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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DRILLING MACHINES: FEATURES, FUNCTIONS AND FUTURE

DRILLING MACHINES: FEATURES, FUNCTIONS AND FUTURE

According to Riccardo Azzoni, president of Atlantic Machinery, "The greatest assets a boring machine can have are: user-friendliness, accuracy, ease of setup and affordability." Most of the other industry experts interviewed by WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS shared similar opinions.
Peter Zurcher, national sales manager at Grass America said, "boring machines should be easy to operate with added safety features built in and easy and simple to maintain." He added that he also values straightforward changeovers in boring machines.
A.C. Brown, field service manager for Medalist Industries, added "quick, repeatable setup for a wide range of parts is an important feature of boring machines." Other priorities Brown noted include: "the capacity to bore at varying hole depths in the same setup without the use of costly fixturing; the capacity to bore mirror imaged parts within one setup; and being able to do away with U-joint type spindles and drive trains."
"Quick setups, accuracy and speed," are the most significant features noted Richard (Tim) Byrnes, president of Richard T. Byrnes Co. Gary Wells, president of Tritec Assoc., said accuracy is the greatest concern. "Precision is the overriding consideration," he said, "followed by versatility."
Roger Stiles, president of Roger Stiles & Assoc., maintained the difference between set-up time and run time is the top priority of boring machines.
Another function of a boring machine is its increased computer capabilities. "The level of computer technology applied to our machines enhances the flexibility, a key element in just-in-time production," said Walter Favruzzo, general manager at Stefani Group America. Ken Amidon, technical sales representative at Stiles Machinery, said, "The biggest thing in point-to-point machines, beside a computer, is programmable selectable spindles," which allow the operator to "put a hole anywhere." Even with a 32mm system there can be an oddball hole, he added, but an operator can put one in a hard-to-reach spot.
Multifunctionality
Some manufacturers and distributors notice a demand for versatility resulting in an increase of multi-function machines. Warren Wade, president of Tekna said that in the future "the gap between boring and true routing machines will slowly close. Point-to-point CNC boring equipment will be capable of doing more sophisticated routing procedures."
Stiles said he sees a trend in machines combining routing, boring, and edgebanding on one machine.
Machining centers: multi-function
equipment vs. dedicated machines
Some experts hold that as the boring operation becomes more computer controlled, machining centers will evolve. The boring machine is "changing rapidly into a machining center, capable of performing multi-task operations such as drilling, routing, grooving and hardware insertion," said Favruzzo. Likewise, Rolf Zollinger, machines and systems sales manager for Koch Ltd., said that more CNC adaptability will increase the machine's flexibility in the future. He added that the equipment will become "more multi-purpose, more universal, more like machining

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