SMW Autoblok News

  • SMW Autoblok Offers a Wide Range of Standard or Custom Collets and Mandrels

    When it comes to machining bar or tubular stock, many shops depend on collet and mandrel workholding. Both are excellent at clamping 360° around the outside diameter (collet) or the internal diameter (mandrel) of a workpiece. As a full turnkey solution provider for all your workholding needs, we offer a complete range of both types to cover most applications.

    ksznzn_colletGood-to-Go Collets
    Our standard collets are available in round, square and hexagonal configurations, or as blanks to be machined on the chuck. Bars and shafts from 4mm to 100mm can be accommodated with push or draw actuation.

    The KSZ-MB utilizes DIN 6343 collets and is designed for the efficient machining of bar stock on automatic bar machines with bar feeders. Our KSZ-DZN is designed for the safe clamping of bars. The draw collet system of this model provides the highest axial and radial rigidity. KSZ-AZN chucks are designed for the safe clamping of shafts, and the pull down effect onto the workstop allows for high axial positioning accuracy of the shafts. The KSZ-NZN holds the collet in a fixed axial position, therefore there is no axial movement or axial forces when clamping, which is ideal for pass off applications. The KSZ-AZL model is designed for the safe clamping of bars and shafts, and includes preparation for air sensing.

    ems MandrelReady-to-Ship Mandrels
    The mandrels in our standard line feature very rigid design and are ideal for turning, milling, grinding and gear cutting applications. Sizes range from 5.8mm to 129.7mm.

    EM-A & EM-C expanding mandrels feature high accuracy and torque transmission thanks to a fixed arbor. They achieve axial pulldown by axial movement of the clamping sleeve during actuation. EM-B Expanding Mandrels can clamp very short workpieces on the front of the sleeve. There is no axial movement of the clamping sleeve during operation. This model also feature high torque transmission and concentricity. Both the EM-A and EM-B models are ideal for turning, milling, grinding and gear cutting applications.

    EM-S models are power operated segment sleeve mandrels that are perfect for volume production and hard turning/grinding with wear resistant, case hardened and vulcanized clamping sleeves. Axial pull down by the axial clamping movement of the clamping sleeve provides superior face run out.

    Custom Fit for Specific Applications
    While our standard line is as good as they come for most jobs, when you need to match the clamping shape precisely to the workpiece, custom workholding is the best approach. Our customized collets and mandrels are designed and manufactured with your unique application and exact tolerances in mind.

    Seeing a growing need in the industry for custom solutions, especially in the automotive market, our office in Germany has just opened a new division in the Black Forest devoted mainly to developing custom collets and mandrels, bringing on a team with decades of experience. Working in tandem with our engineering team here in Wheeling, IL, we are able to double the amount of talent we can bring to bear on your most challenging bar and tubular turning issues.

    If you would like to discuss your particular needs, please contact us.

  • David McPeters: Bringing a Wealth of Experience to Our Sales Team

    ProfessionalDavid McPeters has recently joined SMW Autoblok as Regional Sales Manager for Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. He brings 37 years of manufacturing experience to his new position. That includes stints in quality control, product engineering and service. For the past 21 years, he worked as Manufacturing Engineer, supporting a machine shop with tooling, programming, ergonomics, safety, machine purchases, etc. This broad-based background gives him outstanding insights into what our customers need to turn out quality products.

    Speaking of quality, David was highly impressed with SMW Autoblok products after talking with Regional Sales Manager Calvin Macomber and local distributors. When he heard of the open sales position here, he jumped at the chance to see how life would be like on the other side of the business.

    Walking the Walk
    His background makes him uniquely qualified to meet the objectives for his new role in consulting and finding solutions for his new customer base. For example, his previous company was using an old broaching machine that took two operators two hours to set up. The set up involved standing on a step stool and reaching into the working mechanism, which consisted of a 3-foot long bar with three naked blades on each side! David researched and purchased two new VCMs to replace the old equipment. The operation now is common tooling with easy setup – just change the program out. Set up has been reduced to ten minutes and a severe safety situation has been avoided. Oh, by the way, the cost savings was a whopping $650,000 plus!

