Aggregate Heads

Are you struggling with moving your work from one machine to another?  Do you have to re-position the work-piece on your machine?  Is your machine unable to perform specific criteria, which causes you to turn down business?  If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, continue reading this post!

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Generally, companies consider purchasing an aggregate head for a CNC machine when an additional axis would reduce material handling and speed up production or when existing equipment does not have the capability needed to efficiently perform a job at hand. Since there are many styles and types of aggregates, choosing the right one is essential.

There are three primary considerations:
1) How long will you be “in the cut?” (Excessive heat resulting from the cutting action can cause aggregate failure.)
2) How are you cutting the material? (Will you be primarily routing or sawing?)
3) What type of material are you cutting? (Is it a dense material or a soft material?)

Aggregate head bodies are constructed of aluminum, which keeps the weight to a minimum on your machine spindle and in your carousel.  This also allows the heat to dissipate, keeping the aggregate as cool as possible while it’s in the cut.  Internally, our aggregates use beveled, calibrated gears to ensure there is minimal “backlash” in the gearing.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of energy transferred to the gearing when the aggregate first enters the cut.  That energy is transformed to heat.  Based on this scenario, how you keep the aggregate cooled is critical to the longevity of the aggregate.

Viscous grease is the most common method of cooling/lubricating the gearing.  A greased gear-lubricated aggregate is ideal for routing and light scoring of material.  But, with viscous grease lubrication, there is a “catch”.  During operation, the temperature of the aggregate cannot exceed 185 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is the maximum heat index the grease can withstand. If the aggregate temperature exceeds 185 degrees, the grease will burn off, creating a metal-on-metal situation with the gearing, greatly increasing the temperature internally.

source: Woodworking Network Interview with GUHDO Aggregate Sales Specialist Chris Kelly

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For more information visit our website at http://www.guhdo.com/aggregates.php

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