I have a CNC Lathe setup to machine a small conical part from 1/2" round aluminum stock (6061-T6). The program runs continuously and makes about 130 parts per 12 foot length.
The part drops off at the end of the program, then the program advances the stock and cuts another. I don't have room to put some type of part catcher in the cut zone ( I've tried). The parts just drop down into the rats nest of turnings/chips.
Right now we just gather drums of chips from the machine and dig / pick the small parts out of the chips by hand. About 60% of the total stock ends up as chips and 40% for the parts.
As we have to make several thousand of these parts each run, I'm looking for some sort of automatic or semi-automatic way of separating the parts from chips or at least breaking up the long turnings so they can be sifted easier.