    DisneyA Great Start
    This kind of hands on knowledge, along with his easy-going nature, is sure to make David popular with the customers in his region. He credits the SMW Autoblok sales team with providing him with the tools and support he needed to get started. “Everyone here has gone above and beyond to make me feel at home,” he remarked. He appreciates the open door policy that enabled him to get answers to his questions in a timely manner. Another pleasant surprise was to find out just how much fun these guys can be. “They laugh a lot,” he said. “About the only things they take seriously are our customers and the product line.”

    Free Time Activities
    David has been a gym rat most of his life. Weight training keeps him in top shape, helps him maintain his health and is a great stress reducer.

    Another important part of David’s life is his involvement with Gideons International. While you may know them from the Bible in your hotel room, the organization provides New Testaments to schools, nursing homes, prisons, hospitals and military bases, among other locations. In fact, in 2017, they presented over 80 million Bibles to various sites. David travels to churches, spreading the Word and educating them about the group’s goals and accomplishments.

  • LNS: A Steady Partner for Steady Rest Sales and Service

    LNS America, a Cincinnati company with roots in Switzerland, invented the first hydraulic bar feeder (the Hydrobar®) in 1975. Since then, they quickly branched out to other machine tool accessories, including steady rests. Their reputation for unmatched products, applications experience, service and support make LNS the solid partner for SMW Autoblok in North America.

    LNS started their involvement with steady rests when one of their engineers began working closely with OEMs on difficult steady rest/machine tool integration issues. LNS became the foremost expert in the field with most of their designs being one-offs. Based on their success in solving the most difficult challenges, their steady rest business grew to the point where it became its own department in 2002.

    IMG_1730Branching Out
    About that time, LNS determined they could increase sales substantially if they collaborated with a workholding company that already had a base product line of stock steady rests. This would reduce the number of workholders that had to be developed from scratch. They began the search for a partner. The right candidate had to have an extensive line of steady rests with quality standards that matched their own. They only found one company that met those criteria: SMW Autoblok.

    Application Design Meets Quality Construction
    The partnership was attractive to us as well. At the time, we did not have much experience in the integration of our steady rests to a specific machine tool for a given application. This is exactly what LNS brought to the table.

    Ed Peter, Manager of Steady Rest and Workholding for LNS America, agrees that it is a win-win partnership. “For our part, SMW Autoblok’s extensive machining expertise means the steady rests we sell are precise and accurate, no matter how fine the specified tolerances are.”

    IMG_2046Meeting Challenges Together
    The two companies worked together to develop new designs to meet the needs of customers in the oil country, automotive, construction, aerospace and firearms industry segments.

    One specific challenge that stands out was for a major construction equipment manufacturer. The team had to design a steady rest to machine a crankshaft for a monster 20-cylinder engine. This project required a tandem mount steady rest, custom designed for both capacity and arm width. It also incorporated a coolant flush at the rollers, which is standard now on most models, but was an innovation at the time.

    Major Market Insights
    LNS has a special relationship with major OEMs, which offers them access to an extensive database of machine drawings. This makes it easier to create unique designs for each application. They even have knowledge of machines coming down the line so we can be prepared with steady rests that will easily integrate with them in the future.

    The Partnership Today
    Our product line has expanded to the point that today only 5% of the steady rests the partnership produces are custom designs. But customers are always looking to get more or different capacity out of a steady rest, especially in the tight space limitations within a machine tool. When a new challenge arises, we are readily available to dive into a new project.

    For customers who want to deal with a single source for all of their workholding needs, LNS also sells our compensating chuck, retractable jaw chucks, pneumatic chucks and quick jaw change chucks, all which integrate well with steady rest specific applications.

