EDMs and machining centers

HPM 800U Milling Machine

GF AgieCharmilles Mikron HPM 800U milling machine.

GF AgieCharmilles showed several EDMs and machining centers at EMO 2007 that will soon be released in the United States.

The first thing one notices about the company’s Form 20/30 die sinking EDMs is that there are no keyboards for the controls.

The machines are mouse driven thanks to a new control system, and that allows shops without prior knowledge to program jobs quickly and easily. The machine’s simple control also is beneficial for operators who move from one machine to the next within the same shop.

The Form 20/30 range has X, Y, and Z-axis travels of 350 mm by 250 mm by 250 mm and 600 mm by 400 mm by 400 mm, respectively. The Form 20 handles workpieces weighing as much as 200 kg, while the Form 30 accommodates parts to 1,000 kg.

For owners of earlier generation GF AgieCharmilles machines, the company’s Form 2000/3000 range of die-sinking EDMs sport special manmachine interfaces that let shops load both Agievision and Dynamic Process Control into the same machine CNC. Agievision software provides functions for production processes, and Dynamic Process Control software manages the preparation of the die-sinking machine and job setups. The machines also feature fully integrated automation (electrode and pallet changing) controlled by their CNCs.

GF AgieCharmilles Form 30 die-sinking EDM

GF AgieCharmilles Form 30 die-sinking EDM.

Also on the subject of automation, GF AgieCharmilles displayed a completely automated cell that included milling machines, EDMs, in-process gauging, and even a parts-cleaning station. A railguided robot tended the whole cell, which ran on one software interface. The cell was intended as a showcase for the company’s [email protected] AgieCharmilles service by which it will provide customers equipment solutions and project management for specific workpieces or process automation goals.

New milling machines from GF AgieCharmilles include the Mikron HPM 600, Mikron HPM 800U and the Mikron VCE 1000 Pro-X. As a 3-axis machine, the HPM 600 features the special Step-Tec in-line motor spindle that makes replacing the spindle easy because the motor does not have to be removed. The small footprint machine sports axis travels of 650 mm in X, 600 mm in Y and 500 mm in Z.

The HPM 800U 5-axis machine houses its automation in the back, as chain and drum tool changer. The machine’s rotary swivel table accommodates workpieces to 600- mm high that can be machined all around using 100-mm-long tools. All the main machine components, such as the machine itself, multiple pallet changer and tool changer are designed for easy access.

With an optional rotary unit, the VCE 1000 Pro-X transforms from a 3-axis to 4-axis machine. Its table travels 1,000 mm in the X axis, and feedrates run as high as 36 mm per min. The machine’s in-line motor spindle turns at 16,000 rpm.

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