Have you ever machined parts in a vice that had one small feature on the side of the part that required a complete new set up? As convenient as it would be to talk to the designer of the part to eliminate that feature, the next best option is to implement an angle head into the repertoire of your existing milling tools. In the dynamic field of metal cutting manufacturing where part complexity and accuracy requirements are constantly increasing, one of the easiest ways to improve productivity for a variety of parts is by implementing an angle head.
The following points cover when an angle head will provide just as much, if not more flexibility and cost efficiency than investing into a precision indexer or rotary table.
1. Repositioning of the work piece:
A) In cases where more parts can be placed on the machining table than a tombstone set up on a rotary table, a right angle head can provide more throughput.
B) Tall and odd shaped parts quickly increase the swing diameter when mounted on a rotary table. In many cases, the limited Z stroke of a machining center can prevent access to a feature that needs to be machined.
2. Work pieces that are difficult to be rotated:
A) For large castings or structural parts commonly placed on boring mills where repositioning the work piece can be time consuming, angle heads can easily address features that would otherwise be very difficult to machine.
B) Parts can often be too heavy to be rotated and properly positioned between a rotary table and a support table. Adjustable Angle Heads provide the flexibility to work on any compound angles.
C) Parts can often be too long to be stood up vertically. Angle heads provide access to a face regardless of length of the part. In extreme cases the side panel of the machine can removed to handle parts longer than the machining center itself.
3. Deep slot machining:
A) Milling small slots can be very time consuming, and cutting tools must be changed frequently to maintain part and finish tolerances. Using a slitting saw mounted within an angle head provides much faster production time and tool life.
4. Machining features within a part:
A) In parts that require milling within a part, the angle head becomes priceless. Key slots, pin holes, and other normally inaccessible features can be accessed.