Bertsche Engineering has tackled the twin objectives of machining long structural aluminum or steel parts and increasing production of smaller parts on the same machine with its X-Mill vertical machining center. The X-Mill has X travels beginning at 130″ with models able to reach 283″. For shorter parts, the
X-Mill can be divided into two work zones, each with its own automated toolchanger. Machining and load/setup can be performed simultaneously to increase production and minimize downtime.

Design of the X-Mill departs rather significantly from that of a typical C-frame traveling column machine. Bertsche Engineering has taken the traditional low-to-the-floor machine bed design and extended the side walls up higher over the machining area and constructed a large bed cross section. The column has been eliminated. In its place, the YZ carriage that holds the vertical ram and spindle runs on a rigid double rail beam that fully supports carriage and ram while positioning the center of mass very close to the X, Y and Z servomotor and ballscrews.

The effect of the design is that moving mass is minimized, and the structure is compact and very stiff. The axes of motion are very close to the cutting tool, the moved mass is constant, and the weight and size of the part do not affect machine dynamics. Also, the 3-axis carriage is out of the chip-making area and away from coolant, debris, and other sources of contamination. As a result, Machining centers away from coolant, debris, and other sources of contamination. As a result, complex contours can be cut at high feedrates up to 1,000 ipm (25 mpm) and at high spindle rpms of 15,000 rpm with little or no contour deviation.

The X-Mill, which features a 15,000-rpm, 30-hp chilled motor spindle is capable of removing 30 cu. in./min of steel and 140 cu. in./min of aluminum. X-axis rapid traverse up to 2,000 ipm. The Y- and Z-axis travels are 20″x20″ with rapid traverse of 1,000 ipm.

A Flex-table reconfigurable table feature allows the T-slotted table tops to be mounted either horizontally or vertically. Tables can be lowered or raised and add-ons such as repositionable work support, rotary indexers, and flexible workholding mount directly to the sidewall of the bed providing fixturing flexibility. A traveling mist collection system helps meet new stricter OHSA requirements for particulate-free work environment. Adding an oil-air lubrication system enables parts to be cut dry, reducing the need for coolant.

5-axis machining with production options Hermle Machine Co. has designed the C 600 U production module for full 5-axis machining of complex workpieces in the medium size range (a 450-mm prismatic cube), as well as offering higher speed and accuracy in multiple part production. Typical applications include moldmaking, aviation, and smaller critical parts production.

Like other members of the Hermle family of 5-axis production modules, the C 600 U is constructed on a mineral casting bed for maximum stability and features its patented gantry design. CNC control is the Heidenhain iTNC 530 with the Siemens S840D available as an option.

Full 5-axis machining is achieved through the C600 U’s trunnion-type tilting table that is equipped with an NC rotary table. For multiple part operations in a single setup, the machine can be equipped with a 4-
sided clamping yoke capable of accommodating up to four parts on a side. Featuring small footprint design (about 4.5 m2), the C600 U offers integral storage for up to 30 tools and chip-to-chip change time of 5.5 seconds.

Machine axes are 600x450x450 mm (XYZ). Standard spindle speed is 10,000 rpm with 16,000- and 40,000-rpm spindles optional. Load capacities are 200 kg for the 5-axis rotary table and 50 kg per side for the NC clamping yoke.

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This article frst appeared in Manufacturing Center Metalworking Community.

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