Manufacturing Systems Today: MachiningManufacturing Systems Today: Machining
December 8, 2011
Precision micromachining center
The iQ300 numerically controlled micromachining center incorporates Makino's latest machine and spindle design advances, provides sophisticated control of component temperature, and uses 0.005-µm scale feedback to maintain submicron accuracy. The manufacturer has equipped the machine with a thermally stable, vibration-free 45,000-rpm HSK-E32 spindle suited for the ultraprecision fine-detail machining required in the production of miniature medical device components. In addition, the center integrates a proprietary automatic tool-length measurement system to ensure microscopic blending and matching of surfaces when different tools are used in machining a part. A 40-tool magazine makes available a variety of tooling for addressing a range of projects. Allowing for multiple setups and accepting precision chucks and vises, the machining center's worktable measures 23.6 × 15.7 in., and its travels in the x-, y-, and z-axes are 15.7, 13.8, and 7.9 in., respectively.
Automated machining cell
A preengineered, fully integrated production machining cell automates the loading and unloading of medical device parts. Offered by Methods Machine Tools Inc., the RoboDrill Med Cell is built around the Fanuc RoboDrill vertical machining center and includes a six-axis Fanuc robot. The manufacturing cell features five-axis machining capability and is suitable for various applications, including short-run production of medical device components in materials ranging from stainless steel to titanium. Compact and designed for simple installation, fast setups and changeovers, operator safety, and manufacturing flexibility, the production center is easy to configure for virtually any pallet-mounted workpiece that will fit in its 6-in. universal vise or chuck. A custom-engineered drop trunnion rotary table optimizes system rigidity and accuracy as well. The cell is designed for continuous five-axis machining of exotic materials and complex parts, as well as for cost-effective lights-out automation.
Methods Machine Tools Inc.
Vertical machining center
The Vertical Center Nexus-Compact machine from Mazak Corp. is designed for fast, precise manufacturing of small, complex medical device components within a space-saving footprint. Available in three- and five-axis versions, the system is a high-speed machine suited for lean manufacturing programs. The high-precision vertical machining center features a high-torque 20-hp, 12,000-rpm CAT 40 spindle as standard, with faster spindles available optionally. It can also handle such tough materials as stainless steel, Inconel, and titanium. The center has a 25.6 × 15.7-in. worktable that holds parts as heavy as 661 lb, and its x-, y-, and z-axis travels are 19.69, 15.75, and 12.99 in., respectively. The three linear axes attain traverse rates as high as 1417 in./min and feed rates up to 315 in./min. A 20- or 30-tool magazine provides part-production versatility.
High-speed machining center
Suited for tight-tolerance medical device applications, the M10 Pro high-speed machining center from Datron Dynamics Inc. features linear scales on all axes driven by larger motors and drives than previous systems. The linear scales yield a ±5-µm positioning accuracy and rapid traverses up to 30 m/min. Their incorporation has led to the development of a new high-speed CNC control for three to six machine axes. The gantry-style machining center also has a direct-drive, liquid-chilled, 40,000-rpm spindle that uses HSK-E25 toolholders with runout below 1 µm. In addition, its work area of 40 × 28 in. is generous relative to the machine footprint of 79 × 83 in., according to the company. Added functionality such as palletized work holding and advanced probing is available to help speed setup and optimize part quality and uniformity.
Datron Dynamics Inc.
Replaceable-tip end mills
The Minimaster Plus line of end mills with replaceable carbide cutting-head inserts represents an advance over the original series by virtue of a high-precision interface between the replaceable insert and the tools' steel shank, according to its manufacturer. Seco Tools has designed the upgraded tool series, which is suited for machining such parts and instruments as knee implants, implant forging dies, and bone plates, with advanced features for milling steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, and other difficult-to-machine materials. Each insert has an internal thread and external taper, whereas the tool shank has an internal taper with a threaded center pin to enhance reliability and stability and to minimize runout. Additionally, an axial stop on the shank maximizes repeatability and productivity by letting users replace an insert with 25-µm axial positioning accuracy without removing the tool from the spindle. Twenty-four versions of the shank are available, along with square-shoulder and ball-nose inserts in two grades.
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