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    Default Lights out turning - Doosan 2100LSYB - Aluminum - requesting best practices

    Hi all, we are about to 'dip our toes' into lights out turning. We are new to this and are looking for some tips that we would rather not learn the hard way. A bit of background on the situation and what we are trying to achieve:

    We currently have a Doosan 2100LYSB with an FANUC 0i-T control, LNS bar feeder, sub-spindle, parts catcher, and parts conveyor.

    The goal of this unattended machining is to utilize the equipment for more hours per day. Currently only running ~ 10 hrs/day.
    Reliability is the main objective, I'm not too concerned about squeezing every last second out of the cycle time, I would be ok with a lower cycle time if it meant there were fewer production interruptions during the unattended machining.

    Here are a few of the issues we haven't quite figured out yet:
    1. Tool life management
    According to our Adams rep, we can retrofit the automatic tool presetter arm on our machine. Can this be used to verify cutting tools are still in working condition prior to the proceeding of machining? Is it possible to use if/then statements to stop the program if tool breakage is detected? Or better yet, move on to a backup tool if the preferred tool is broken?
    2. Finished part storage / accumulation
    We currently only have the standard parts conveyor that came with the machine. It is roughly 3 ft long and would only store maybe 15 parts (2.5" OD x .5" tall) before they would fall off the end of the conveyor. These parts cannot fall onto each other (cosmetic req.) so dropping them all into a bucket is a no-go. I have seen the Royal Rota-Rack to solve this issue. Does anyone have any experience with this type of equipement? What is the preferred method for part accumulation these days? How does a part accumulator compare to something like a UR robot that just places them into a grid compartment style part storage? Pros/Cons?
    3. Chip management
    One of our operators mentioned their concern regarding preventing 'birds nests' during the turning process. Any good methods out there to prevent too much build up while running unattended?

    What else am I missing? Are there any good resources on lights out turning you would recommend? I'm sure we havent thought of everything...

    Thank you for your input!

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    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    3. Chip management
    One of our operators mentioned their concern regarding preventing 'birds nests' during the turning process.
    Very right he is. You have to master chip building, else it won’t work. So study tool geometry, energy conversion, coolant pressure. It, of course, depends heavily on the materials. Bronze and brass are wonderful, steels and aluminium can give you headaches although alu. is easier to break into flakes. Generally keep depth of cut shallower while feeding more aggressively with negative rake angle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    Hi all, we are about to 'dip our toes' into lights out turning. We are new to this and are looking for some tips that we would rather not learn the hard way. A bit of background on the situation and what we are trying to achieve:

    We currently have a Doosan 2100LYSB with an FANUC 0i-T control, LNS bar feeder, sub-spindle, parts catcher, and parts conveyor.

    The goal of this unattended machining is to utilize the equipment for more hours per day. Currently only running ~ 10 hrs/day.
    Reliability is the main objective, I'm not too concerned about squeezing every last second out of the cycle time, I would be ok with a lower cycle time if it meant there were fewer production interruptions during the unattended machining.

    1. Tool life management
    According to our Adams rep, we can retrofit the automatic tool presetter arm on our machine. Can this be used to verify cutting tools are still in working condition prior to the proceeding of machining? Is it possible to use if/then statements to stop the program if tool breakage is detected? Or better yet, move on to a backup tool if the preferred tool is broken?


    What else am I missing? Are there any good resources on lights out turning you would recommend? I'm sure we havent thought of everything...

    Thank you for your input!
    I believe your machine has a pull down tool setter. Retrofitting to an automatic one is what Adam's is talking about. Then, yes, you can automatically measure tools and compare them against the current offset, indicating potential wear. With some creative Macro B, this can be solved easily.
    I work for Doosan but I handle milling. Let me see what I can find on actual tool life management in the control. I think there is a tool management app on that machine.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by LockNut View Post
    I believe your machine has a pull down tool setter. Retrofitting to an automatic one is what Adam's is talking about. Then, yes, you can automatically measure tools and compare them against the current offset, indicating potential wear. With some creative Macro B, this can be solved easily.
    I work for Doosan but I handle milling. Let me see what I can find on actual tool life management in the control. I think there is a tool management app on that machine.

