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The Basics of Live Tooling
Live turret, as the name implies, is specifically driven by the CNC control and the turret of various spindle and powered sub-spindle configurations on CNC lathes to perform various operations while the workpiece remains in orientation to the main spindle. These devices, whether BMT or VDI, are also called driven tools, as opposed to the static tools used during turning operations. Live tools are usually customized for the particular machine tool builder’s turret assembly.
Most often, live tooling is offered in standard straight and 90º configurations with a variety of tool output clamping systems, including collet chuck, arbor, Weldon, Capto, whistle notch, hydraulic, HSK, CAT, ABS, and a variety of custom or proprietary systems developed by the many suppliers to the industry.
Investing in a Better Design
Bearing construction and the resulting spindle concentricity drive the life of any tool. A better design that costs just 10–15% more can yield both longer-lasting cutters and a consistently superior finish.
Of course, the stability and rigidity of the machine tool base are also critical factors, especially on large or deep-pocket workpieces where the distance from the tool base to the cutter tip is greater. Bevel and spur gears that are hardened, ground and lapped in sets are best for smooth transition and minimal runout. Roller bearings are consistently superior to spindle bearings in live tooling applications, so look for a combination system to get the highest possible precision. Also look for an internal vs. external collet nut so the tool seats more deeply in the tool. This produces superior rigidity.
Likewise, high-pressure coolant may be desirable. Look for 2000 psi (13.79 MPa) in 90º and 1000 psi (6.9 MPa) minimum in straight tools.
In a typical setup, the tools are mounted on a disc turret. With a face-mount version, the tools are located on the front of the tool-plate face; on a radial-mount or stair turret, the tools are arrayed on the OD of the tool plate. A servo in the turret powers tool indexing and operation. Driven by the CNC, with a wide range of possible spindles, sub-spindles, and tool holders, the live tools perform off-center operations while the workpiece remains oriented to the main spindle. ;
From the start, live tooling was added to increase a lathe’s usefulness. What many users of lathes and live tooling don’t realize is just how useful live tooling has become. State-of-the-art live tooling is versatile enough that it is applied even when the turning function of the lathe itself isn’t.
Other industry experts agree that a live-tooling system offers significant advantages. Frank Cerrito, general manager of Koma Precision Inc., East Windsor, Conn., put it succinctly, “The main reason customers invest in live tooling is that it allows them to do an operation that would have otherwise required another setup, off of the lathe. So it saves time and prevents possible errors.” ;
Leigh Bickham, product manager for Sauter and EWS live-tool distributor ITI Tooling Co. Inc., Ramsey, N.J., noted: “If you’re working on the OD of a part and you then need to mill a flat or drill and tap a hole, you can’t do that on a traditional static lathe. You’d have to move the part from the lathe to a mill. So, the idea behind live tooling was, ‘Let’s eliminate operations and make a turret that’s capable of handling drilling, tapping and milling.’ That’s the biggest advantage—eliminating setups and entire operations.”
LIVE TOOL HOLDERS
The ability to be a CNC tool manufacturer means we have the liberty to adapt to change and evolve to support the manufacturing sector with quality solutions. Tool holders are tailored to the envelope dimensions of a specific machine. Compact single body construction. Utilization of tapered roller bearings. Bearing pockets are machined on boring mills to gauge the quality. Optimized spindle bearing surfaces. Specially engineered and individually adjusted Gleason bearings for quiet torque transmission. Patented seals, developed by us for minimum heat generation. All wear parts hardened and ground.
Our products are inspected on highly accurate Zeiss measuring machines with the results documented and placed with a tool holder. Each live tool holder has a dedicated test program with temperature and noise conditions measured and documented.
Active holder for fixed installation
Adjustable holder with Micro-USB connector. Fits for devices with and without skin with the following dimensions: Width: 75-89 mm, Thickness: 12-16 mm. 2,1A charger. 12/24V. With tilt swivel.
Keep your phone in a holder when on the road and you will always have it within easy sight and reach. The fixed holder is to be connected inside the dashboard, this gives a discreet, neat installation without cables hanging over the interior!
The adjustable holder fits for devices with and without skin with the following dimensions: Width: 75-89 mm, Thickness: 12-16 mm. Adjustable holders come in various sizes. Measure your device and compare with the holder specifications in order to make sure you have chosen the correct product (if you are using a skin: measure the device with the skin in place).
You can choose to use the holder as an active holder for charging of your device only, or to connect an adapter to the Molex connector for additional features. Then you can use the holder also for power supply of a GPS receiver of other own solutions (cannot be used for data communication or audio connection). The product is E-approved. Connect the power cable with a 2A fuse. Professional installation is recommended.
Before using the holder you need to confirm the charging cable is turned the right way (you can rotate it) and also set the holder's width so it suits your device, then your phone is held firmly in place in an upright position for maximum cellular reception. The holder has a neat and discreet design that blends well with the vehicle's interior.
The holder is made of black ABS plastic. It is easy to put the device into the holder, and just as easy to take it with you when leaving the vehicle. The holder is equipped with a tilt swivel so you can adjust the angle of your device in order to avoid light reflection on the screen. You can tilt the holder 22° in each direction. Attach onto ProClip Mounting Platform.
BMT40 with Y Axis 12 Station Live Turret
Live tooling is driven by the CNC control on lathes while the workpiece remains stationary on the main spindle. ;
BMT40 with Y Axis 12 Station Live Turrets have a serrated shaft that is inserted into an opening on the face of the turret. The tool is held in place by a mating part with teeth that are housed inside the turret. ; When an Allen wrench is used to tighten the locking screw, located on the face of the turret, the mechanism applies clamping pressure that holds the tool securely in place. The holder is kept from twisting by a pin that is located on the mounting surface of the turret.
Some advantages of VDI tooling include
One screw to tighten; easy install
straightness and precision of the tool holder can be adjusted
MILL-TURN TURRET SHOOTOUT: VDI VS. BMT
Regardless of the machine tool builder, there are basically two popular methods of mounting tool holders to your mill-turn machine…BMT or VDI. Some builders (like Hurco) even offer machines with both turret configurations as an option – however, they usually standardize on one or the other based on a particular market or sales region.
The BMT, or “Base Mounted Turret”, is often thought to be a more rigid setup overall. The BMT40 0 Dergee Live Tool Holder will mount solidly to the face of the turret with 4 socket head cap screws and is located and further secured with locating keys present on the turret face. These keys eliminate the need for indicating the tool holder to straighten it…which is most often necessary with VDI tool holders. Also, the simple design of the BMT holder’s mounting configuration makes it a good candidate for DIY (do it yourself) holders for special circumstances – something that would be very difficult with VDI.