High-Speed Plastic Machining with Integral Chip/Dust Extraction

July 14, 2011
Datron design manages plastic debris for better surface finish, part quality
The M8 PlasticMill high-speed CNC machining center is fitted with a chip extractor surrounding the spindle and powered by an industrial vacuum system rated for continuous duty, to remove slugs as they are milled from the workpiece.

Datron Dynamics’ DATRON M8 PlasticMill is a high-speed CNC machining center designed for plastic machining applications that produce debris, such as large or small chips, or dust, that must be extracted and collected. It is fitted with a chip extractor surrounding the spindle that is plumbed to the exterior of the machine with conductive and grounded hosing that eliminates static. Powered by a Ruwac industrial vacuum system rated for continuous duty, the chip extractor removes slugs as they are milled free from the workpiece. This helps to protect the surface finish and quality of the machined part and minimizes the clean-up effort once machining is done.

Datron Dynamics is the North American partner of DATRON AG.

With a 24-volt relay for On/Off, the M8 PlasticMill’s vacuum system can be controlled within the program or at the machine control. The machine also has two integrated, static-eliminating deionizers mounted on the sides of the spindle housing to manage plastic dust. By eliminating static, the dust can be evacuated through the chip extractor and collected outside of the machine, further reducing clean-up operations. Positioned for milling engineered plastics, plastic sheet material, and molded plastic parts, the M8 PlasticMill can be configured with integrated automation, e.g., workholding and automatic doors, and built-in safety sensors.

The M8 PlasticMill is designed with a steel bridge reinforced with polymer concrete for stability; and a 2-kW (2¾ hp), water-chilled 60,000-RPM spindle for feed rates up to 20 meters per minute. A vibration-dampening, polymer-concrete machining table provides a 40×30-in. work area while the over-all machine footprint is only 69×55 in. Automatic tool changing options include up to 30-tool "station-style" rack with tool- length sensor.

Other design features include a stabilized gantry, integrated pneumatically covered tool magazine, LCD flat-panel display, polycarbonate side windows, and a removable chip cart on wheels. The Microsoft® Windows®-based controller works with virtually any CAD/CAM software and offers Ethernet networking capability, as well as remote monitoring and control, allowing the machine to seamlessly integrate into any manufacturing environment.

Optional design upgrades include a Z-Correction Probe that measures surface irregularities and compensates for them dynamically; a 3D Probe Extension that allows a Z-Correction Probe to function in 3D (X, Y & Z); a Renishaw TP20 Probe for complex part measurement; Vacumate and Quick-Pallets workholding for quick setup; and a Digital I/O that provides 16 inputs and 16 outputs from the CNC control.

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