Double-sided right-angle drilling heads made by Centreline have cut to one eighth the time taken for Ilmor Engineering to open out and consistently position cast water transfer holes in a Formula 1 Mercedes engine block.
Dozens of holes up to 8mm diameter have to be machined in every LM25 aluminium casting to a depth of a few millimetres using a four-flute slot drill and another tool similar to a small, multi-flute shell milling cutter.
The process of correcting the cast form of the holes and establishing their positional accuracy took five operators four man-hours per block, with resulting inconsistencies. Now a robot-loaded vertical machining centre equipped with the Centreline head effectively rotates the spindle through 90 to drive two horizontal tools positioned at 180 to each other. Each casting is machined in one set up and positional accuracy of the concentric holes is 0.25mm.
A modular tooling system, developed by toolholding specialist Gewefa, provides the flexibility, accuracy and repeatability of CNC machines on older types of machine tool, the company claims.
Heating equipment specialist Pegler commissioned Gewefa to develop the tooling for its Riello, Diedesheim and Gnutti special purpose transfer machines used to produce brass and bronze components in varying batch sizes from tens to thousands. Using the tooling, setting times have been cut from between eight and 16 hours to a maximum of two hours on any machine. Part accuracy and repeatability has also improved.
Using Mitee-Grip to hold thin aluminium sheet in position on a backing plate has enabled Filtronic Components to complete machining of parts which require intricate detail to a depth tolerance of 0.2mm and thickness tolerance of 0.05mm in one operation instead of two. Production costs have been cut by nearly 70%.
Price cuts averaging 10% across the range have been made by tooling and workholding systems company System 3R as a result of the strong pound.