GF Machining Solutions Intelligent productivity in tool and mould making
Rapid market developments and innovations challenge the adaptability of tool and mould making. With its new Mikron Mill P U series of 5-axis simultaneous milling machines, GF Machining Solutions provides these manufacturers with future-proof flexibility.
Mill P 500 U and the Mikron Mill P 800 U are designed for intelligent productivity: new tools such as circular segment cutters are used to finish 3D surfaces up to 30 times faster or trochoidal cutters ensure roughing with increased process reliability.
The Mikron Mill P U series are high-performance machines designed to deliver the accuracy that is essential in tool and mould making for industries such as car making and household appliances. The Mikron Mill P 500 U/ 80 0U is said to achieve an accuracy of ±2μm in the X/Y plane and also delivers high-process stability for companies looking for flexible productivity, GF Machining Solutions says.
Modern mould making is under constant pressure to become even more efficient. On the one hand, manufacturers are urged to achieve higher productivity. On the other, they have to increase the productivity achieved with the mould through higher numbers of cavities and shorter cycle times. These requirements must be met by modern milling machines in terms of speed, stability, dynamics and production reliability as well as with the required constant accuracy.
30 times faster
One solution to meet these requirements is to increase production speed by means of new milling strategies realised with new tool designs. One way to increase flexibility is to perform roughing during unmanned shifts. Moreover, process reliability can be increased by using highly dynamic cutting tools. The most time-consuming task in mould making, however, is finishing with spherical milling cutters in the cavity. This process is significantly shorter when circular segment milling cutters are used. Thanks to line jumps that are up to 30 times greater (i.e., the distance from one milling path to the next), the Mikron Mill P U series can deliver 30 times faster finishing times with circular segment milling cutters compared to conventional spherical milling cutters. The resulting surface quality is further improved by the large radius of curvature of the outer surface, GF says.
To fully benefit from the surface quality and speed of circular segment milling cutters, the milling machine must be both dynamic and stable to ensure smooth operation in five-axis applications. With their thermal and wear characteristics, gear-driven rotary swivel tables are not the optimal solution for the required continuous, 5-axis and simultaneous movements. The Mikron Mill P U series, however, offers directly driven, swivel and rotary axes as well as high dynamics and overall stability to meet these requirements.
Temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on the accuracy of simultaneous machining — another challenge met by the Mikron Mill P U series. Equipped with water-cooled direct drives in the rotary and swivel axes and a thermo-symmetrical design, these machines ensure continuous precision. For example, 20 parts with 5-0mm sphere diameter were milled over eight hours in various angles of the table. The result: a profile deviation of less than ±2μm.
This article first appeared on Schweizer Maschinenmarkt.