UNIQUE TOOLING TECHNIQUES
Through the extensive use of horizontal machining centers and unique tooling techniques, Makino is developing new, more efficient methods of manufacturing engine blocks. Squirt reaming is one of the many creative tooling techniques recently developed by Makino.
Using a squirt reamer is not unique to the automotive industry. Traditionally,squirt reaming has been done on dedicated transfer line machines. However,utilizing this technique effectively on a horizontal machining center is quite unique to the industry. Makino’s squirt reamers simultaneously finish valve guides and seats in cylinder heads for automotive engines.
Even with the most advanced controls and positioning systems, automotive engineers have doubted the positional accuracy of the horizontal machining center. Therefore, operations such as squirt reaming, which would ordinarily require at least one tool change, have traditionally been deemed inaccurate on a machining center. But with the advent of Makino’s creative tooling concept,both the valve guide and seat are machined with one tool, eliminating any tool change and any chance of positional inaccuracy. In fact, positioning systems are eliminated altogether, as both the X and Y ballscrews do not move during Makino’s process.
Makino has removed other obstacles, as well. Traditionally, squirt reamers required a draw bar for actuation, and in machining centers the draw bar disused to secure the tool in the spindle. But Makino has developed a new method of actuation that uses through-spindle coolant and/or air to actuate the reaming portion of the tool. After finishing the valve seat and simultaneously creating a witness bore, the machining center pulls back in Z axis. Coolant and/or air is then used to extend the reamer. Using the witness bore as a guide for positional accuracy, the machining center comes back in and finishes the rest of the valve guide. Since no repositioning was required, this method maintains the highest level of concentricity between the valve guide and seat.
The key to Makino’s success is the collaboration between product development,process development and tooling techniques. It is this harmonious relationship that sets Makino apart.
A Makino automotive manufacturing process is much more than a machine or group of machines. It’s a complete package combining high-speed spindle technology,creative engineering, specialized programming techniques and advanced cutting tools. By reducing tool count and the number of operations, Makino is eliminating the need for transfer lines and secondary operations.
Thanks to creative tooling solutions such as squirt reaming, line boring,closed loop cylinder boring and head deck grinding, Makino customers are realizing great success in their machining applications. Taking work that has traditionally been done by dedicated machines and applying this tooling to horizontal machining centers saves money, increases flexibility, improves accuracy, produces higher part quality and reduces cycle time.