    Paul
    That control should have Fanuc Tool Life Management as standard.

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    Thank you for your input, this machine would be dedicated 100% to aluminum parts. Mostly 6061.

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    You are correct, it currently has the pull down style presetter. Adams has quoted the automatic one for this use case...

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    Is your process reliable right now during the day? From the sounds of it, probably not. If your people can't figure out how to create a bulletproof machining strategy then you'll have to find someone who can. Can you show us a drawing of the part?

    At this point though, if you're concerned about tool breakage in aluminum, you're already going in reverse.

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    Rope off the machine, put up signs to "stay away, testing in progress" and turn the lights out (and begin testing) at 7:00 am.

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    Lots to learn and you only learn it is by things not working.
    The Rota-Rack is just like the output on my auto-load Agathons.
    Works great 98% of the time until one part gets positioned just right and skids, the second comes along just right, locks in and blocks the track causing a log jam.
    Wendt had a robot and a pallet stacker/elevator system that would hold 4000 parts so could run a weekend.
    But grippers and pallets wear over time and since it blind, deaf, and dumb this was a problem once.
    The worst was a failure of the coolant that the machine did not know. It continued to run the weekend grinding dry, comping part size and scrapping everything.

    Be prepared to spend more on tooling. In order to be safe you need to back off the total parts run on a tool.
    Often this is going to be 50-60% of the tool life you get when having a person watching.
    In the mega buck places vision, acoustic, load senors, measuring and a whole lot of programming are added on. This often (always?) swamps the paid price for the machine.

    As digger doug said test it a lot during the normal shift with someone sitting and watching first.
    Chip control a must and incoming stock and insert quality vary. Part size control?
    GM once spent a whole lot of money trying to build a lights out "factory of the future". It did not work out well but that quite a while ago. Now we have better stuff.

    A few extra hours is a lot easier than overnight or a weekend.

    But.... nothing like coming in a Monday morning and 52 hours worth of good finished parts sitting there waiting to be packed. That a yahoo moment.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post

    As digger doug said test it a lot during the normal shift with someone sitting and watching first.
    "Watch it" ???

    Naw.....need to walk away (the machine will know if your there) and just wait in the office for loud noise, brite flash, or smoke....

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    We had night operation of three Okumas. There were people there most of the time, but not attending these machines. Coolant management is also a consideration. You could have issues from not enough coolant to coolant overflow if you had a level monitor that added when needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    Thank you for your input, this machine would be dedicated 100% to aluminum parts. Mostly 6061.
    You won't need tool life management for 6061. Replace tooling on a scheduled basis rather than on a timer. Use PCD where applicable. Err on the side of caution and run your coolant rich, but not too rich where you're running into foaming issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    These parts cannot fall onto each other (cosmetic req.) so dropping them all into a bucket is a no-go.
    If the conveyor is working for you now, try to find a much longer powered conveyor. I think any sort of gravity chute is going to choke sooner or later.

    A UR robot could be implemented to either unload the part directly or unload the conveyor. There are pros and cons to each.

    I'm a fan of barfeed loading + robot unloading. Fewer chances for the robot to screw something up if it's only unloading, and in many cases you can't beat the efficiency of barfeeding, since you don't have to deal with deburring, cleaning, and handling all those sawcut blanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    3. Chip management
    One of our operators mentioned their concern regarding preventing 'birds nests' during the turning process.
    A few ideas: feed hard during roughing, use wiper inserts for fast feed finishing, and perhaps turn away from the chuck, left to right, where needed.

    Discs and rings such as your 2.5" OD x .5" length parts are advantageous for preventing birds nests from building up in the first place. Longer parts, especially shafts, are more of a headache.

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    If feasible, use a radial live tool to cut a slit down the length of the part, to within .005" or .010" of the finished OD. Built in chip breaker. Physically impossible to get a bird's nest.

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    Automatic crash detection and shut-down? Tool breakage/dulling, work holding failure, chip blockage, etc.

