Gearing up for Westec

  • 30-Jun-2008 06:53 EDT

Users of Numerical Control Computer Sciences’ NCL multi-axis machining software now have the ability to machine multiple surfaces in a single operation.

Machine tool makers, software developers, and companies involved in other facets of manufacturing are gearing up for the Westec show later this month in Los Angeles.

Among them will be Tri-Tech Precision Products, which plans to display its Model 5414 five-axis programmable head attachment. The M5414 attaches to virtually any three-axis CNC milling center to provide true simultaneous five-axis machining and drilling capability.

The product is suitable for use in aerospace and other industries.

The M5414 offers enhancements including an upgraded spindle with high-precision bearings designed to further increase rigidity and deliver a noticeably smoother surface finish. The recently upgraded worm gears offer a measurable improvement in accuracy over previous models. The M5414 now includes an Inpro spindle seal that virtually eliminates potential spindle contamination.

Designed to handle the most complex machining, including full five-axis profiling, contouring, slots, and holes, the M5414’s sturdy holding fixture enables a quick installation time—less than 30 min. Construction uses A2 tool steel in the drive block and main bevel gears and 17-4 stainless steel in the spindle and worm gear housing.

High-speed options are achieved through either a mechanical speeder or a pneumatic spindle that does not lose torque or rpm under load and uses clean, oil-free compressed air that eliminates oil drip from the spindle. High-speed spindle options offer 20,000 to 40,000 rpm capabilities.

The M5414 still provides access to all points within the hemisphere of the machine’s work envelope. Rapid tool change is provided by the high-precision HSK tooling system.

To date, Tri-Tech has adapted the head to 40 and 50 taper vertical, horizontal, and bridge type machines from Anilam, Dynapath, MAG, Fanuc, Fadal, HaasHurco, Johnford, Kuraki, Milltronics, Mighty USA, Mitsubishi, Okuma, Siemens, and several PC-controlled machines.

On the software side, Numerical Control Computer Sciences will present the latest version of NCL multi-axis machining software, which, the company says, saves users time in the generation of complex tool paths. New strategies have been added to the flowline milling feature; users now have the ability to machine multiple surfaces in a single operation, the ability to mill around avoidance surfaces, and the ability to control the axis of the tool with a secondary part surface to assist in machining highly curved surfaces. These features are beneficial when machining rib-top and fillet surfaces.

In addition, a new visual calculator has been incorporated into NCL version 9.6, giving users more functionality in a single interface and the ability to compute geometric entities faster.

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Boeing and Airbus forecast a worldwide demand for up to 40,000 new aircraft over the next two decades. With a 10-year production backlog and new aircrafts increasingly counting on lightweight composites, manufacturing companies are developing advanced sandwich-structure composite solutions to fill the production gap.

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