Modern Machine Shop – Lights Out Prototyping

Excerpt from Modern Machine Shop by Eli Plaskett

… Cautiously Moving to Lights Out Prototyping

Another major draw for the DMC 85? Lights-out production for a job shop. “We have been interested in pursuing lights-out machining for a while now,” Mr. Peterson says. “But working lights-out isn’t something you can put together overnight.”

Modern Machine Shop Lights out prototypingMr. Peterson recognized immediately that lights-out machining requires a fundamental change in approach. When the company decided unattended machining was a goal to pursue, it invested in Vericut software to ensure that tool paths were perfect. Additionally, it invested in Haimer shrink-fit technology to ensure the rigidity and precision of its tooling. However, that was not enough for Mr. Peterson to feel comfortable machining overnight, but the additional features of the DMC 85 do ease his concerns.

“Working lights-out isn’t something you can put together overnight.” — Todd Peterson

The new machine has numerous functions that make lights-out production more attainable. For starters, the ability to set up pallets and load the tool magazine was needed, but that is not the end of it. As with the DMU 65, the machine came with MPC for vibration monitoring and crash prevention and 3D Quickset, a program for automating the process for establishing the position of the part, further easing fears of scrapped parts or damaged machinery. Additionally, the control came with the new Tool Control Center (TCC) from DMG MORI.