    Automatic fire suppression if the coolant used has any flammable constituents and could become overheated or aerosolized during normal operation or a crash. Integrate with machine controls and building fire alarm system to call for help automatically after-hours. If nothing else, at least an IR flame detector to protect the 'lights out' portion of the shop. A flame detector would have saved these guys a few degrees of damage:

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Sparky View Post
    ...
    Automatic fire suppression if the coolant used has any flammable constituents and could become overheated or aerosolized during normal operation or a crash.
    Not a problem for the OP but one should note that when hard turning even with water based coolant sometimes the chips catch on fire.
    All normal thinking is that metal being sprayed by water should not burn. But it does and hot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    If feasible, use a radial live tool to cut a slit down the length of the part, to within .005" or .010" of the finished OD. Built in chip breaker. Physically impossible to get a bird's nest.
    Have you tried this and how did it work out on tool life and extra time spent?
    Seems this would make your turn op an interrupted cut with all the geometry problems that presents.
    People do not like turning shafts with keyways for good reason.
    I've seen a lot of money spent doing this with lasers. Written up in mags and blogs. It sort of went away.
    The idea is great but I've not seen it work out very well from a cost and time standpoint.
    Seems like a expensive band-aid to breaking chips. Then there is high pressure directed coolant use to break a chip on a lathe.........
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Have you tried this and how did it work out on tool life and extra time spent?
    Seems this would make your turn op an interrupted cut with all the geometry problems that presents.
    People do not like turning shafts with keyways for good reason.
    I've seen a lot of money spent doing this with lasers. Written up in mags and blogs. It sort of went away.
    The idea is great but I've not seen it work out very well from a cost and time standpoint.
    Seems like a expensive band-aid to breaking chips. Then there is high pressure directed coolant use to break a chip on a lathe.........
    Bob
    I use it on a production process to turn 1/2" down to like .135" in one pass, but it's black delrin. I also use it on a stainless shaft. Tool life is fine because the nose of the insert doesn't see the interruption, just the flank. Keep in mind, I'm doing this on a Swiss... I didn't say it works every time, for every part in every machine... But it CAN work, and it might work for OP. Without seeing his parts, it's just a guess. I'm just throwing ideas out there to let them decide what works for them.

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    PCD tooling, 1000 psi coolant and IFM Effector differential pressure sensors to shut the machine down if the coolant pressure isn't there proper. This will likely take care of the chip issues. PCD in 6061 should be good for many 10's of 1000's of parts. It also keeps you in tolerance as the wear rate of the tool is very low.

    Have you considered how you are going to auto measure / adjust the machine when nobody is there? This is where a unload robot pays for itself as it can take parts to gauges every x number of parts as well as unload the machine. You will still need to feed back offset data but there are standard packages available to get it to macro variables on the control and you can do the rest with macro programming.

    The first thing you need to work toward is a *rock stable process*. If you do not start with that, you will fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golfer89 View Post
    Thank you for your input, this machine would be dedicated 100% to aluminum parts. Mostly 6061.

    We do a great deal of lights out machining of 6061 on our Mori dual turret dual spindle NLX. Chip control has been our greatest challenge. 1000 psi coolant to help break chips and a coolant chiller to control thermal issues have been much help. Tool wear is a non issue. 6061 can vary significantly from one supplier to the next. Go with a single reputable supplier and demand that it come from the same manufacturer. What works great for material from vendor A might not work as well with material from vendor B. Coolant level monitoring is important. Poor coolant delivery to the tool will most certainly shut you down. It cant work 99.9 percent of the time, it must work 100 percent of the time day after day after day. You must control every single aspect of your process or you will not succeed.

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    The 16 spindle pipe drilling machine I am working on should run lights out. 16 laser sensors, 7 capacitive prox switches, 18 inductive prox switches, and error feedback from the 3 servo drives and 9 VFDs are all monitored by 3 PLCs. Looking to a couple more lasers to detect broken drills too. No coolant so I can simply look for the bits as they go by a fixed point.
    The reason for 3 PLCs is simply a reduction in wiring. One is in the motor control cabinet talking to the servos and VFDs. One is on the base detecting the parts, and operating the clamps. The last is on the X axis to control and monitor the drill tool slides and product grippers. Ethernet between the PLCs and the two HMIs.


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