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In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, precision is paramount. Every cut, every carve, and every detail matters. This is where Datron CNC machines step in, transforming the landscape of precision machining. With cutting-edge technology and a commitment to innovation, Datron CNC machines are redefining what’s possible in the world of computer numerical control (CNC) machining.

Unleashing Precision:

  1. High-Speed Machining:

Datron CNC machines are renowned for their high-speed capabilities. The integration of advanced spindle technology and efficient motion control systems enables these machines to achieve unparalleled speeds without compromising on precision. This translates to faster production cycles, reduced lead times, and ultimately, increased productivity for manufacturers.

  1. Superior Accuracy:

Precision is not just about speed; it’s about achieving accuracy at every step. Datron CNC machines boast cutting-edge precision features such as automatic tool measurement and touch to datum. These technologies ensure that each machining operation is executed with pinpoint accuracy, meeting the most demanding quality standards.

Versatility in Applications:

  1. Multi-Axis Machining:

Datron CNC machines offer multi-axis machining capabilities, allowing for complex and intricate part production. Whether it’s aerospace components, medical devices, brass foils, or intricate molds, these machines provide the versatility needed to tackle a wide range of applications.

  1. Prototyping and Rapid Tooling:

In today’s rapidly evolving markets, speed to market is a critical factor. Datron CNC machines excel in prototyping and rapid tooling applications, enabling manufacturers to iterate quickly and bring new products to market faster. This flexibility is a game-changer for industries where innovation and time-to-market are paramount.

User-Friendly Interface:

  1. Datron Next Software:

Datron Next is the software backbone that empowers operators and programmers to unleash the full potential of Datron CNC machines. With an intuitive interface, powerful programming capabilities, and real-time monitoring, Datron Next simplifies the machining process, making it accessible to both seasoned professionals and those new to CNC machining.

 

Datron CNC machines stand at the forefront of precision machining, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of speed, accuracy, and versatility. Whether you’re in aerospace, automotive, medical, or any other industry that demands uncompromising precision, Datron CNC machines are poised to elevate your manufacturing capabilities. Embrace the future of machining with Datron and experience a revolution in precision like never before.

In the world of machining, setting up a workpiece can be a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with complex geometries that don’t align with conventional workholding equipment. As machinists, we often find ourselves needing creative solutions to securely clamp our work. While classic workholding methods like vices have their place, there’s a growing need for alternative techniques to address the challenges presented by organic shapes and intricate geometries.

Classic Work Holding: Vices are a staple in workshops, providing a solid choice for tasks ranging from turning handles to utilizing the latest machining technologies. However, when it comes to clamping unconventional shapes or delicate materials, traditional vices may fall short.

Jigs and Fixtures: To address these challenges, machinists turn to jigs and fixtures with soft jaws and custom clamps. This tailored approach not only enhances stability but also offers the adaptability required for handling complex machining tasks. This method proves invaluable when dealing with workpieces that deviate from standard geometries.

Vacuum Tables: Vacuum fixtures have gained popularity due to their flexibility, speed, and ease of use. Simply placing the job on the table and activating the vacuum streamlines the setup process. However, it’s crucial to consider factors such as surface area, potential leakage, and adjust machining strategies accordingly to optimize the effectiveness of vacuum tables.

Adhesive Solutions: Adhesive workholding introduces a unique dimension by providing a strong bond without relying on traditional clamping mechanisms. This method is particularly advantageous for delicate materials or situations where the surface area is too small to be effectively held via vacuum.

When to Use What: Understanding when to employ each workholding technique is essential for optimizing machining processes. Factors such as material characteristics, part geometry, and desired precision all play a role in the decision-making process. A comprehensive approach involves assessing the unique requirements of each project and selecting the most fitting method accordingly.

Our Mission: At Datron, our mission is to advance the CNC industry by providing insights and solutions that elevate milling procedures. We are committed to educating professionals on the benefits of High-Speed Machining (HSM) and how it can enhance the quality, speed, and precision of their work. As a leader in the industry, Datron is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in machining.

In Conclusion: The world of alternative workholding is vast and varied, offering machinists a toolkit of options to tackle diverse challenges. By embracing innovation and staying informed about the latest advancements, we can continue to push the boundaries of what is achievable in CNC machining. As problem solvers by nature, machinists can leverage these alternative workholding methods to enhance efficiency, precision, and overall project outcomes.

AFC Energy Case Study

Hydrogen Fuel

The race to find a source of clean renewable energy has been the topic of discussion ever since we became aware of the affect fossil fuels have on our environment. The hole in the ozone layer, discovered in 1985 by a junior researcher at BAS, kickstarted a movement to protect our planet by conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

As well as swapping out our halogens for LEDs, and choosing to walk instead of taking the car, there has been significant investment into a “forever” solution to our oil-hungry habits. That solution is a pollution-free, versatile, abundant gas, hydrogen. But nothing comes for free, and producing hydrogen doesn’t come without its challenges.

