A novel approach to high-speed machining T he
Ecospeed F is a highperformance machining center well suited for small, aluminum structural components such as those found in the aircraft industry. Its design includes a horizontal spindle and a vertical pallet that integrates a 3-axis parallel-kinematics machining head for 5-axis work. According to the machine builder, employing a horizontal headstock and vertical pallet ensures optimum chip evacuation to handle chip production rates up to 8,000 ccm/min. The machining head, called Sprint 23, comprises a platform for mounting a motor spindle. Universal couplings and three linear axes driving through hinge joints deliver complete freedom of movement at the spindle nose. This special design lets the motor spindle move within an 80
8cone. Driven on both sides by ballscrews, the Sprint Z3 traverses vertically in the column and the X-axis movement is achieved via the pallet group. An indexable, twinposition, load/unload station situated at one end of the machines X-axis receives parts horizontally, orientates them into a vertical position, and transfers them into the machine. This arrangement reduces floor-space requirements by eliminating the need for a rail-guided, part-handling system. Ecospeed F pallet sizes vary from
31.5 up to 3
32 m. Travels in the X, Y, and Z axes are 3,800, 2,500, and 670 mm, respectively. The machine also provides a rapid traverse rate of 50 m/min in all three axes and delivers 9.81 m/sec2 acceleration/deceleration in the X, Y, and Z axes. An electronically pre-loaded X-axis drive operates with two pinions, which provides both high stiffness and high positioning accuracy while eliminating backlash. In addition, the energy, coolant, and hydraulic-supply lines have no slip rings or rotary couplings, making them leak-proof and maintenance free.
The Ecospeed F 5-axis machining center features a fixed column and pallet that moves in the X axis on a vertical table.