Here’s How to Help Your CNC Realize its Potential

In the world of CNC machining, making perfect parts is a lofty goal, but with materials, machine accuracy, tooling and other factors at play, achieving perfection is unrealistic. That’s why the manufacturing community recognizes that, no matter how accurate and repeatable a CNC machine may be, there must be an acceptable variance in part dimensions within an allowable under and over bandwidth. Parts that fall out of this tolerance range are unacceptable and often scrapped. This is especially true of aerospace, defense and other critical high-precision parts.

Therefore, it is essential that everything be done to enable a CNC machine to maintain these tolerances, including using the most precise and reliable peripherals throughout the manufacturing process. While LNS is well known for products that improve overall machining productivity, many also help CNC machines maintain tolerances.

High-Pressure Coolant Systems

Two factors that make consistently holding tolerances difficult are excessive heat in the cutting zone and tool wear. If left unchecked, the friction generated heat created by drilling, milling, or turning metal distorts and degrades both workpieces and cutting tools.

The solution, of course, is to apply coolant to the cutting area to bring these extreme temperatures under control. However, there’s more to consider beyond simply flooding the workpiece with coolant.

If applied at a too low pressure, coolant may vaporize before cooling and lubricating the workpiece and tooling. Applying coolant at pressures of 1000 PSI or more increases localized pressure to more effectively cool and lubricate. As a result, the temperature of the cutting tool and workpiece remains consistently in an acceptable range to maintain the integrity of the workpiece and ensure that the metal removal tool does its job accurately.

In addition, high-pressure coolant reduces chip temperature, thus allowing them to break into shorter pieces that are more easily evacuated from the cutting zone. This keeps chips from being recut, which impacts tool wear, or damaging the surface of the workpiece, which affects dimensional accuracy.

Because all applications are not created equal, LNS Chipblaster high-pressure coolant systems are available to fit even the most unique processes, including programmable models that can be fine-tuned to enable the most precise CNC machine performance.

Work Holding

Properly securing a workpiece as it rotates at thousands of RPMs is essential for accurate metal removal and maintaining high precision tolerances. In many cases, LNS chucks are an excellent solution.

However, certain workpieces may become distorted or damaged by cutting tools if they lack adequate strength or stiffness. Exceptionally long shafts or other cylindrical workpieces typically benefit from additional support to maintain concentricity and straightness. Also, some workpieces require secondary operations without engaging a tailstock, including facing, ID drilling or boring, and adding bolt-hole patterns on the end. In any of these instances, a steady rest-based automatic work holding system provides the needed support. Steady rests are commonly used to support long rods or shafts such as axles, camshafts and crankshafts, piston rods, and cylindrical tubes.

A typical steady rest unit is a 3-roller support that clamps onto a workpiece and is only one component of an LNS automatic work holding system. The other parts may include brackets, manual or programmable bases, hydraulic valve packages, lubrication units way covers, and hose management devices. These systems provide hydraulic automatic self-centering part clamping and unclamping and the ability to use machine M-codes or manual switches to actuate the system.

With over 50 years of applications experience behind them, LNS engineers custom design automatic steady rest systems to precisely meet your needs, and LNS technical staff provides ongoing support.

Filtering Chip Conveyors

When thinking about the peripherals that help CNC machines produce high-precision parts, the chip conveyor is often overlooked. In fact, incorporating the appropriate chip conveyor into a high-precision machining process provides many benefits.

In applications that produce coarse and stringy mixed materials, a traditional hinge-belt chip conveyor may well be adequate. However, when dealing with the fine chips of aluminum, brass, and exotic materials often associated with high-precision machining, a filtering chip conveyor is essential.

Filtering chip conveyors not only efficiently dispose of waste metal but also keep fines from making their way into the coolant that recirculates back to the cutting zone. LNS Turbo filtering chip conveyors have replaceable, self-cleaning filtration boxes that eliminate chips as small as 50 microns from the coolant. This prevents fine metal particles from entering the machine sump and keeps the coolant free of fines that could otherwise mar the workpiece and wear tooling, thus maintaining part quality.

Interchangeable filter boxes are available for filtration to 500, 140, or 50 microns to accommodate a variety of applications. The LNS Turbo MH Series, SF Compact, and MF4 filtering chip conveyors provide the opportunity to optimize chip and coolant management for any high-precision CNC machine.

To learn about how LNS peripherals help CNC machines more effectively perform high-precision machining, contact your LNS representative.

Get the most out of your LNS products through our Customer Portal