Precision and Speed - Fastener Technology International

Aug 28, 2005
New cold former provides accuracy and high speed in the formation of long parts and net-shape components.

Jerry Bupp
Director of Sales Operations & Marketing
National Machinery LLC
161 Greenfield St.
Tiffin, OH 44883-2471 USA

Cold forming in today’s world has become increasingly competitive. To stay on top of other producers, the dynamic combination of precision and speed is a must. With this in mind, National Machinery has added to its FORMAX® line of machines the FX45XL, which provides the following benefits:

  • Capability to form long parts
  • Speed
  • Net-shape parts
  • Consistent dimensional accuracy
  • Engineering design is a critical combination of FEA (finite element analysis), cams, hydraulics, sensors, valves, and programming to yield fast speeds while at the same time holding precision tolerances.

    The Machine The FX45XL cold former is a 16mm (0.63”) diameter cutoff capacity machine, which has a maximum die kickout of 215mm (8.5”). This maximum amount of length capability is a great advantage for parts pro-duction, but can also typically result in a loss of speed.

    However, this is not the case with the newest FORMAX model. The FX45XL cold forming machine has a maximum speed of 200ppm. The new FX45XL FORMAX machine is seen in Figure 1.

    The Capability The forming of the part shown in Figure 2 (hex flange bolt sequence in die area) is the application used to test machine function and capability. In this example, an M14 hex flange bolt is used to validate a new machine.

    This M14 hex flange bolt includes a trimmed flange and is 203mm (8”) under the head. It also has a 13.7mm (0.54”) starting wire diameter.

    As a part of normal testing and validations to verify maximum FX45XL machine specifications, the M14 hex flange part successfully ran at full machine speed of 200ppm. Even thought the tooling is not designed for the maximum potential tolerance, the part held just over 0.001” (0.025mm) TIR tolerance during an extended run.

    The New Machine Concepts

    The new FX45XL cold forming machine continues in the tradition of quick-change and easy-to-operate equipment. Whether the FX45XL machine runs just one part efficiently all day or is processing an application requiring multiple part changes, different system options are available relative to customer requirements Key FORMAX, machine features for precision forming include the following:

  • Off-line setup
  • Automated adjustments
  • Linear feed
  • Precision heading slide guidance
  • Transfer control
  • Off-LineSetup: This capability utilizes a fixture that precisely simulates the die area for consistency, in Formapak alignment. The Formapack includes a machine’s die block, cutter and quill, punch holders with wedges, transfer slide with fingers and transfer finger opening and closing camshaft.

    Automated Adjustments: These include on-the-fly incremental changes to the feed and kickout, and the feed length is
    adjustable by 0.01mm (0.0004”) increments. Optional digital machine position can be used in order to dial the heading slide to an exact degree for changeover during part development (part sequencing).

    Linear Feed: Linear feed is the combination of movable and stationary grips in order to provide maximum flexibility as the grips cover the entire range of the forming machine’s cutoff diameter.

    Precision Heading Slide Guidance: This capability can be achieved in both the vertical and horizontal machine axes with a fixed liner to provide a zero-clearance condition over the work stroke of the heading slide. Precision heading slide guidance is made possible due to the systems pressurized sealed lubrication as well as the sealed liners of the FORMAX machine design. This guidance capability results in maximum concentricity (TIR) accuracy.

    Transfer Control: the transfer control feature is key to faster machine speeds as the zero-clearance straight-across transfer is designed to handle a wide range of parts for this long-stroke capability.

    The Support
    High-percentage machine uptimes are crucial for success in today’s fastener and precision formed parts market. While downtime can occasionally occur, National Machinery offers better field service than anyone to keep its machines running. This starts with service contracts that are available on every new FORMAX cold forming machine. Service contracts are a combination of mechanical and electrical serviceman visits during which evaluation, machine inspection, calibration, and preventative maintenance services are preformed. Also a part of the service contract is a written report that is formulate to outline recommendations for improving the machine condition. To receive additional information on National Machinery and its products, contact the author, visit the company’s web site or Circle 202.

    Company Profile…
    More than 125 years old, National Machinery LLC designs, develops, and manufactures high-speed metal parts forming machines. The company offers the FORMAX® family of headers and threaders; bearing headers including ball, roller, and Combi; customized formers, and forming systems; the MicroFormer; and QUIKCALC PLUS software. In addition to advanced forming machines, the company provides parts analysis, machine selection and tool design assistance as well as training, machinery service, repair, and rebuilding.

    Fastener Techonogy International / August 2005