Supporting the end-to-end process of building and pre-setting cutting tools, the range starts with the Alfa-Clamp. This provides a simple and elegant solution to the efficient pre-assembly ofspindle tooling, cutting tool body and indexable inserts. The unit can be specified with 90° or 45° incremental locking points and is secured to a bench or work surface to provide a stable tooling assembly station.

The Alfa-Clamp

Quick-change-spindle-taper-matched holders slide into the unit, with all popular designs, such as BT/CAT, Capto, HSK-A, VDI and KM tapers, available. Fast changeover between styles is a feature.

Once assembled, the cutting tool can be accurately pre-set using one of the range of Alfa-Set units. These pre-setters can be bench-top or free-standing and feature contact-free high accuracy vision systems to measure insert location and tip geometry. A TFT touch-screen provides measurement options, feedback and graphical confirmation. Tool pre-setting can be achieved in around 3 minutes using Alfa-Set units. Savings of between £10,000 and £30,000 per year for shops running four or six machines are possible, says YMT.

For bench-top users, the Alfa-Set 33- and 35-Swift can measure tools up to 250 mm diameter by 380 mm long for the 33-Swift and 500 mm long for the 35-Swift. The 6-in touch-screen unit has fixed and floating crosshairs for automated measurements. All cutting edge profile data points, including any radii and angles, are measured and indicated within just 1 second of arc. Measuring programs for radius, angle and distance can be loaded and up to 99 reference zero points can be set.

Offering more functionality, the free-standing Alfa-Set 23/44/64 units can measure a comprehensive range of tool assemblies up to 600 mm diameter and 900 mm long. Like the Swift range, these units are designed for easy use and built for maximum mechanical stability. Tool loading and unloading is unimpeded and adjustments to the measurement settings can be carried out with just one hand.

A state-of-the-art high resolution CMOS camera with a image processing system is fitted as standard, with colour reflected light imaging used for automatic contour recognition and for inspection of the cutting edges. However, even more functionality can be specified with increased magnification options, as well as measuring programs for the non-contact checking of fluted cutting tools.

An additional X-axis fixed camera with LED incident lighting can also be added to automate the measurement of the centre height on turning tools. To measure helical angle, wear, spacing and other axial and radial geometric data, a second swivelling camera with incident lighting can be installed.

Finally, Taper Cleaner offers easy cleaning of dried emulsion, cutting oils and other debris from off of the spindle contact surfaces. As well as increasing the service life of the cutting edge of the tools, keeping these areas clean improves runout accuracy. It also protects the spindle from long-term damage, such as fretting.

The Alpha-Sys Taper Cleaner