April 2010 - Continuous improvement is necessary for any company that wants to keep itself and its products relevant. For more than 25 years, OTT-Jakob power drawbars have been advancing along with the specialized needs of manufacturers.
Advanced Machine and Engineering Co., Rockford, Ill., is the only licensed distributor and manufacturer of OTT-Jakob power drawbars in the United States. The OTT-Jakob power drawbars were first developed in 1974, and today are used in more than 250,000 machines. The drawbars' universal inside spindle contour allows manufacturers' machines or spindle units to clamp steep taper tool.
Aeromet Industries Inc., Griffith, Ind., is an equipment repair specialist for heavy industry and a manufacturer of metal processing mandrels. Recently, a need arose with a customer for an outboard support for a recoil mandrel that is used to coil up rolls of sheet steel.
Aeromet's outmoded design was unable to support the recoil, causing it to sag and overstressing the arbor that holds the mandrel. This issue led Aeromet to enlist AME to manufacture a custom-designed compact OTT-Jakob drawbar.
"We were trying to keep a tapered outboard support for a recoiler mandrel in its socket," says Tony Alessandrini, mechanical engineer for Aeromet. "We used these drawbars because we're familiar with them. They're in a couple of our horizontal mills."
Pound for pound
The power drawbar AME supplied Aeromet with 3,370 pounds of pulling force, allowing it to pull tightly against the drum and eliminate any sagging. When the taper in the support arm properly locates the mandrel, it results in a concentric positioning to the drawbar and, thus, a matchup with outboard support.
"I was concerned because of the swing radius and sagging of the mandrel that it would cause a misalignment and cause premature wear and damage to the tapers and fingers," says Harold Goellner, OTT-Jakob product manager. "Also, [another concern was] if we had enough pull in force to draw the mandrel to the taper."
Fortunately, the implementation went smoothly, and Aeromet's customer was able to properly support its recoil mandrel.
"The customer was happy with the results from our modification using the drawbar," says Alessandrini. "AME was extremely helpful in helping me with getting the drawbar in the right position during the design."
What's more, since the installation, there haven't been any issues with the power drawbar.
"This was a special compact, short version, and it fit well in this application because of its ease of installation and reliability," says Goellner. "We haven't replaced any parts since it was put into service."
Goellner also recommends the OTT-Jakob drawbars for any application involving tool clamping in machine tool spindles, steep taper, HSK or special tools. In fact, OTT-Jakob offers a complete program of HSK and steep-taper power drawbars, making it the sole manufacturer able to provide complete tool-clamping systems. MM