AMERICAN MACHINIST - Customer testimonial

Traditional production for Brass Craft Western Co. in Lancaster, Tex., always meant multispindle lathes for straight parts and transfer systems for other components until the manufacturer of plumbing products started using double-bar transfer systems. Brass Craft has 14 Buffoli Trans-Bar systems that completely machine its variety of valves, straight fittings, nipples, nuts, elbows, tees, and faucet parts. The systems save floorspace, increase productivity, and provide Brass Craft with manufacturing flexibility and easy changeovers. Since the machines produce two parts instead of one, they outproduce multispindle automatics by as much as 300% to 400%. Not only do the Buffoli machines improve productivity and efficiency, they provide changeover times of less than 2 hr. The part-working process is automatic through to the ejection of a finished workpiece. Rotating tools aligned on separate axes, or transversely, move in different directions for operations that include cutoff, facing, drilling, boring, reaming, milling, conical and profile turning, and internal and external recessing. The system also taps, threads, broaches, rolls, form threads, slots, knurls, deburrs, marks, gages, and subassembles components such as bushings, inserts, and pins. Independent cutting feeds and speeds for each tool optimize cutting parameters, surface finishes, cycle times, and tool lives. In most situations, one operator can run two double-bar transfer machines. On the Trans-Bar system from Italian builder Buffoli Transfer S.p.A. the bar loader accommodates up to 3 ton in material and random bar lengths to 23-ft long. The machine's integrated cutoff system with a 0.040-in.-thick sawblade saves material and tool costs and runs carbide-tipped blades if needed. An electronic-measuring unit lets users program a safety limit and track blade wear through a graphical representation. The company supplies quick-change-type clamping fixtures (chucks, collets, and expanding mandrels) that accurately hold any workpiece. Set-up times on the Trans-Bar, as compared to screw machines, are 50% shorter.
In addition to coaxial part clamping and the capability of processing three part sides simultaneously, the Trans-Bar optimizes quality. Also, bars feeding into the system do not rotate, so there is no noise and, more importantly, no vibration to affect machining accuracy. Controls on the Trans-Bar use shop-language/conversational CNC programming without G or M codes. Graphic menus guide operators step-by-step, and Windows-type functionality, such as copy, cut-and-paste, and insert/delete modes, minimizes programming time and effort.
Self-learning and teach modes provide semiautomatic operation, and operators can input real-time, part-program data on-the-fly while the machine runs. And through the control PC, they save all working parameters. Buffoli's CNC and software provide accurate, real-time production and maintenance information. Hundreds of digital images and videos display alarms, diagnostics, and remedies on the machine's CNC screen. The control and software also automatically store production data and machine-failure statistics. The machine's tool-monitoring system, fully integrated into the machine's CNC, detects tool wear for maintaining process integrity and controlling tool costs.

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