CHIRON Announces New Quick Change Fixture for Auto Wheel Drilling


The WM (Wheel Machine) series of CNC vertical machining centers from CHIRON feature a new quick-change fixture. "It’s a quick four-step process," says Zip Lancaster, wheel machine specialist. "Radial clamp arms and spring-loaded pins have replaced time-consuming screws. Now positioning is always accurate when changing the different wheel sizes."

Furthermore, the new cylinder bracket design provides additional robot clearance. A built-in fixture blow-off device keeps the area chip free, which is particularly important in highly automatic working environments. "These new features are automation and productivity enhancements to an already very fast machine series," says Lancaster. Contributing to speed is the CHIRON patented tool changer offering the advantage of a chip-to-chip time of 2.1 seconds.

There are two machines in the WM series, the WM 05 and WM 08. The primary difference is wheel size accommodation. The WM 05 accepts alloy wheels with 14- to 20-inch diameters. The WM 08 is for wheels from 14 to 24 inches. Lug and valve holes are drilled from the front and rear in one chucking, saving time and improving quality. A rotating trunnion fixture swivels 360 degrees.

The WM series are designed for manufacturing as cells with other machine tools, such as turning centers, served by a robot for loading and unloading. The standard machines are available with 10,500 rpm, rapid speeds of 1,600 ipm, and acceleration of 0.5 G. A high speed version is available with 12,000 rpm and rapid rates of 2,400 ipm with an acceleration rate of 1 G. "Wheel drilling dictates the overall speed of the cell. With this series, we are never the cause of any bottleneck," Lancaster says, adding that 45 wheels per hour are typically produced.

CHIRON machines have been at work in the U.S. wheel industry since 1984. For more information contact Karamarie Gerbracht at (704) 587-9526 or . Also send e-mail to, or visit online at [].