CNC Machining & How It Is Used
Most machined components for the aerospace, space, and defense markets are produced on CNC (computer numerical control) machines. Intrex has invested substantial amounts of capital resources on these CNC machine tools. Not everyone is familiar with CNC machining & how it is used. CNC lathes and milling machines properly controlled and implemented are flexible and accurate for producing complex machined shapes with high finishes in many different materials. Most of the CNC machines are offered in multi-axis configurations, depending on the amount of complexity machined components needed.
Thanks to the advances in electronic controls, servo, and tooling technology, we can now produce the more complex and uniquely shaped machined components from a single machine setup. Simultaneous axis machining up to 5 axes is becoming a more common, and necessary service for industries like aviation, space, and defense.
Defining 2-Axis, 3-Axis, 4-Axis, and 5-Axis Machining
Traditional CNC lathes move in two linear axes (X, and Z), and three linear axes (X, Y, and Z) for the machining center. With the updates in technology, we add an “A” and “B” axis allowing us to machine up to 5-axis simultaneously.
Intrex’s latest machines have 5-axis capability which means faster production and higher precision machined components for our clients. To better explain the 5-axis machining process we can move a tool or a part in five different axes simultaneously. Basic machining operates on three primary axis, X, Y, and Z; however, a 5-axis CNC machining tool can rotate two additional axes, A and B, which give the cutting tool or the workpiece multidirectional presentation.
The ability to precisely machine a workpiece without having to move it from fixture to fixture has distinct advantages.
Fewer Machine Setups With Multi-Axis Machining
Five-axis machines can machine nearly every visible surface, excluding the bottom or clamping area. This ability significantly reduces the need for multiple setups or special fixtures and can reduce potential delays in the manufacturing process. Depending on the workpiece, in some instances, you can reduce the number of setups to one.
Manufacturing Complex Shapes & Components
The major advantage of five-axis machining is the ability to machine complex shapes while minimizing the number of chucking or fixturing positions. The additional movement creates machining angles and arcs for the cutting tool and for chip relief, which was only previously possible with a multitude of special fixtures or additional setups.
Improved Tool Life
Improved tool life and cycle time as a result of being able to program the tool and/or table which enables the machine to maintain optimum cutting position and constant chip load.
Multi Axis Machines Improves Precision
Tolerance stack up (imprecision), is one of the results and challenges every time you have to move the part for re chuck of the fixture. Once a part comes out of the machine, precise alignment is lost. By using the same zero or home location, feature-to-feature accuracy is improved.
Below is the latest addition to our machine center, a DMG Mori NTX 2500 5 axis turn-mill w/ 60 ATC.
If you would like more information about Intrex or want to discuss your contract machining need please click here.