Tooling tech: New adaptive CNC control and pre-pocketed edge mold bases

By: 
June 13, 2011

Increasing productivity has been key to U.S. mold manufacturers' ability to compete with offshore companies. Suppliers to the mold manufacturing industry contribute to those efforts with new and improved technology to help their customers in the moldmaking business.

Fanuc Automation America announced the integration of their new iAdaptS adaptive control solution into the CNC system for increased machine tool productivity. The iAdapt S improves material removal and minimizes cycle time by automatically optimizing the cutting federate based on the actual spindle load. Integration of the iAdapt S product within the CNC also eliminates the need for mounting space, simplifying installation while improving the capabilities of the original iAdapt product.

"Fanuc has developed many features to improve the efficiency of die mold production," stated Paul Webster, manager of Product Engineering. "One of the newest features optimizes metal removal in the roughing and semi-roughing process to improve productivity."

Other improvements allow the operator to improve machine cycle time and tool life. By automatically optimizing the cutting federate based on the actual spindle load, iAdapt S improves material removal, minimizes cycle time and increases productivity, says Fanuc. Cycle times can be reduced by up to 40% as every part is automatically optimized in real-time, including the first part.

iAdapt S also compensates for material and process variations including material hardness, tool wear, depth of cut and width of cut. Feedrate control is 100 times finer which increases the responsiveness and accuracy of the adaptive control, claims Fanuc.  A new 64-entry setting table has been introduced in iAdapt S which allows easy saving of settings for recall and later use. Also, a new Torque Override feature has been added to allow the operatory to dynamically modify the adaptive control set point during the machining cycle.

Mold technology supplier DME Company has enhanced its line of Edge mold bases to offer a pre-pocketed option that helps moldmaking customers significantly reduce lead times. These new pre-pocketed Edge mold bases come with pre-machined pockets and top locks already installed.

The pre-machined pockets enable moldmakers to create separate machined tools and then insert them into a pocket in the mold base, rather than machining directly into mold plate. They are ideal for producing molds for thin parts in a variety of applications.

"With a pre-pocketed Edge mold base, all a moldmaker need to do is install the insert," said Dave Lange, Director of Sales for DME. "It requires less lead time, ships faster and ultimately means less work for the customer."

The pre-installed top locks assure better alignment of the tool to meet part specifications. Compared to only using leader pins and bushings, top locks can significantly improve part quality.

All new bases will include the following Edge mold base features:

  • A-plate, B-plate and support plates supplied with D-M-E #3 steel
  • Pry slots installed on both sides of "B" plate
  • Lift holes installed
  • Return pins installed 0.125 inboard to allow for spring pockets
  • Leader pin vents machined in the housing under the bushing location
  • Guided ejection installed
  • Three-piece ejector housing
  • Center hole machining included

The new bases are available in five different sizes with three combinations for each size.

 

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