    “LNS really helped us expand our steady rest market in the U.S.,” said Kyle Zellmann, our Vice President of Business Development. “Their knowledge of the market, their design expertise and customer feedback have also helped us improve the quality of our steady rests over the years.”

    If you would like to discuss a unique or challenging steady rest application, please contact us and see just what our combined talents can accomplish.

  • Meet Mark Yeaton: Serving Our Customers in the Great Northeast

    IMG_0034Mark Yeaton is the latest addition to our team of Regional Sales Managers, serving customers in New England and eastern Canada. While thinking of himself as just an average sales guy, he is actually a very experienced professional with a background in both machining hardware and software. He spent 10 years selling CNC machinery, mainly for architectural products, and prior to that sold engineering software.

    Mark also holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in Durham. This academic background provides him with a thorough understanding of the complete design process. This gives him the ability to understand what customers are trying to accomplish and how to help them achieve it.

    Getting Started
    The CNC companies he worked for had plants in Germany and Italy, so Mark felt right at home with our global heritage. Having joined us just recently, he spent a week in our headquarters getting the sales picture and then learning the products with a week in the shop. He is already on the road, helping customers with their workholding challenges, introducing them to new products.

    An Historical Territory
    For those of you not up on your geography, Mark’s New England territory is a region comprised of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

    Mark knows the area well, since he hails from Westford, MA, located near where the American Revolution began in Lexington and Concord. A bell and weathervane made by Paul Revere grace two of the town’s buildings.

    MarkYeatonProjectsAfter Work Activities
    When not introducing himself and our products to customers, Mark can often be found in his own basement shop, where he designs, engineers and crafts wood-working projects such as cabinets and a fireplace mantel for his house.

    In the warm months, he can be found in his vegetable garden, which he has also engineered for minimum maintenance. The object is not so much the gardening itself as it is to have a fresh supply of tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers and squash for his kitchen. The vegetables supply the side dishes for the meats Mark enjoys cooking on his grill.

    Mark and his wife’s favorite get-a-way spot is Key West, where they try to escape to every year.

  • The SF-RAZ: Machine Perfect Couplings with One Set Up

    SF-RAZ2G_grauOil is rarely found in convenient locations. Most often the target bed of shale rock is half a mile or more away from the drilling structure. The pressures generated by changes in direction, rocky substrata and gravity can cause leaking or even bursting of pipes that are threaded and joined together. Pipes extended with couplings are stronger, but there are some machining challenges. For strength, the threads of the couplings need to be timed perfectly to each other (exactly equal (concentric/ coaxial) from one side to the other). And since time is money, the process has to be fast.

    Strength, precision and speed. You need a special chuck to make all this happen during the machining process. Our SF-RAZ 2-position hydraulic ring indexing chuck fits the bill.

    Clamp Once, Machine Twice
    Specifically developed for machining couplings in one set up, the SF-RAZ is designed for easy machining access to both sides of the coupling without operator intervention. This eliminates any loss of accuracy resulting from re-clamping after flipping and re-loading the coupling. The SF-RAZ clamps the coupling so it can be machined on the first side and then it rotates the coupling 180° so the other side can be machined. The coupling does not have to be clocked (re-oriented) for the second threading.

    SF-RAZ_1The process takes less than five seconds, which is 7-10 seconds faster than flipping the coupler manually. That may not seem like much, but if you do the math, it’s quite a time saver over the course of a year.

    Performance Plus
    The SF-RAZ features an extremely accurate and rigid indexing mechanism; distributing the clamping forces over six jaws (three self centering and three compensating) for perfect roundness of the coupling – ideal for premium threads. It also has high-low clamping capabilities to switch from roughing to finishing. The SF-RAZ is available is size ranges from 30" - 41" (750 - 1050 mm).

    For ease of operation, all functions are controlled by proximity switches and automatic central lubrication is standard. Large evacuation windows allow for easy chip evacuation.

    If you would like to discuss the value our SF-RAZ 2-position hydraulic ring indexing chuck can bring to your operations, please contact us.

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