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JJ Churchill Ltd reduces machining operations by half with Blue Photon technology

May 10th, 2018 by Blue Photon

Aerospace engineering firm JJ Churchill has announced it has reduced its tooling costs by 5% with a 50% reduction in the number of machining operations on a specific critical part.

This has been achieved with Blue Photon technology which is marketed in the UK and Europe by NCMT Limited.

This technology is applied to a titanium aluminide aerofoil blade component which is an extremely difficult material to fixture and machine. Blue Photon fixes the component to the tool with an adhesive, which cured under UV light, is strong enough for the most rigorous machining techniques including 5-axis CNC. The process is a replacement for encapsulation, providing reduced fixture complexity. Read the rest of this entry »


Case Study: Shop Finds Fixturing Solution for Flexing Parts

November 11th, 2017 by Blue Photon

Precision Grinding and Manufacturing uses an atypical means to fixture thin parts that are prone to flexing when conventional workholding clamps are used: adhesive cured by UV light. -By Derek Korn

Sometimes, the trickiest aspect of developing an effective machining process is figuring out how best to fixture the part. This can be especially challenging for castings and other workpieces that are relatively thin, because those parts are prone to flexing when conventional mechanical clamps (and even vacuum chucks in some cases) are used. Operators must take care not to distort such parts while tightening clamps, otherwise the parts will spring back to their natural state once the clamps are removed after machining. Vibration can also be an issue for parts like these if they aren’t rigidly fixtured, meaning a quality surface finish might be tough to achieve and cutting parameters might have to be dialed back, extending cycle times. Finding a way to effectively fixture complex, contoured parts can be just as difficult. Read the rest of this entry »


Cutting Tool Engineering: Stick With It

September 1st, 2017 by Blue Photon

Productive Times: Stick With It

By Kip Hanson – Published September 1, 2015

Let’s say you want to machine your initials on your favorite Hummel figurine or cut the likeness of the school mascot on your daughter’s Little League helmet. How are you going to grip them? A conventional way to grip fragile, difficult-to-hold workpieces is to encapsulate them in some sort of potting compound, a time-consuming and wasteful process.

Rather than mix up a tub of two-part epoxy, consider photo-activated adhesive workholding (PAAW). Read the rest of this entry »


Case Study: Urschel Laboratories Inc.

May 3rd, 2017 by Blue Photon

Productive Times: Bonded By Light

By Alan Richter – Published May 3, 2017, in Cutting Tool Engineering magazine

Adhesive being applied to the gripper head of a Blue Photon photo-activated adhesive workholding system

Adhesive is applied to the gripper head of a Blue Photon photo-activated adhesive workholding system. Image via CTE and courtesy of Urschel Laboratories.

Urschel Laboratories Inc. manufactures industrial equipment to slice, dice, shred and mill virtually any food product.

According to Bill Monroe, senior manufacturing engineer for Urschel, the company machines parts for the food processors at its only manufacturing facility, located in Urschel’s 350,000-sq.-ft. headquarters. Urschel produces many of these workpieces in its two foundries. “We have a no-bake foundry and an investment foundry,” Monroe said.

As part of a major new project that Urschel, Chesterton, Ind., started late last year, Monroe needed to hold a 300-series stainless steel billet that was convex on one side and then access five sides when machining it on a 5-axis machine. Read the rest of this entry »


Case Study: NCMT Limited

April 22nd, 2017 by Blue Photon

Adhesive Workholding Allows Turbine Blades To Be Ground In One Hit

Technique offers the possibility of automated production

A fixture designed by NCMT for securing a turbine blade on one aerofoil surface using four adhesive grippersA new method for securing a turbine blade prior to machining by gluing one side of its aerofoil to a fixture, rather than using mechanical clamping, allows the root and tip to be ground in one operation. Traditionally, due to clamp interference, at least two operations are required on conventional CNC grinders to machine the fir-tree and wedge face on the root as well as the shroud end features at the tip.

The one-hit manufacturing process is not only faster, but also eliminates work-in-progress and the risk of introducing inaccuracy due to repeated refixturing. The technique is being developed in the UK by NCMT, which sells Makino’s VIPER grinding platforms across Europe. Since May 2015, the company has also been European agent for the patented Blue Photon photo-activated adhesive workholding system from the USA. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Year Limited Warranty – Best In Manufacturing

October 20th, 2016 by Blue Photon

Blue Photon is proud to offer a 5-year limited warranty on all grippers, when used exclusively with BlueGrip™ warranty adhesive.

