Three machining-cell models configured by GF Machining Solutions (Lincolnshire, IL) demonstrate how to optimize production workflows.
Cell 1: Additive and subtractive workflow. As additive manufacturing (AM) and laser micromachining become increasingly common, manufacturers need a way to easily integrate these technologies with their conventional subtractive machining operations. A three-machine cell comprised of the DMP Flex 350, AgieCharmilles CUT AM 500, and Mikron MILL S 400 U optimizes hybrid part-production operations.
The DMP Flex 350 enables 24/7 production of very dense, pure metal AM parts from tough-to-machine alloys including Inconel, titanium, cobalt chrome, aluminum and steel. Short changeover times and streamlined 3DXpert all-in-one parametric software allow shops to move quickly from 3D modeling to part printing, while the CUT AM 500’s tilting table and horizontal wire EDM separate parts from build plates with lower running costs and higher part quality than conventional EDMs and band saws.
The MILL S 400 U is included to complete parts as possible, even when unattended. It’s a high-speed full simultaneous 5-axis milling machine with an integrated 18-pallet changer, automatic table, workpiece cleaning system, and a range of smart machining modules for advanced in-process monitoring.
Both the additive and subtractive processes use the same type of System 3R tooling to expedite moving parts between machines and ensure the highest repeatability.
Cell 2: Lights-out automation with the AgieCharmilles FORM S 350 die-sinking EDM, AgieCharmilles LASER S 1000 U laser-texturing platform, and Mikron MILL P 500 3-axis vertical machining center ensure accuracy is maintained over long periods of machining, especially when left unattended overnight.
All three machines are capable of achieving micron-scale precision for the highest quality surfaces, thanks to features such as integrated thermostabilization, rigid polymer concrete machine bases, and software solutions such as Intelligent Spindle Monitoring (ISM), Smartpatch and Intelligent Speed Power Generator (ISPG). Even for exceptionally precise parts, the machines deliver perfect repeatability all night long, every night, for lights-out automation.
Cell 3: Standalone robot. Even a single machine’s productivity can be enhanced with the appropriate automation. In this model cell, the AgieCharmilles CUT P 550 Pro wire EDM solution is made even more productive with the addition of a System 3R WorkPartner 1+ (WPT1+), an automation solution that offers maximum magazine capacity in minimal floor space for unprecedented flexibility, making it easy for manufacturers to start with a single magazine and add one or two as required.
This is ideal for the high-speed productivity of the CUT P 550 Pro, which provides 20% faster cutting speeds with 25% less wire consumption thanks to its Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) technology. To maximize productivity during unattended machining and leverage the flexible capacity of the WPT1+, the solution also features Spark Track technology with Intelligent Spark Protection System (ISPS) for the most secure processes available in the EDM sector today.
For even greater part-processing speeds, the CUT P 550 Pro will be compatible with the company’s new Uniqua control. This human-machine interface builds on the dynamic programming potential of the company’s VISION Controls with EIA/ISO code compatibility as well as a range of features designed to increase wire cutting speeds from 14% to 28% on CUT P series machines.
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