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High Performance Milling for Complex Aerospace Parts

One school of thought believes that high performance milling is a substitute for high speed milling, but the Mikron HPM 1350U features five-axis machining that argues why this may not be the case.

The Mikron HPM 1350U does simultaneous five-axis machining on loads up to 3,306.9 lb with a rotational speed up to 40 rpm.

One school of thought believes that high performance milling (HPM) is a substitute for high speed milling, but that may not be the case, technically speaking. While high speed milling aims to machine complex 3D surfaces in the shortest possible time, high performance milling is a process designed for a high material removal rate.

For this reason, GF AgieCharmilles LLC (Lincolnshire, IL) has designed the HPM family of machine tools especially for high performance milling by incorporating very rigid machine bases with a thermosymmetrical structure, high performance motor spindles that perform direct-driven round and swiveling axes, a high table load with an optimized flow of chips, linear scales on all axes and a scraped supporting surface of the linear guides for unlimited geometrical accuracy.

These unique machining advantages are showcased on the Mikron HPM 1350U that is equipped with either a Siemens or Heidenhain CNC to create an ideal high-performance milling solution for cutting complex aerospace components out of aluminum and titanium. The HPM 1350U offers simultaneous five-axis machining while also providing dynamic performance and high precision. The linear motor technology for the rotary axis can produce large axis movements with unrestricted access that is perfect for heavy cutting and precise machining.

Built with a versatile milling tilt head and a 43.42 in diameter rotary table, the HPM 1350U handles loads up to 3,306.9 lb with a rotational speed up to 40 rpm. A direct drive high torque motor drives the milling head to ensure faster and more dynamic machining, with a 50 hp spindle output at 15,000 rpm with 142.349 ft-lb (193 Nm) of torque.

The milling head is also constructed to swivel up to 136 deg, and the swivel axis can be precisely indexed degree by degree. A hydraulic clamping device for the spindle allows boring and machining procedures to be performed from any position.

The HPM 1350U is also outfitted with revolutionary Smart Machining Modules that use sensors to allow machinists to utilize the Advanced Process System (APS) for monitoring and recording spindle vibrations. Designed to switch between vertical and horizontal multi-axis machining processes in 1.7 seconds, the HPM 1350U can accommodate a wide variety of applications that range from production-type prismatic parts to complex tool and die work, all in a single setup.

The HPM 1350U uses a standard 46-position tool magazine with the option of having a 30-tool or 92-tool magazine to further increase versatility in part production.

IMTS attendees also learned how the GF AgieCharmilles’ UPTIME+ service and support program further leverages the competitive advantages of the company’s advanced product portfolio, including the HPM 1350U, through applications expertise, comprehensive training, technical assistance, preventive maintenance, world-class warranty coverage as well as parts and consumables.

GF AgieCharmilles LLC, 560 Bond Street, Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224, 800-CTC-1EDM, 847-913-5340,,


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