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Step Cycle Pro – Star’s cutting edge development in swarf management

Step Cycle Pro – Star’s cutting edge development in swarf management

A cutting edge development in swarf management

Derbyshire-based sliding headstock lathe supplier, Star Micronics GB Ltd, launched its new advancement in swarf control technology at MACH 2022 following extensive research and development.

Step Cycle Pro (SCP) is the company’s latest breakthrough to combat the challenges presented by stringy swarf when processing difficult-to-chip materials such as aluminium, Inconel, stainless steel, copper and plastics.

The Step Cycle Pro system delivers its highly effective ‘air-cut’ chip-breaking operation by oscillating the axis in synchronisation with the spindle rotation cycle and can be used simultaneously on both the main and sub spindles. This oscillation cutting method increases production efficiency by eliminating machine stoppages related to swarf entanglement and enhances tool life by reducing the temperature of the tip whilst in operation.

Developed to suit a variety of machining types including turning, drilling, facing and grooving, Step Cycle Pro offers a dedicated interface on the FANUC CNC system that allows engineers to easily select the ideal program conditions and chip length from a database of recommendations. The technology does not require any unique skills to operate and can be easily activated or deactivated with a single line G-code command.

As commonly found with other makes of CNC lathe, a small increase in cycle time is to be expected when utilising similar air-cutting functions. However, the advanced system developed by Star can automatically adjust the actual feed rate when the function is enabled to ensure that cycle times remain unaffected and maximum output can be achieved.

Alec Warner, Operations Manager for Star GB says: “While our High Frequency Turning software remains popular, Step Cycle Pro provides the synchronised oscillation cutting and air-gap necessary to break the swarf on softer materials.

The Step Cycle Pro command is easy to insert into your NC program, as the control automatically calculates the recommended coefficients for the chip length and amplitude based on the specified RPM and feed rate.

All new machines are mechanically equipped to withstand the increased load associated with oscillation cutting. This enables customers to trial the function in ‘setting mode’ before they purchase the option on a permanent basis.