MoldMaking Technology

AUG 2018

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Machining 16 MoldMaking Technology —— AUGUST 2018 FOR MORE INFORMATION Makino / 800-552-3288 / / only the labor portion of the cost equation but floor space, tool- ing and utility requirements as well. It also reduces fixture and maintenance costs and streamlines manufacturing. HMCs also typically use a pallet changer, which maximizes productivity by preventing part loading and unloading and changeover times from impacting machine cut-time. The auto- matic pallet changer enables parts to be preloaded onto fixtures and can exchange a fresh pallet of parts for a completed pallet in seconds. The pallet changer separates loading and unloading from spindle cutting, which keeps the spindle busy, maximizes productivity and prevents part-handling times from impacting throughput. It also enhances the flexibility of the HMC to juggle various jobs. Equipped with a pallet that provides significantly more work-mounting surface around the periphery of a tomb- stone-type fixture than a comparable VMC, the HMC presents more parts to the spindle, further minimizing non-cutting times. A VMC that includes a table changer (at additional expense) still yields a sig- nificantly longer exchange time than that of an HMC pallet changer. A typi- cal HMC pallet changer may take only 10 seconds, while a VMC table change would take one to two minutes. The issue with most VMC table changers is that they are an option to the base VMC, so they must use the basic VMC kine- matic design to provide the table-chang- ing capability, which requires some steps to unload, reposition the machine saddle and load a table to the machine. An HMC with a pallet changer puts more workpieces in front of the spindle, so it facilitates unattended operation, which makes HMCs far less dependent on the person loading and unloading the machine. The pallet changer provides a buffer between part loading and cut- ting, which permits the machine to run through breaks, lunch and even unattend- ed into the evening. Also, because tool magazines on HMCs often hold a larger number of tools than those on VMCs, set- ups and change-overs are minimized and unattended operation is extended. Some smaller shops are hesitant to make a move because the initial invest- ment is significant. But, with today's demands for increased productivity, mold builders must consider all aspects of an HMC to make the best decision. CONTRIBUTORS Bill Howard is the vertical product line manager at Makino. John Einberger is the horizontal machine tools product line manager at Makino. Imagine: Simulation Injection molding simulation using Sigmasoft®, Moldex3D, and Autodesk® Moldflow Insight Optimization Hands-on optimization of the mold design, part design, and injection molding process Evaluation Evaluation of polymer and resin selections, in-mold sensors, and current process procedures Consultation Real-world consultation, including process monitoring and control strategies, research and development, and training and workshops launching a perfect tool the first time.

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