Custom AE-VMS enhances productivity in robotic arm part production
Bingjie Cao | OSG Shanghai
Demand for industrial robotic arms has accelerated in the past couple of decades. A robotic arm contains multiple joints to enable a degree of movement and is usually mounted to a base. Robotic systems can be programmed and reprogrammed to fulfill specific needs that are repeatable, making them a flexible yet reliable solution. Industrial robotic arms today are used in an array of industries, helping businesses improve efficiency, safety, quality of work, and address challenges associated with the shortage of labor.
A Fanuc M-10iA 6-axis multi-joint small payload handling intelligent robot on display at OSG Corporation’s booth at the 2016 Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) in Tokyo, Japan. Industrial robotic arms today are used in an array of industries, helping businesses improve efficiency, safety, quality of work, and address challenges associated with the shortage of labor.
Recently, a manufacturer located in Zhejiang Province, China whose name cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality reasons, was seeking for productivity improvement in its robotic arm part production. Founded in 2003, this company specializes in the manufacturing of gear boxes, continuously variable transmissions, motors, motor controllers, special equipment for industrial electronics, and more. Since 2020, this customer has been undertaking a robot arm part project with an annual production volume of 12,000 pieces. The material of the robot arm part is SUS630 (35 HRC). Each part requires the milling of 16 slots at a depth of 11.5 mm, a width of 5 mm, and a finishing allowance of 0.05 mm. The machining process requires pre-drilling a 4.5 mm diameter hole and then carrying out slotting and side milling with a 4 mm diameter end mill. The machining process requires high chip evacuation capability and tool rigidity.
Robotic arm parts made of SUS630 (35 HRC).
The customer was originally using a competitor 4-flute end mill for the roughing process. The customer was not satisfied with the existing machining performance and wanted to further reduce production costs. One of OSG Shanghai’s distributors learned about the customer’s situation and recommended OSG’s AE-VM series for the application. Once in contact, sales representative Jinyong Zhang and applications engineer Bingjie Cao from the OSG Shanghai office immediately followed up by visiting the customer’s manufacturing facility.
Each robotic arm part requires the milling of 16 slots at a depth of 11.5 mm, a width of 5 mm, and a finishing allowance of 0.05 mm.
For slotting, the competitor tool was used at a speed of 7,000 min-1, a feed rate of 200 mm/min at 6 mm and 5.5 mm depth of cut. Two passes were required. The same specifications were used for side milling at a radial depth of cut of 0.45 mm. A Tsugami VA3 vertical machining center with BT30 and water-soluble coolant were used for the application. Tool life for the competitor tool averaged six parts (96 slots).
Upon a detail evaluation of the application, OSG recommended a custom version of a 4 mm diameter AE-VMS (EDP# 8555840) anti-vibration carbide end mill. The AE-VMS short carbide end mill is a part of OSG’s AE-VM anti-vibration carbide end mill offering, a series designed to attain an all new level of milling efficiency coupled with superb finish quality suitable for a variety of milling applications.
A standard AE-VMS short carbide end mill. The AE-VMS is a part of OSG’s AE-VM anti-vibration carbide end mill offering, a series designed to attain an all new level of milling efficiency coupled with superb finish quality suitable for a variety of milling applications.
The short type AE-VMS enables stable machining with a unique flute form that achieves both tool rigidity and trouble-free chip evacuation, and also suppresses burrs, which is a common obstacle in part processing. With an expanded radius size offering, it is ideal for a wide range of applications and industries. In addition, a right angle type for milling straight corners has been recently added to the lineup to meet a wide variety of application needs. With the addition of OSG’s original DUARISE coating, tool life can be enhanced by its excellent lubricity, superior friction-resistance and high oxidation temperature qualities. Available in various styles and configurations, the AE-VM series is designed to accommodate a wide range of milling operations including slotting, side milling, helical milling, contour milling and ramping in stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, alloy steel and hardened steel.
The AE-VMS was customized at OSG Shanghai’s Songjiang plant to elongate the length of cut to avoid interference with the workpiece. Under identical cutting parameters, the custom AE-VMS was able to complete a total of eight parts (128 slots) versus the competitor tool’s six parts (96 slots). Tool life increased by 133 percent, enabling the customer to enhance cost performance. Due to the excellent performance and cost-effectiveness of the custom AE-VMS exhibited in the roughing process, the customer also ordered other products from the AE-VM end mill series for finishing to further maximize productivity.