Improve Aerospace Traceability With Zeus Marking
In the aerospace industry, requirements concerning traceability are extremely exacting on account of the painstaking approval process. Manufacturers and the respective supply chain must flawlessly comply with standards and documentation that details the when, what, where and how of component production and assembly. For components to be permanently marked to an impeccable standard, Floyd Automatic Tooling now offers the latest Hommel+Keller brand of Zeus marking systems. It is well recognized that the Zeus range of marking tools from Hommel+Keller GmbH can be integrated smoothly into a production process on all standard turning and machining centres, meaning the end of manual re-tooling on separate machines. This enables components to be processed in a single machine as part of the machining process, improving process stability, repeatability and precision.

A manufacturer of aerospace industry connectors has recently chosen marking technology from Hommel + Keller as a means of clearly identifying components. The connectors vary in terms of diameter and material. For example, parts identical in design are made from nickel with a diameter of 3.33mm and from brass with a much smaller diameter of 1.52mm. To optimise production and further reduce set-up times, the aerospace manufacturer was also looking for an alternative to marking with the production number.

Zeus Marking ImageThe solution was the Zeus spring return marking method. Explaining the situation, Hommel + Keller International Technical Sales engineer, Mr José Cruz recalls:

“The company was already using our tools for marking. However, the revolving method that depends on diameter was being employed. That meant there was a separate marking roll for each connector diameter and the customer often had to swap tools with production changes. Since the workpieces have very small diameters, the marking rolls also had an unfavorable ratio of 6:1 to ensure precise marking in multiple rotations. This increased the amount of set-ups required, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized production volumes. With our spring return system, we were able to offer the customer an even more cost-effective alternative method of machining. Now, different connectors need only one roll for marking.”

In contrast to the revolving method, the spring return method ensures the embossing process takes place over just one partial rotation of the marking roll. This permits processing at high speeds. The equipment remains in place at the end of the embossing process and jumps back to its precise starting position with the aid of a return spring. This enables workpieces of different diameters and product series to be marked with one and the same roll tool.

Adapted tool combined with individual marking roll
The left-handed version of the Zeus 431 marking tool was chosen for marking the different connectors. The profile of the marking roll is adjustable and replacing the springs enables the direction of rotation to be changed. Special surface hardening of the Zeus 431 marking tool increases wear resistance. The tool can be used on Swiss-type auto lathes, short and universal turning centres, mill/turn centres, multi-spindle turning machines and even rotary transfer machines. “To enable it to run on special machining equipment for manufacturing the connectors, the tool has a smaller shank measuring 7x7mm and an adjusted length, as well as a smaller head”, adds José Cruz.

Hommel+Keller GmbH has combined the marking tool with a single type 41 marking roll. This has a diameter of 12mm and a width of 5mm. The roll achieves the full depth of 0.3mm with complete clarity of the 0.25mm wide characters. Next to the marking, the Zeus marking roll has several sharply tapered driving points. There is a hole for the return spring and a centering chamfer opposite the starting point to ensure precise positioning. If the marking roll has to be replaced, a runner pin with a stop washer secured by a screw guarantees a speedy exchange. This exciting new development will be shown at EMO 2017 in Hanover in Hall 4 Stand D26 on the Hommel+Keller stand. For those that can’t make it to EMO, the new Zeus marking tools as well as the innovative HOBit gear cutting tools are now available from Floyd Automatic Tooling.
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