Moulds and Accessories Braunform expands production with 5-axis VMC

Editor: Eric Culp

The tool shop said to be one of the first in the industry to use this model.

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Nearly all of the VMC’s capacity is allotted for milling graphite electrodes.
Nearly all of the VMC’s capacity is allotted for milling graphite electrodes.
(Source: Braunform)

German toolmaker and rotary table supplier Braunform has announced the recent addition of a Makino 5-axis VMC to its manufacturing site in Bahlingen.

The company said, “This investment in machinery for the mould shop is another logical milestone for reliably fulfilling the requirements of our customers.”

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The tool house said it is one of the first in the industry to be working with Makino’s V33i-5XB vertical 5-axis high-precision machining centre. In order to satisfy the shops’s special requirements, Braunform’s technology team has individually configured the VMC.

The unit has a spindle speed of 40,000 rpm and 90% of its capacity is used for milling graphite electrodes, Braunform said. The remaining 10% is allotted for HSC-milling of steel.

Due to a special extraction system for graphite dust, removal is possible without contamination, the company said.

It noted that the 120-slot tool changer offers a wide range of tools to avoid frequent changeovers and extend the machine’s running time. Tooling costs are said to be 15-20% lower due to an optimal strategy for 5-axis milling.

The 5-axis system enables multilateral processing of sophisticated technical and optical electrodes with hard-to-reach areas and free-formed surfaces, the company noted. This cuts set-up time by 30-40 % and the machine runs automatically without an operator. Utilisation of the machine is said to be between 20-22 hours a day, seven days a week. The company also noted that electrodes can be milled with an accuracy of up to ≤ +/- 3 µm.