Screw Machining: Advances in Automatic Bar Machining

By: Mark Shortt and David Gaines
JobShop Technology Magazine – Eastern Edition, August 2001

Omni Components Corp., Hudson, New Hampshire, provides CNC multi-axis Swiss, CNC multi-axis turning and milling, and CNC multi-axis vertical milling services to customers in the instrumentation, medical device, optical device, and communications industries. The firm’s customers require precision, multiple-feature components that are often complex, for use in medical tools, implements, and implants, optical lens assemblies and housings, fiber optic components, routers, and switching equipment. Certified to ISO 9001:2000, Omni also produces a variety of precision components used in commercial applications for valves, actuators, assemblies, and specialized machinery.

The company has obtained greater efficiency and faster cycle times by integrating the use of high-pressure coolant (2000 psi) and high-speed spindle (60,000 rpm) technology into the equipment used for turning and milling. According to the company, the technologies permit more accurate manufacturing of difficult, complex components on its CNC multi-axis Swiss lathes, multi-axis turning centers, and multi-axis vertical milling machines. By providing chip control at the tool tip, high-pressure coolant technology contributes to cleaner, faster turning, drilling, and milling operations, and extended tool life. The technology also allows for “through-the-tool coolant,” which permits cleaner and deeper holes and milled features. Omni uses high-speed spindle technology in place of conventional mechanical spindles to perform micro milling and drilling of components in any orientation to axis. The technology is said to provide fast, accurate removal of most metal materials and can assist in substantially reducing cycle times.

Omni recently put these capabilities to use on a job involving components for a manufacturer of fluid dispensing equipment. The small, close-tolerance, stainless steel components required stepped through-holes from 0.015-inch diameter down to 0.0035-inch diameter. Omni’s challenge was to produce clean, burr-free orifices with the greatest possible yield on tool drills, while not compromising quality or cost.