Machining Technology Increasing 5-axis accuracy by probing, auto-tuning

Editor: Barbara Schulz

United States - When mould makers employ 5-axis machining, it’s common for geometric errors to occur during the course of normal operation. Probing and 5-axis auto-tuning can correct machine misalignments in minutes, not hours, explains Jim Endsley, Okuma America.

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The complexity of five-axis machining (e.g., rotary table, swinging trunnion, etc.) can make it difficult to manually align and tune the machine tool, but accuracy is required for precision mould work. Five-axis auto-tuning is a solution.
The complexity of five-axis machining (e.g., rotary table, swinging trunnion, etc.) can make it difficult to manually align and tune the machine tool, but accuracy is required for precision mould work. Five-axis auto-tuning is a solution.
(Source: Okuma America)

Geometric errors can wreak havoc on finished-part quality. There are 13 geometric error types, including A-axis misalignment in the Y-axis direction and perpendicularity error on the C and Y-axes. These errors are based on specific parameters, such as the strength, stress and dimensional deviations of the machine tool’s structure; thermal variations; cutting-force-induced errors; and tool wear.

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For example, machines themselves can move with the general movement of operation, and this can sometimes cause the machine to no longer sit level on the shop floor. When this occurs, machine operators must perform on-site geometric tuning to compensate for any errors. Most mould makers know the drill: a 5-hour process that must be done approximately every 30 days. However, 5-axis auto-tuning technology can perform these calibrations automatically in five to 15 minutes.

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