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Few thousand small pins to drill on a mill; automatic loading with the spindle?

dandrummerman21

Stainless
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Location
MI, USA
I don't have a robot or hydraulic clamping of any sort.

I have some pins that are about 2 inches long, 3/8 diameter, turned down on one end to about 1/4" that i need to pop two holes in.

I would like to rig up some sort of ramp for the operator to slide parts in, and have the spindle pick up the part, put them in a pneumatic vise (we have a couple old heinrich vises) and have the machine fire a solenoid to close it.

Once drilled, machine unclamps, picks it up, and drops it off in a tray on the other side of the machine.

I'd like to do this in a t14ia robodrill.

I'm mostly unsure about whether this will be worth it. there's about 3000 parts to do. And I could just put an operator on it and load up a v fixture or some v jaws in vises and do anywhere from 8-40pcs at a time. But it would require handling of each one, and true position of the hole is only .003" at MMC


Parts will be blanked off on a screw machine. The live tool lathes we have are likely going to be too busy when material comes in.


Anyone have any quick and dirty ways to pick up and drop the tool in the jaws that'd be cheap to buy or quick to make, and won't end up causing me more trouble than it's worth?
Or different fixturing methods/devices?
It isn't the end of the world if I can't make it work and need a guy to simply load them.

A couple drawings attached to give you the idea of what I'm thinking.

I dont know why the pictures aren't coming out bigger. lol

pin1.jpg
pin2.jpg
 

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Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Unless you have mills gathering dust, and an operator or three holding brooms up (in 2021?) I would see if you couldn't find someone else to just make complete on their live tooled lathe.


-------------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
One other option is to make some sort of tray that has slots and a stop rail on one end, then pop in about 50 parts strap clamp across them and hit Go. Can make 2 trays, load one while the machine is running the other one.
A quick sketch below.

xx.jpg
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
If you doo these in the mill, what is your plan for break-out burrs on the other side?


--------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

dandrummerman21

Stainless
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Location
MI, USA
Mills aren't gathering dust yet, but there's a bit of a slowdown. And there's money to be made, even having an operator load em manually for the drilling.

I'm just the head of the mill dept, I don't quote the simple stuff like this. But I do try to "improve", and I love automation (even though we don't automate some stuff).

I ran 2500pcs on the robodrill out of square stock in an indexer. I could put an 8 foot bar out the back of the indexer, mill all 4 sides, pulled it into the pneumatic vise, clamped it, then finished parting it off. It worked very very well, and was running a 12 hour cycle to net about 110pcs overnight, lights out.

With that in mind, I would love to automate some of the simple crosshole jobs we sometimes do. We're a job shop, 3000pcs is a decent quantity for us and we don't do more than a few 3000+pc jobs per year in the mill.

It'd be nice if the operator could just check the part. And maybe deburr the back of the hole, if my 3/32 ezburr doesn't do the job or if there's no room beneath the part. I think there will be room though.


As for the v + strap subplate idea, yeah that's the fallback I'd end up with if I don't go down the autoloading route. My only reservation is, that's a lot of parts for the operator to BE SURE THE STUPID PART IS AGAINST THE STOP, as well as a lot of screws to forget to tighten.

However, the machine does have a probe, so I could just probe the shoulder of each one for verification.



C'mon, don't piss on my dreams yet.
 

DavidScott

Titanium
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Location
Washington
Considering it takes me just under 1.5 hours, 2.5 including the setup, to drill a .126" hole in 500 304ss 1/4" rods I would just do it manually. I only do these once every 14-18 months and have tighter tolerances than yours, otherwise, I could speed it up some.
 

garyhlucas

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Location
New Jersey
I used to work for a company that made a feeder called a Countamatic. Parts went in a urethane lined drum that pockets which picked up parts and dropped on a pair of rotating steel rails. Pins , screws, nails, etc would slide down the rails to an escapement so you could feed one at a time already oriented or count a batch. Parts with a head on them would fall between the rails so they came out the end heads up. The packaged screw at Home Depot may very well be done by one of these simple machines. Way easier to set up than a bowl feeder.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
It is only 3000 parts.
No money here for custom load and automation unless this is repeat order once a month for a few years.
Do not get suckered into mass production methods no matter how enticing.
Bob
 

Orange Vise

Stainless
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
California
Agreed with the others that this isn't worth the brainpower to figure out.

The live tool lathes we have are likely going to be too busy when material comes in.

I'd buy another live tooled lathe. Once you figure in added present and future capacity, reduction of labor, residual value, and tax benefits through depreciation, a good live tooled lathe is much less costly.

If this is completely out of the question, I'd probably just resort to a bunch of 5C collet blocks and brute force it.
 

dandrummerman21

Stainless
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Location
MI, USA
I wish you were wrong. but I had a feeling that was the case. I still have the itch and desire to hack something up but have a real fear of it being a waste of time.

I think a v with magnets set in it would pick it up. I could make it spring loaded so it can push down into the v jaws when it closes. I could bump the part held by the magnet against something solid so location is repeatable when putting into the vise. Hit it against something similar to let it fall into a tray....

bah.

Order just came in, material isn't even ordered. I've got a month or so to dream anyway. Then put a guy on it for a day or two and knock it out and stop dicking around.

But if anyone has pictures of a similar hacky setup that I can actually achieve, I like to see that kinda stuff.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
Are you blanking them on a swiss lathe, or an actual screw machine? For all the effort spent automating the mill, you could probably add a pneumatic or coolant driven head to drill holes at the source.

This feels like one you could just sub out to somebody with a good swiss lathe and be money/time ahead.
 

MaxPrairie

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Are they magnetic? You could chuck up a magnet in a toolholder then swipe them across a bar so they fall off in a tub.
 

Cosmos_

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
One other option is to make some sort of tray that has slots and a stop rail on one end, then pop in about 50 parts strap clamp across them and hit Go. Can make 2 trays, load one while the machine is running the other one.
A quick sketch below.

View attachment 334757

What kind of strap clamp go go across that many parts?
 

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
For 3000? Two pallets and you'll be done in a day. Not enough quantity to futz with any amount of automation. Load and unload one while the other runs, and then swap. We use Pierson pallet chucks for this sort of thing but there are plenty of options.

A pocket a wedge and a screw would hold two. Load up a couple dozen per pallet and go to town.
 

dandrummerman21

Stainless
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Location
MI, USA
Yes it is a screw machine, not a swiss lathe or similar.

Yes the parts are magnetic.

I'm sure I'll probably forego the idea and load it on pallets. I have a robodrill with a pallet changer that might be open when it comes my way. I also have a midaco pallet fixture with a few spare plates I could use.

I wanted it to work but I agree with the fact that it probably isn't worth the effort.
 








 
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