May 29, 2012
Why 5 axis machining
Around 20 years ago the solid timber industry saw a massive leap forward with CNC technology becoming an affordable proposition for all manufacturers. Now the industry is ready to take the next step forward, with 5 axis machining now a viable proposition.
Many people within our industry make a common mistake of assuming they don’t need a 5 axis machine, in some cases this is correct, however it does lead to a greater tooling expense. When offsetting the machine purchase cost against the ongoing tooling costs the 5 axis machine becomes a viable proposition. In todays manufacturing versatility is the key, having the ability for your spindle head to rotate through 360 degrees using all of your tooling opens up a range of options.
The joinery market is one area where 5 axis machines prove to be popular. Solid timber windows, door componentry, stair manufacturers etc, all with a variety of cut angles and profiles can be done on both 3 and 5 axis machines. However as a practical example, what advantages would the 5 axis machine have?
Firstly, is speed of setup time. Relocating, or complex jig adjustments or not required. The product is loaded and the machine takes care of the rest – all faces can be machined, including intermediate angles. Multiple setups are eliminated.
Secondly, production times and tool costs are reduced due to the direct nature of the spindle drive. This gives a higher quality finish, with extended tool life. Less tooling is required as each tool can be utilised at every angle, so no need for aggregate heads. This provides a significant long term saving.
However the main advantage is the versatility and flexibility of the machine. All components, all designs, all specials can be done – in a timeframe and method which makes them practical and profitable.
Furniture designs utilising 5 axis machines virtually have no limitations. Accurate mitre joints, dowel holes on angled faces, shaping and profiling on a 5 axis machine can allow for some amazingly unique furniture.
The SCM group have been at the forefront of 5 axis technology for many years, with three European factories specialling in the research, development and manufacture of 5 axis technology. The groups latest release has seen worldwide acclaim. It’s a versatile, 5 axis cnc with a great value pricetag – making this technology available to everyone.
In addition to being great value, the SCM machine also incorporates some simple to use operator features. Items such as the new ‘Play & Motion’ portable console, which won the International product design award for 2011, make complex machinings simple. SCM’s patented safety system, incorporating both a bumper and fotocell system also provides many production advantages.
A good product must be easy to use and program, even on complex technological processes. The new operating software ‘Maestro’ achieves this. Maestro takes an innovative approach to machining programs, with a focus strongly on the process. This means the user no longer has to think about ‘how to do something’ but about ‘what to do’. SCM’s approach allows the user to concentrate on programming the workpeice, leaving the software to handle the complexities of generating tool paths and optimising the machining programs.
The new range are soon to be released in Australia with the Accord30FX a main focal point. 5 axis machine demonstrations on the Accord 30FX will be at Gabbett Machinerys Sydney demonstration facilitie throughout the month of July. These demonstrations will give all visitors the opportunity to see what they can achieve with a 5 axis machine.
So what can a 5 axis SCM machine do – for a sneak preview, take a look at www.gabbett.com. The homepage shows an amazing video demonstrating a curved staircase balustrade machined including profiling and dowel drilling for mounting - all in under 3 minutes.
To see this amazing machine running at its Australian launch, contact your local Gabbett Machinery office or visit www.gabbett.com
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