MoldMaking Technology

OCT 2018

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Case Study / Topic 30 MoldMaking Technology —— OCTOBER 2018 Case Study / Machining Midwest Mold Services is already seeing a 20-percent reduction in the amount of direct labor on the 2D side of the mold-building process since it began using the Cheto IXN2000. Gundrilling and boring work that used to be outsourced and that would take three to six weeks to complete now can be done in-house in five days or less. Additionally, the Cheto uses water-based coolant instead of oil, which offers a safer, cleaner process and eliminates cross-contamination with little or no deceleration in cutting speeds. of the head is at the very front of the column, so it can index up and down 25 degrees and 15 degrees, with an option for ± 25 degrees. Additionally, the spindle can travel all the way to the center of the table to reach smaller parts. "The table can rotate any increment of 360 degrees, and then there are the X, Y, Z and W axes. Users can machine all four sides. They can set it up on its side. They can do compound angles. It's just so versatile," he says. This machine is a game changer because again, it is a 2D machine for the mold building side of mold manufacturing, and it can do it all versus a machine that only does gundrilling or milling." Meehan says that other unique features of the Cheto include the fact that it is a "floor-mounted" machine, meaning that there is no need to pour deep, expensive foundations. Also, every Cheto has lin- ear glass scales or encoders (or both) on every axis. Because of his long-term relationship with Meehan, and because Cheto wanted to bring a machine to the United States, Hill says that he knew he would get the support he needed, and it made his decision easy. "I was looking at other machines, but it was because of the multitasking capabilities that I bought the Cheto IXN2000 deep-hole drilling CNC machine sight-unseen," he says. Capability and Capacity Count The 3D contouring machining centers that Midwest Mold owns cannot do what the Cheto can do, but the Cheto can do what the 3D contouring machines can do, Hill says. "I can drill holes with my other CNC machines. I just can't drill deep holes. I can purchase standard, through-coolant spindles and drills for the standard CNC machines but not up to 40 inches in length. They are limited to about 16–18 inches, and a lot of that has to do with the Z height because they are vertical machines that must compensate for the cutter length and for the size of the blocks being machined. To go deeper, we go horizontal, and that is what the Cheto is, a horizontal machine." He says that the Cheto IXN2000's footprint is about 22 feet by 22 feet. "We basically have a big room built around the table, column and base, and they have to be able to move away from each other, so we have a much longer horizontal machine," he says. While most boring mills are horizontal for that length and size, Hill says they do not have the unique capabilities of the Cheto. "Had we settled for just a gundrill, we would have only solved one problem here. With the Cheto, we solved multiple problems. That machine can drill 40 inches in one direction and that is signi™icant." Gaining Control Over a New System Midwest Mold has 43 employees, two of whom have received training on the Cheto IXN2000, working in tan- dem to get full use of the equipment. Hill says it was a very involved process once the machine was delivered from Portugal. For example, he says that the controller on the Cheto is new to Midwest Mold. "We're very used to FANUC controls, Mitsubishi controls and the programming soft- ware, but the Cheto uses the Wise Active Control system. It also uses a European control called Fagor CNC 8065 Windows 7, which is not used commonly in the U.S. mold- making industry. So, our guys are learning new software, learning a new control, learning a new machine and Cheto is training them simultaneously, which has enabled them to get jobs up and running fairly quickly." Meehan explains how the patented Wise software increas- es the Cheto's machine performance, giving Midwest Mold additional advantages. "The software measures load on both the spindle motor and the drive motor to detect the hard- ness changes in the block of steel and automatically adjusts the feedrate to facilitate this hardness change," he says. "This feature also increases the tool life by as much as three to four times the normal length according to Cheto users that we talked to in Portugal." Meehan adds that the Wise monitor- ing function also measures the coolant pressure in the cut. "The Cheto uses a water-based coolant instead of oil, which is truly unique." He says that using coolant combined with the Wise software and the newer technology in drills enables the user to run a safer process with little or no deceleration in cutting speeds. "Using coolant versus oil eliminates any cross-contamination as the block moves through the shop from machine to machine," he says. "Coolant is cleaner for

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