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Kern, represented in the UK by Rainford Precision Machines, has established a production group to accommodate customers’ demands for automatic machining of high-precision parts in large volumes.

The Bavarian machining centre manufacturer initially developed the specialist business group after successfully overcoming its first challenge: the production of timepiece/watch base plates.

The ultra-precise base plates had to be produced in significant quantities and had to be manufactured completely unmanned.

This was a major demand as the machining cell had to incorporate loading, machining, deburring, washing, measuring and unloading.

The process involves a magazine of parts that are presented to a loading area where each part is individually picked up by a six-axis robot.

The robot displays the component to a camera for component recognition and orientation before being placed accurately on the workpiece fixture.

A total of six components are placed on the fixture before being transferred into a Kern Evo high-precision machining centre.

Kern utilises a clamping system that prevents component movement and guarantees stable clamping during machining.

The position of the parts is reconfigured by a touch probe before machining begins.

The components are then machined with 25 different tools, with many features having dimensional accuracies as tight as 2 micron.

After machining, the fixture is removed from the machine and placed in a deburring and washing station before being transferred to a component unload position.

At this point, the six-axis robot unloads each component from the magazine and places it on a measuring fixture.

This fixture is transferred onto a Zeiss Dura Max CMM for a full measurement check that results in a statistical report printout for each part.

The component is finally placed in an individual component transfer container for shipping to the assembly area.

The Kern Evo machining centre is equipped with a 500 to 50,000 rev/min vector controlled spindle with HSK25 tooling, a 95-tool magazine and Blum tool laser measuring system all working within a working envelope of 300 x 280 x 250mm.

The high-specification Kern ER6 machining cell has demonstrated the company’s ability to automate the production of ultra-precise components.

This ability can be applied to a range of industry sectors, including electronics, medical and watch/jewellery.

Rainford Precision Machines

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