephony. There is a Windows-compatible GAMA application software suite for equipment programming.