5-Axis HMC is Right Sized for Small Aerospace Parts

The a61nx-5E from Makino is uniquely sized for small components, featuring 3D contours without compromising the highly productive spindle performance and 5-axis capabilities of larger aerospace machines.

Makino (Mason, OH) offers the a61nx-5E, a right-sized 5-axis horizontal machining center for complex aluminum aerospace parts. As aerospace manufacturing continues to ramp up in North America, the a61nx-5E offers a unique and appropriately sized design for small components featuring 3D contours, without compromising the highly productive spindle performance and 5-axis capabilities of larger aerospace machines.

The a61nx-5E features the same robust design and proven reliability of our smaller nx-Series horizontal machining centers, but with the added speed and performance of our larger MAG-Series machines,” said David Ward, the horizontal product line manager for Makino. “This machine differentiates itself from other similar 5-axis horizontal platforms with an innovative pallet-change system, advanced twin-direct-drive rotary table design, and availability of a high-power 24,000 rpm spindle. The result is a highly productive, right-sized solution that can provide up to 310 cu in of metal removal per minute.”

The a61nx-5E provides enhanced rigidity through a three-point bed casting and tiered column structure. It has X-, Y– and Z-axis travels of 730 mm (28.7 in), 730 mm and 680 mm (26.8 in), respectively. Linear acceleration is 1 G on the X– and Y-axes, and 0.8 G in the Z-axis. The direct-drive rotary tables offer improved access to all sides of a part, especially when using shorter tools — yielding improved performance and accuracy.

A closed-loop thermal management system ensures reliability and accuracy by removing heat generated by the large direct-drive rotary table motors. The a61nx-5E also uses the same proven tool magazines as the nx-Series of machines with a ring style ATC60 as standard. Optional matrix magazines with capacities of 133, 218 or 313 are available options.

The a61nx-5E comes equipped with a standard 14,000 rpm spindle with 240 Nm of duty-rated torque and 30 kW of duty-rated output. This configuration is ideal for the premium job shop needing a 5-axis platform to machine a wide variety of materials. Other spindle configurations include an optional 14,000 rpm high-torque version and a 20,000 rpm spindle for those manufacturers that need slightly more speed.

A demonstration of aluminum machining of aerospace parts on the a61nx 5E.

For those shops handling high-performance, high-volume aluminum machining, the a61nx-5E has the option for the 24,000 rpm high-performance core-cooled spindle. This spindle provides up to 80 kW of duty-rated (60 kW continuous) output, delivering four to five times more metal removal per minute than typical high-speed spindles, and offering superior finishing feed rates.

This high-speed spindle brings the aluminum roughing and finishing capabilities that are typically associated with Makino’s much larger MAG machines into a smaller platform, enabling cycle-time reductions of 45 to 50 percent in complex parts (when compared to a typical 20,000 rpm high-speed spindle).

The a61nx-5E’s innovative pallet changer eliminates material-handling challenges by enabling operator-friendly part loading and unloading via a 45 deg pivot point that transfers pallets from a vertical to horizontal orientation. The loading height is an ergonomically friendly 32 in off of the floor, improving safety at the loading station.

Workpiece limitations are a generous 600 mm (23.62 in) by 385 mm (15.15 in), accommodating easy crane clearance through the doors. For customers wishing to add automation to their 5-axis machining, this unique pallet-change system is fully compatible with the MMC-R robotic fixture plate distribution system.



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