New 5-Axis Simultaneous High-Speed Milling Center

March 15, 2012
GF AgieCharmilles indicates HSM 600U LP takes precision to the next level
The Mikron HSM 600U LP high-speed milling center is recommended for prototype production, diemaking and fully automated, low-volume series production where accuracy and surface finish are critical. Following a successful debut of its compact five-axis Mikron HSM 400U LP high-speed milling center, GF AgieCharmilles is adding a larger-size machine called the Mikron HSM 600U LP, establishing what it called “a family of linear motor full five-axis simultaneous machining solutions.” GF AgieCharmilles developed the “U” version of its Mikron HSM LP (linear performance) milling centers to machine workpieces in a true five-axis simultaneous high-speed fashion via linear motor technology in the main machine axes, and optimized direct-drive motors for the B and C axes. The result is a machine capable of achieving high precision and superior part surface finishes. The machine’s 36,000-RPM vector spindle also assists in providing excellent surface finish and part detail, while reducing machining time for semi-finishing and finishing operations.

With 31.49-in. X-axis and 23.62-in. Y-axis travels, the HSM 600U LP accommodates larger workpieces so it’s available for a wide range of applications, including hard metal machining thanks to a robust design. The machine’s portal and base are made of polymer granite, which the developer noted provides vibration damping that is approximately 10 times greater than cast iron. This is critical when working with high feedrates and high acceleration. Also, the worktable, X-, Y- and Z-axis slides are made of high-strength cast iron and reinforced by longitudinal ribs and wide sections.

The milling center is also well suited for prototype production, diemaking, and fully automated, low-volume series production where accuracy and surface finish are critical. The HSM 600U LP’s 32.81 ft/sec2 acceleration allows it to reach high programmed feedrates of 196 ft/min in the simultaneous operation of serial production, and to produce high-end mold with precision. These factors will reduce the number of machines a shop may need to perform jobs with precision, speed, and cost effectiveness.

Because high levels of heat develop in drive groups over prolonged periods of high-axis feedrates, the HSM 600U LP uses an advanced thermal management system. Each of the linear axes as well as the round-swivel unit has a cooling unit to draw heat from the operation systematically, creating geometric stability and high repeatability of movement guidance.

To avoid inconsistent loading of small tools and 3D geometry errors due to the inaccurate measurement of those tools, the HSM 600U LP is offered with a package called Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM). ITM records the complete tool tip up to a diameter of 0.47 in. on image sensors. Specially developed software cleans and measures the recorded tool geometry for repeatability in the micrometer range.

The developer also noted the HSM 600U LP achieves peak performance through its Operator Support System (OSS) smart machine module. OSS gives the machine operator control over the unit production costs of a workpiece, and the operator can overwrite the drive and control parameters to focus on a particular task, including speed management, surface quality or true-to-contour tracking.

The HSM 600U LP is available for 24/7 unattended machining using its optional Mikron pallet magazines with System 3R and Erowa interfaces. These fully integrated pallet magazines can be loaded without interrupting cutting operations already in progress, according to GF AgieCharmilles.

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