Hone Tool and Air Gage System Integrates onto HMC
Bates Technologies, LLC (Fishers, IN) completed the installation of its most diverse mix of CNC hone tooling and air gaging systems designed for use on flexible horizontal machining centers (HMCs). The application originated from a global compressor OEM who called upon Bates to develop a complete rough-and-finish honing process designed to run on a common fixture and setup arrangement used to machine other part details on the compressor bodies they produced. The user also wanted to eliminate extensive part handling and to make improvements on overall part quality.
To meet their objectives, Bates engineered and built multiple precision honing tools ranging in diameter from 2,500 in to 6,000 in, designed to fit in CAT 50 holders and to function within the control platform of a horizontal machining center. The majority of these tools utilized the Bates Precision Air Gage System (PAGS), which allowed for live-on-board air gaging of the cylinder bores as they are being honed.
Darrell Day, president of Bates, notes that, "This project began as a 'what if' discussion between the OEM and our sales/product development team during an SME Honing Client. With our direction and the assistance of a major machine tool manufacturer, the concept was put on paper and agreed upon. Shortly afterwards two new HMCs were purchased and built to accommodate the Bates honing and air gauging system to meet the OEM's requirements for "one fixture, one setup" part processing. This led to dramatic reductions in machining and transfer time and improvements in both part quality and process capabilities."