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Okuma Winter Showcase to feature economical approach to 5-axis machining

This article originally appeared in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design

The part chosen for the demonstration is representative of landing gear components used in the aerospace industry.

One of the key demonstrations at the 2017 Okuma Partners in THINC Winter Showcase, which will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dec. 5-6, 2017, will feature a modular approach to enable manufacturers to generate high-precision 5-axis parts without investing in a dedicated 5-axis machining center.

The part chosen is a representative aerospace landing gear component and will use the combined products and capabilities of Okuma, which will supply an Okuma GENOS M56O-V machining center, Hainbuch America (precision workholding), Kennametal (tooling), Haimer-USA (shrink fit toolholders), MP Systems (high-pressure coolant and chiller systems), Lyndex-Nikken (5-axis rotary tables), Blaser Swisslube (mineral oil-based coolant), and Siemens PL (systems software).

According to Wade Anderson, Okuma Product Specialist and Tech Center Manager: “This demonstration, and the others that will be presented, provides a vivid example of the success that can be achieved when companies that are unquestioned leaders in their fields work together to create optimal solutions to defined customer challenges. Much of the current manufacturing environment is characterized by the need for complex parts produced in small-to-medium-batch quantities. As parts requiring 5-axis machining have become more in demand, manufacturers are faced with the problem of justifying a dedicated 5-axis machine for a limited number of parts or parts families. Working together, our Partners in THINC have devised a solution that will enable their customers to achieve 5-axis capability and high precision without incurring a prohibitive financial commitment.”

Landing gear part for demo

John Soukup, team leader and regional sales manager (Southeast) at Hainbuch America Corp., comments: “The part that we chose for this demonstration is representative of landing gear components used in the aerospace industry. Constructed of 7075 T-6 heat treated aluminum, the part will be clamped on the ID by a Hainbuch MANDO Adapt workholding system affixed to an 8″ Nikken 5-axis rotary table. The Hainbuch system can be used for both ID and OD applications. The ID application features a system that incorporates both hardened steel clamps and patented elastomer segments that provide maximum clamping force without marring the part finish. The Nikken rotary table is equipped with a carbide worm screw and an iron-nitride worm wheel that hold accuracies of +4 sec.”

The Kennametal tooling package includes the 7792 high-feed cutters with 6mm inserts, carbide end mills with TiB2 coating, a Romicron boring system for the large bore application, and drills of various diameters. Comprehensive tool management will be achieved through the use of Kennametal’s NOVO digital tools. Tooling will be equipped for delivery of high-pressure coolant.

Precision performance will be ensured through the use of Haimer shrink-fit toolholders and balancing equipment. Due to the incorporation of induction coil heating, the Haimer system delivers more than 2x the clamping force of the nearest competitor. The balancing process reduces vibration and results in longer tooling life, better finishes, and improved boring performance.

For the demonstration, Blaser Swisslube has selected Vasco 6000, an ester-based Liquid Tool chosen for its effectiveness in high heat hard machining operations. A high-pressure coolant and chiller system from MP Systems operating at 1000psi and 8gpm will facilitate faster cutting and drilling by efficiently evacuating chips while maintaining thermal control to prevent distortion.

Siemens PL (Product Lifecycle) NX, an integrated CAD and CAM platform, will ensure correct geometries and provide full digital modeling capabilities. In the event of any changes, the system will reconfigure tool paths and ancillary modifications.

Despite the seeming complexity of the system, the entire 5-axis modification can be easily removed from the machine table and stored for further use.

Anderson states, “This is the sixth year of our Partners in THINC Winter Showcase, and over that time we have seen how, working together, we not only solve specific application problems but also advance technology as a whole. If I had to summarize why our partnership has worked so well, it is because all of us are intent on delivering ‘the best from the best.’”