A five-axis profiler machine newly developed by Fives reportedly set a new metal removal rate (MRR) record for aerospace titanium machining — 100-cubic-inches-per-minute. The Cincinnati XT "super profiler" achieved that speed during test cutting, prior to delivery to the machine buyer.
"The industry needs to set new standards for producing titanium parts at the lowest cost per piece,” according to Fives Cincinnati executive vice president Chip Storie, “and the XT Profiler provides that capability and more."
Storie said the five-axis, 5-spindle profiler is engineered and built to maintain maximum dynamic stiffness and sustained power in titanium roughing operations, which helps manufacturers maximize material throughput as well as ROI. He predicted it would “change the way the industry approaches titanium machining."
"This machine is in a performance class by itself, equipped with a massive cross rail and robust spindle design that enable it to perform at this high rate on a sustained basis,” he continued. “We expect to exceed 100 cubic inches per minute metal removal once the machine is married to its dedicated foundation and high-pressure coolant system.”
Solid Design Impacts Performance
Fives Cincinnati director of technical sales Randy Von Moll described the impact of the design in performance: "This is the stiffest five-axis profiler we’ve ever seen in action, able to make these demanding cuts in titanium with ease. The machine peeled off perfect '6-shaped' chips with no chatter or sign of structural instability.
“The part finish was excellent and it was a remarkable demonstration that exceeded our highest expectations," Von Moll added.
The XT profiler series builds on the aerospace industry’s most popular multi-spindle machining platform, with more installations than all other builders combined.
With a five-axis gantry, the new XT uses the same frame as earlier three-axis iteration. "The three-axis version of this machine really proved itself, and the new five-axis version builds on the success of the platform," according to Von Moll.
"We set demanding requirements for the five-axis model, and our engineers stepped up with a completely new approach that is superior to anything else on the market,” he said. “This is a major breakthrough in gantry design that gives our customers significant new capabilities. Accuracy will be on par with the three-axis design. The A/B rotary axes on each spindle can be independently calibrated and controlled to enhance accuracy."
The gantries have a 3.8-m (145-in.) Y-axis range, with a Z-axis travel of 711 mm (28 in.) Each spindle’s angular A and B axes can travel ±30 degrees.
The XT that set the record is equipped with five 52-kW (70-hp) spindles, and each spindle can deliver up to 1,345 Nm (986 ft lb) torque into the cut at 40-7,000 rpm. The alternative, high-torque spindle with HSK 125A tool interface is rated 51 kW (68 hp) and produces 2,523 Nm (1860 ft lb) S1 torque, with a maximum speed of 3,500 rpm.
"A multispindle machine that can rough and finish titanium at this rate provides our customers with a strategic advantage," according to Von Moll. "A single-spindle machine runs at roughly the same speeds and feeds, yet our machines complete five parts in the same cycle time, so we are much more efficient and the result for our customer is a much better return on investment with lower risk."