Having you heard of the Mowidec TT? If you work in the metalworking industry you probably have. The Mowidec TT is a spindle centering tool that improves the accuracy and precision while using an automatic lathe.
What is a Mowidec TT?
While working with an automatic lathe, the need arises to re-center the spindles anytime the setting or setup is changed. If the operator re-centers the spindles manually, it’s very difficult to be accurate, making the tools wear out quickly. It’s so difficult to re-center spindles, that many operaters just neglect doing it altogether (which creates its own set of problems). The Mowidec TT (and other equivalent spindle centering tools) achieves the same spindle-centering function that has been required for automatic lathes all along, but much faster and easier than conventional techniques.
Why is it so much better than tried and true methods of spindle re-centering?
When you re-center a spindle manually, you must remove the guide bush and tools, and then put it all back together afterwards. This is labor intensive, and creates the opportunity for inaccuracies and flaw once it’s all back together. However, when you use a spindle re-centering tool like the Mowidec TT, nothing has to be un-assembled. The tool quickly adjusts the position of the spindle, and the operator is back in business.
The simplicity of the tool enables lathe operators to check the centering of the spindle regularly, which not only improves the precision of their work, it improves the lifespan and quality of their tools.
Is it only for centering spindles?
Actually, many spindle centering tools (including the Mowidec TT) can be adapted to verify the alignment of other elements of the lathe, such as the guide bush, the sub-spindle, and the headstock. Actually, often, tools like these can be mounted on the casing of the lathe, and provide very precise measurements without any contact.
How does it do its job?
To use a spindle centering device, the operator of the lathe fits a ring on the spindle, and then manually places the tool to a position opposite of the spindle. The ring has a transversal sensor in it, which picks up the position of the tool. If they are aligned, the operator can remove them and continue working. If they are offset, the tool indicates the error so it can be corrected. This aligns the spindle vertically.
The same process is followed to correct the horizontal alignment of the spindle, but with the spindle rotated 90 degrees. The relation of the spindle to the headstock can be corrected with this technique.
The secondary operation machine spindle or counter spindle can also be aligned using this tool, by replacing the sensor bearing ring. Actually, any alignment issue within the lathe can be corrected with a spindle centering tool. The adaption ring would just need be changed out to suit the element they are aligning.
What machines can a spindle centering tool be used with?
This innovative approach to aligning a spindle can be used on most standard automatic lathes. The measurement aspect of the tool is used for a variety of applications, on a number of machines, such as lathes with multiple lathes, transfer machine, drills, and machining centers.
The new approach to aligning and measuring really improves accuracy and reduces the wear of the tools, while reducing the time and effort the machinist has to dedicate to setup.
How cumbersome is the installation of the centering tool itself?
There are only a few components involved in the centering tool itself, which makes for very little to install when the technician is first using a centering tool. The only components involved in a centering tool are the cable that supplies power to the tool, the USB cable that transfers data regarding the alignment of the lathe, the two proximity centers and the adaptor rings that pick up the alignment of the tool, and the reader. Once these have been set up once, the lathe can easily be realigned as often as necessary.
Is it a measuring device or an alignment tool?
The spindle centering tool is designed to compare the distance between two points. The primary purpose for that is to align a lathe. However, the same concept makes it useful for measuring distance or diameter as well.
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