The most common method of producing hydrogen involves reforming natural gas, which emits carbon dioxide as a by-product. While there are cleaner methods of hydrogen production using renewable energy, such as electrolysis, these methods can be energy-intensive and costly. Developing efficient and sustainable hydrogen production methods is a significant challenge.

The infrastructure to manage commercialised hydrogen power also comes with its own problems. Hydrogens volumetric energy density is very low, meaning large areas are needed to store it. High pressure or low temperature environments can solve this problem; however, you’re now using energy to store your energy.

How do hydrogen fuel cells work?

Now we get into the technical side, how a hydrogen fuel cell actually works. Firstly you need fuel, this is in the form of hydrogen (H2), and oxygen (O2). Then you must separate the hydrogens protons and electrons, the protons then travel through a material called the electrolyte, towards the cathode. The electrons however, cannot pass through the electrolyte, and must take a different route, this is the point at which a current is formed and can deliver power. The protons and electrons meet back up at the cathode, along with some oxygen. The oxygen reacts with the protons and electrons, creating the by-product, H20.

How Datron assists in the development of hydrogen fuel technology

AFC Energy is a leading supplier of hydrogen fuel cells in the UK. Their focus is on using an alkaline electrolyte to generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. At their facility in Cranleigh, they design, test, manufacture, and distribute the latest hydrogen fuel cell technology for off grid power.

Datron is proud to be a part of the AFC journey to net zero. A Datron dispensing machine is used to apply an adhesive layer in order to assemble the fuel cell. They use many electrolytes and cathodes, to deliver the highest electrical current. It is paramount that the construction of their unique design is repeatable, so a Datron dispensing machine is the perfect tool for the job. With a Z- height laser mapping system, the machine dispenses a precise bead of unique adhesive maintaining a consistent bead height and width across any height variations within the material.

With the climate crisis, and the cost of living casting a scary shadow onto our day to day lives, we must plan for a cleaner and more sustainable future. That’s why we are so proud to support the companies, like AFC Energy, that are making that future a reality.

 

 

Bridgeport to Datron: Traditional to HSM

Manual machining is an important step into becoming a well-rounded machinist. Learning how the machine responds to the material by the feel through the handles and sound of the spindle. But although manual machining has been a crucial part of history, the industry has changed drastically with the introduction of Numerical Control (NC). Contours that would have taken hours to machine by hand can now be produced in minutes. But the industry is still evolving, with a large shift towards high-speed machining, a process with the same variables, but a very different process.

I began my milling journey in a similar way as many did, on a Bridgeport. And although I came home smelling of old coolant, with chips in my hair, and cuts on my hands, I loved taking a lump of metal and a technical drawing and creating something new. Hitting tolerances became a game and getting a great finish, a challenge. But being an engineer, we always look for more efficient methods and ways to work smarter (we’re lazy).

This is where HSM (high-speed machining) comes in. A process in which heavy, slow cuts are replaced with fast lighter cuts, in order to preserve tool life, prioritise dimensional accuracy and improve surface finish.

With the definition of HSM meaning different things to different people, we tend to say a machine operation with a spindle speed above 15k RPM would be classed as HSM. But it really ends up being a combination of things, a high speed spindle, a high feed rate and a high material removal rate. When we look at the thermodynamics of such an operation, we notice something interesting. As you can imagine, heat generated by milling is directly linked to spindle speed, and for the most part, as the spindle speed increases, so does the heat. But at a certain point, the heat begins to reduce, this is because the forces between the material and the cutter reduces due to the high spindle speed. Not only does this preserve your tools, but it also gives a superior surface finish.

Although faster operations, preserved tool life and improved dimensional accuracy sound like a no brainer, there are conditions. Attempting to machine in this style on traditional or older machines will end up in a hot mess, because they’re simply not quick enough. The load per tooth on the cutter will be too high, and you’ll end up with at least one of three things: a broken tool, a scrapped job, or worse, a wonky spindle.

So, you’ve got a fast machine and you’re ready to make some chips. Next, you’ve got to pick the right tools for the job. In all machining, whether you’re using a traditional or a CNC, vibration is your enemy, so when you’re ramping up your spindle to 40,000RPM its important you’ve taken precautions. Single flute cutters are favoured in HSM as they can spit the chips out faster than that of a multi-flute cutter.

There are variables that you need to consider before pressing the start button. What you’re cutting is an important question. For a Perspex application, a single flute and a high feed rate and RPM is perfect to get the hot chips away from the job, but for a hardened steel application, a multi-flute with a reduced RPM/feed rate is going to protect you from tool breakage and give you the best result.

When we are using traditional milling methods, we opt for larger diameter tools and deeper cuts to really chew the material away. Contrary to this, with a high speed spindle we use smaller tools. This is because we can get a higher material removal rate with smaller diameter tools without needing to subject our spindles to all those centripetal forces.

The traditional milling has its place, but we’re in an age of progressing technology, taking the process out of our hands and into the world of automation. Removing human error, cutting cycle times and increasing accuracy is the game, and Datron is on the frontline of emerging CNC technologies. If you’re thinking about developing your workshop in line with the modern standard, give one of our specialists a call today.