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Knee Mill CNC Retrofits

Southwestern Industries/TRAK Machine Tools, a provider of CNC technology for small lot machining, offers ProtoTRAK CNC retrofit kits for more than 40 different brands of knee mills. "This powerful, but easy to learn and use conversational CNC technology has been retrofitted more than 15,000 times over the past two decades by factory-trained technicians, and it can be installed in less than one day," said a company spokesperson.

Knee mills may be retrofitted to either a two-axis CNC/three-axis DRO configuration (ProtoTRAK EMX or SMX2) or a three-axis CNC/DRO configuration (ProtoTRAK SMX3). The EMX and SMX2 feature a Z-axis (quill) glass scale standard while the SMX3 comes with a ball screw and motor assembly. Retrofit kits contain all of the standard items required to upgrade a mill and include the CNC, ball screws, motors and hardware. Kit options include coolant and auto lube pumps, spray coolant, power draw bars, halogen work lamps, knee power feeds, limit switches, networking and TRAKing/electronic hand wheels.

TRAKing allows an operator to run a program by turning the hand wheels. The speed at which the program is executed is controlled by the speed at which the operator turns the hand wheels. As a result, TRAKing may increase productivity by allowing an operator to dry run a program while simultaneously machining a part.

Advanced software options (available with the SMX2 and/or SMX3) also increase productivity by reducing programming time. These options include Auto Geometry Engine that automatically fills in missing drawing dimensions during CNC programming, and canned cycles for irregular profiles and pockets, circular/rectangular/irregular islands, engraving and face milling.

"New SMX software options include Parasolid Converter and Verify machining simulation software," said a company spokesperson. "The former allows users to generate ProtoTRAK programs quickly and easily from 3-D CAD Parasolid files. The latter enables users to run and verify their ProtoTRAK programs prior to cutting chips which results in lower scrap and rework costs."

For more information contact:

Bruce Meredith, Marketing

Southwestern Industries, Inc.

2615 Homestead Place

Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

310-608-4422 / 800-421-6875

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