Made for environmentally clean CNC machining of complex graphite EDM electrodes, the SNC64 features a 30,000-rpm spindle.
Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich., needed space for additional machines in its 140,000 ft 2 complex while maintaining, or improving, the plant's productivity on a per-machine basis. To meet these goals, Hi-Tech selected a Makino SNC64G/S vertical machining center to replace three different VMCs it was using to make graphite electrodes.
Created for environmentally clean CNC machining of complex graphite EDM electrodes, the SNC64 features a high-speed spindle — 30,000 rpm standard — with a powerful through-spindle air system to clear chips and dust from the toolpath.
The machine features Makino's Super Geometric Intelligence (SGI.3) software, a servo-control package that corrects for servo errors and dynamic effects on-the-fly. Each SNC64 is mapped for its dynamic signature, and algorithms unique to that machine are installed in its SGI software. With its 120-block lookahead capability, SGI tells the machine's controller what programmed moves are coming. This lets the controller optimize feedrates for toolpath/geometry changes, enabling the SNC64 to maintain both high speed and accuracy.
Another feature that contributes to the speed and accuracy of the SNC64 is a dual-engine controlthat combines a 32-bit CPU with a 64-bit RISC processor. By separating processing functions, each function and program runs at top speed.
The unit also has a 250-Mbyte data-server card that feeds NC data at 15 conventional CNC rates. The control and the data-server card let users program more data points for defining complex contoured electrode geometries. They also eliminate data starvation that results in dwell marks and additional benchwork.
At Hi-Tech, the SNC64 graphite mill produces complex electrodes up to 90% faster than the company's previous methods. An advanced data-management technology also lets the mill handle electrodes with complex features, including thin ribs.
"The SNC64 lets us manufacture electrodes faster because the electrode is completed when it comes out of the machine's roughing stage and is ready to be burned" says Dennis Seefried, technology application manager at Hi-Tech."
At Hi-Tech, the SNC64 provided greater repeatability as well as improved cutting and burning capabilities.