Baltimore Shop Wins Matsuura Machining Competition

June 18, 2009
MAC Machine honored for five-axis machining of complex aerospace part

Methods Machine Tools Inc. reports that MAC Machine, one of its precision machine tools customers, is the winner of the Matsuura 2008 International Five-Axis Machining Competition.

MAC Machine, of Baltimore, earned the award based on its successful process development of a complex aerospace part — one that provided challenges in terms of tool length and thin-wall dimensions. It’s a part that might formerly have been produced as a casting, involving significant production time and cost considerations.

Matsuura engineers reviewed the MAC Machine application confidentially before choosing it as the 2008 winner of the competition, over entries from Germany, Japan, Switzerland, England, Canada, Italy, and elsewhere.

Masahiro Kobu, Matsura director of quality, presented the Matsuura International Five-axis Machining Award to MAC machine president George McNab, with the shop’s entire staff present.

Randy Barbe, MAC Machine’s lead programmer, employed MasterCam X and CAMplete TruePath software on a Matsuura MAM72-63V multi-pallet system, to process the winning part. Working with Mike Kaminski, senior application engineer at Methods Machine Tools Inc., Barbe engaged the latest software and machine technology to make the part from solid billet.

Kaminski trained Barbe on the use of CAMplete TruePath software to verify and optimize the process prior to cutting the part on the Matsuura MAM72-63V.

“The engineers that we work with at MasterCam told MAC Machine it was the most complex process requirement they had come across in utilizing their new Mastercam X software with CAMplete TruePath,” said Dave Lucius, Methods Machine Tools v.p. of national distribution, “but they worked it out and the result was amazing. The first part cut was to print!”

The Matsuura MAM72-63V is a five-axis multi-pallet machine designed for processing large (up to 770 lbs.) geometrically complex components within a work envelope of 24.8 in. by 17.7 in. high. It has a bridge-type construction for light finishing cuts, as well as heavy-duty roughing in hardened materials.

The 40-taper Matsuura Hi-Tech Spindle features a 20,000-RPM / 80-mm bearing unit, so the machine achieves what Methods Machine Tools calls “unparalleled cutting performance.”

The standalone Matsuura MAM72-63V provides a large work area and easy access to the part through two operator doors. It is equipped with an offline post-processor and collision detection software package.