A 5-year warranty means your investment is protected against any failure or defects. These little grippers will stand up to repeated use in many different applications. Use them with our available inserts to protect your fixtures from thread galling and increase the life of your fixtures, too.

Grippers bear the weight of the workpiece, hold the adhesive and allow the UV light through to cure from the center outward. With all the responsibility put on these little tools, it is reassuring to have 5-year warranty confidence from Blue Photon.

The only requirement of the warranty is the exclusive use of BlueGrip™ workholding adhesive with the grippers. And why would you use anything else? BlueGrip™workholding adhesive is formulated specifically for Blue Photon’s photo-activated adhesive workholding. It is chemically engineered for our unique system and has been rigorously tested.

Contact us if you have any questions about our warranty. If you’d like to know more about the Blue Photon workholding system, contact us for a hands on demo of our technology.


Time Saver: Spindle Mounted Cleaning Tool

August 10th, 2016 by Blue Photon
Spindle Mounter Gripper Cleaning Tool

Spindle Mounter Gripper Cleaning Tool

The 82400 Spindle Mounted Gripper Cleaning tool mounts in any 3/4 diameter collet or end mill holder. The assembly comes with the tool, a spring-loaded, replaceable head and the HAAS program.

After removing the part from the grippers, you can insert the fixture back into the machine, insert the Spindle Mounter Gripper Cleaning Tool, and run the program. The head grinds residual, cured adhesive off of grippers in seconds. You are ready to load a new part without resetting the grippers in the fixture. The replaceable head is good for 1000 to 1250 cleaning cycles when using the Blue Photon cleaning cycle parameters and a coolant.

Here is the Cleaning Tool in action:


Ceramic Turbine Part

June 1st, 2016 by Blue Photon

The Part: A Turbine Part.

The Material: Ceramic.

The Problem: Due to the brittle nature of ceramics, they are easily damaged when traditional workholding methods are used.

The Solution: PAAW transfer tools were made that eliminated scrap due to fixture induced damage and part movement during processing.

Additional Benefits: By implementing the Blue Photon System the manufacturer was able to eliminate clamping induced scrap. Part movement was eliminated. Output was increased due to increased feed rates. Overall quality improvements were seen. The new tools allow for easy automation of this high value part.


News From Blue Photon Headquarters

May 19th, 2016 by Blue Photon

A new facility, a new sales agency, and a new employee.

We moved into our new facility in Shelby, Michigan on May 1, 2016. We now have a dedicated shop area, a lab for testing, and plenty of office and conference space.

New Employee, CAD Designer Charles Ware

Charles will be assisting with everything at Blue Photon especially, testing, fixture design, and technical drawing and design.

News Sales Agency, Jones Marketing

Jones Marketing is headquartered in Lilburn, Georgia and will cover the southeastern US including Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

jones_marketing_logo


Our National Sales Team

April 19th, 2016 by Blue Photon

We are proud to announce that we have established a strong network of well-trained manufacturers’ sales representative agencies to cover sales and support throughout the US. Individual sales representatives from the following agencies will take the lead in sharing Blue Photon grip technology, growing sales of the workholding product through distributorships, and supporting end users with training and applications.

Blue Photon Manufacturer Agent Map

In addition to US coverage, we have established agreements with Dynamic Tools Corporation in Japan and NCMT in the United Kingdom to cover Western Europe.

Contact and territory information is available on our website at BluePhotonGrip/Sales-Contacts Contact the sales representative in your area to schedule a hands on demo of Blue Photon’s patented workholding system.

Introduction of the sales network coincides with the release of our updated website. The new site features in-depth technical product information, instructional videos, and full descriptions of system components and how they work.

Blue Photon is a photo-activated, adhesive workholdling solution that first hit the market in the aerospace industry. Complex-shaped, hard-to-hold parts, and delicate materials like ceramic and laminated composites are keenly suited to the technology, which supplies up to 605 lbs of tensile holding power. However, it soon became apparent that the technology was well suited to every industry from automotive to medical. Any part that is at risk for distortion from traditional clamping, or that poses complications in fixture design is easily and simply held with Blue Photon’s patented grippers and adhesive.

We look forward to hearing how Blue Photon can help you!