OK-VISE in 5-axis machnining: Lithuanian cases
Our first case from Lithuania is a company using vertical 5 axis CNC machines. Machine table is Ø630x500mm. In the most case customer is using standard or dedicated 5-axis machine vises for 5 side machining. When part size is big enough, there is no problem with spindle/tool reachability of part from all 5 sides.
What to do if task is to cut complex part of size for example 25x25x25mm by using existing machine and table size. Specific vise is needed to lift part from table base to make possible to reach part with spindle/tool.
Customer started to use low-profile clamp. From the photos you can see simple solution: customer using standard machine vise for clamping block of aluminum, which we call riser. On top of riser one low-profile clamp is used to fix the blank material for 5 side machining. Solutions is simple and doesn’t requires big investments into specific clamping equipment.
One more example from company Ignetas UAB, which is mid-size company, working in subcontracting field and can offer such service like robot welding parts, over molding parts, semi-automatic and manual riveting parts or complex assembly parts. Also, company has some CNC milling machines. There was a task to save production time for one specific part which they are producing from aluminum profile.
They are using small 3 axis vertical machine (table size 300x250mm) for this task. Part is small and has some milling and drilling operations also 3 setups are needed. Very short cycle time doesn’t give any space for operator to do some additional work between cycle start and stop.
Using traditional machine vises one-part production time including all setups was 2min and 25s.
We recommended to use low-profile clamps and make dedicated pallet, where all setups are clamped in same time, total 6 pcs on one pallet. It gives production time of one part 1 min and 15s. Also cycle time of one setup is 2.5 minutes. It gives more space for machine operator between cycles.
Aluminum riser and OK-VISE low-profile clamp in combination for better accessibility at 5-axis table.
A small workshop using OK-VISE
MJM-Koneistuspalvelu Oy is a small workshop in Central Finland. Just like thousands of OK-VISE users, they are serving local industry with flexible deliveries and affordable pricing of their services.
The young entrepreneur Mikko Mäkelä took over the company from his father in 2015, and since then he has been upgrading the operations and equipment of workshop to be able to serve his customers more efficiently.
Mikko and his machinist Seppo are working with very typical machines, including two vertical machining centers.
Now one of the focus areas in the machinery is fixturing.
Earlier they have been using self-made dedicated fixtures and traditional machine vises. Now they invested on OK-VISE Multi-Rail RM System, which is a system for generic-purpose workholding.
“OK-VISE Multi-Rail System adapts easily to various workpiece types. Earlier manufacturing the dedicated fixtures ourselves took lot’s of time, and luckily we can now use our time much more effectively in productive work” says Mikko.
“In some prototypes we still use old-school machine vises. However, in true batch-production machine vise is not a rational choice, additionally cleaning large in a vise is time consuming.
May be the most important factor in their new workholding concept is that instead of one workpiece only that a machine vise could hold, Multi-Rail system clamps typically 6 to 12 workpieces at a time.
“All in all, investing for a Multi-Rail RM system has been a clever move” says Mikko.
The video below demonstrates a successful recent case of workholding in precision machining.
Seppo Suomi Oy
In future at Seppo Suomi Oy's machine shop in Hartola, Central Finland, one shift will be manned and the remainder handled with the assistance of automation.
”From now on we’ll have just one manned shift at our works. By automating the following shifts we’ll gain vital cost-efficient additional capacity”, emphasises Seppo Suomi Oy’s Managing Director Jani Suomi. “Now our machining stations will be running as much as 20 hours a day unmanned, which in itself is a radical improvement on the way things were previously.”
In order to achieve this, Seppo Suomi Oy has begun to invest in flexible production.
”Maintaining competitiveness and production quality have been the key drivers of this investment”.
At the core of the new investment lies Fastems Oy’s flexible manufacturing system (FMS), for which OK-VISE Oy supplies the fixturing technology.
With the help of this system both the workpieces to be machined and the material for them can be set up for one Mori Seiki machining centre. All in all the system has space for six machining centres and the aim is to increase capacity in line with demand.
”Our goal is to employ about 15 people at the new works two years from now and achieve a turnover of roughly EUR 3 million”, Jani Suomi says of the company’s intentions.
In the new system the workpieces wait in the FMS’s buffer store for the machining centre to become free. Since machining may also take place during the unmanned night shift, the dependability of the fixturing technology is of absolutely primary importance when choices are made.
The fixturing technology is based on OK-VISE Oy’s low-profile clamps, which during their 35 year history have proved to be some of the most reliable fixturing components available in the branch. Recent development work around low-profile clamping is represented by Fixturing Concept system modules.
These modules are installed on tooling blocks that have been designed and optimised for Seppo Suomi Oy. The tooling blocks have a 25x50 mm hole grid on all sides. Used together these permit the design of countless different fixturing options as well as changes to settings to be made in just a few minutes whereas with traditional clamping systems setting changes took several hours.