Kin-Dex™ Balancing Tooling
At the core of Vibration Solutions North’s approach to balancing is the Kin-Dex™ method of locating tooling for extreme repeatability and accuracy. The patented Kin-Dex™ system uses kinematic mounting that indexes and locates parts on fixtures or tooling so that they can be demonstrated to extreme levels of accuracy and repeatability.
Kin-Dex™ helps remove the uncertainty from balancing operations and dramatically speeds up the process of mounting and dismounting tooling and components for balancing.
How Kin-Dex™ Meets High Tolerance Needs
Balancing is the process of aligning a rotor’s intended rotational axis (the spin axis) with its natural axis of rotation (its principle axis of inertia), or that axis which the rotor strives to rotate about. How accurately these two need to be defined is dependent on the rotor’s required tolerance, and what this tolerance represents in terms of an eccentricity between the two axis.
When one discusses repeatability in the balancing process the discussion relates to how precisely the axis of rotation can be defined between runs or, between mounts of the rotor. This is directly related to the tooling which both holds the rotor and allows it to be mounted in the balancing machine. Without “repeatability”, the balancing process is of little use. Achieving tolerance means nothing if it can’t be repeated.
Traditionally better repeatability requirements have relied on more stringent machining tolerances. Not only tighter run outs of mating surfaces, but concentricity, circularity, fit clearances, etc. It is not uncommon to see design engineers specify tighter machining tolerances only for the sake of better balancing repeatability. This has been, and is today, the industry’s standard operating procedure
Machining tolerances of thousandths, or tens of thousandths, may not always be easy to achieve but are certainly routine in the machining world. These capabilities have historically been acceptable because balancing tolerances were repeatable at these levels. Today, however, the game has changed. Engines are becoming lighter and faster. Many of these new generation engine components and modules require balancing tolerances unheard of just a few years ago. It is not uncommon for today’s tolerances to be discussed in terms of eccentricities that are measured in the millionths of inches. Industry must adapt to these new requirements by understanding and resolving the fact that repeatability in millionths of inches is impossible with tooling that repeats, at best, to tens of thousandths.
As a major manufacturer of aerospace grade balancing tooling VSN addresses repeatability challenges as a matter of course. Unfortunately, while our manufacturing capabilities push the limits of today’s technologies, using traditional methods does not allow for better tooling strides. Rather than following the usual paths, we have looked rather at how assembly methods can be used to resolve these issues. Kin-Dex™ has provided us that solution.
Kin-Dex™ is our trade name for balancing tooling that utilizes kinematic mounting methods. Kinematic technology has been used for centuries. Today it is commonly found in optics, the semiconductor industry, and industries where high degrees of repeatability are a necessity. Kinematic mounting methods allow for precisely defining a rotor’s six degrees (the minimum information necessary to define an objects location and orientation). VSN’s patented Kin-Dex™ tooling technology, combined with our unrivaled manufacturing capabilities, enable us to achieve and repeat balancing tolerances once considered impossible.