The jig boring machine - invented by SIP in 1921 - is no longer used for the production of drilling jigs. These templates, which represent the geometric position of drill holes on a workpiece, became superfluous with the development of modern CNC technology. What has remained, however, is the need for ultraprecise drilling machines. Today, the boundaries between jig boring machines and machining centres, both high-precision machine tools, are fading. Used jig boring machines, such as DIXI or MIKROMAT, as well as other boring machines and industrial machinery can be found at Surplex. Even with a recent year of construction!
A jig borer (or a jig boring machine) is a piece of metalworking machinery used for the processing of highly accurate bores, cuts and grooves with minimal tolerances. Its name comes from its original application – the production of drilling jigs. Jig boring machines may vary from highly-accurate specialised work tools to universally applicable machines.
In the 18th century, drilling jigs were used to increase the quality of mass produced workpieces and to accelerate production. Drilling jigs themselves needed to be built following the classical methods. This changed in 1921 when the Swiss company CIP (Société genevoise d'Instruments de Physique) developed the first jig boring machine. A jig borer allowed for the coordinated positioning of boring machine and cutting and milling machines with accuracy levels of up to a micrometre. One of the first customers of the Swiss SIP was Henry Ford, who used jig borers for the development of mass production in his automobile workshop in Detroit in 1924. In the second half of the 20th century, the introduction of numerically operated machine tools made the manufacturing of drilling jigs unnecessary.
The production of precise bores with simple jig boring machines requires exact marking, punching and clamping in of the workpiece for every single hole. For mass production, this process is not only time consuming but also means there is a high chance of mistakes. The jig boring machine is a vertical boring machine and milling machine with a cross table. The work tool carrier was developed as a portal and contained translational axes. Today, the term "jig borer" usually encompasses milling and drilling machines that work with high levels of accuracy. Jig borers are characterised, among other things, by their particularly rigid frame, backlash-free bearings and guides, special features for the control and reduction of thermal loads on the machine, and integrated precision measuring equipment for all coordinated movements.
A CNC jig borer allows for the direct steering and coordination of workpieces and processing without having to mark and punch the workpieces beforehand. It also enables a simple and quick production of drilling jigs, with production tolerances in the region of half hundredths of a millimetre. The initial area of application for the jig boring machine (the manufacturing of drilling jigs) was no longer undertaken with the introduction of a CNC jig boring machine. Drilling jigs were still used, but mainly in woodworking with relatively large production tolerances. The CNC jig borer is usually applied where there is high demand for accuracy, for example, in the production of measuring equipment, precision tools or machine tools. The production tolerances achievable with jig boring machines are usually so minimal that they can only be achieved in a room with controlled temperatures.
Some of the most renowned jig borer manufacturers are SIP (that currently go by the name Société d'Instruments de Précision SA as a part of STARRAG Group), HECKERT (WMW), DECKEL (DMG MORI SEIKI), and BURKHARDT + WEBER (ROMI). You can regularly find a quality jig borer for sale manufactured by those and other well-known suppliers in our numerous industrial auctions as well as on our regular used jig borer sale page. We recommend you to visit Surplex.com regularly and subscribe to our newsletter so as not to miss any special used jig boring machine offers in the future.