Machines for tough materials

Machines for tough materials

VLD-300Mitsui Seiki (USA) Inc. ( collaboratively developed its VLD-300 small vertical Nd:YAG 5-axis CNC laser drilling machine with several aerospace engine-component manufacturers who needed higher-speed and more accurate laser drilling machines than were available.

These manufacturers, especially those working with high-temperature alloys for jet-engine parts, must often drill upwards of 3,000 small-diameter cooling airflow holes – each at a different angle – using a non-contact method. For alloys such as Inconel, Waspalloy, Hastalloy, and nickel-based titanium alloys, laser is usually the best option for speed and to minimize material stress.

The VLD-300 positions and repeats in X, Y, and Z axes to 0.00004 in. Its A axis positions to +/- 6 arc seconds and repeats to +/- 3 arc seconds, while C-axis accuracy is +/- 4 arc seconds with +/- 2-arc-second repeatability. Axis cutting feedrates for X,Y, and Z run from 0.004 to 787 in., and the acceleration rate is 1.5 G.

The machine also works with CO2, diode pump, and fiber lasers for different aerospace and other industry applications, such as certain electronics, medical and automotive parts.

According to Tom Dolan, vice president of Mitsui Seiki USA, what is special about the laser drilling machine is that it incorporates the company’s traditional high-precision, high-repeating machine tool building methodology, instead of that of mechanical drilling tools. He said it’s a Mitsui Seiki machine with a laser, not a laser with machine tool features as secondary.

Pump PackageOmax’s ( Dual Pump Package on the company’s 55100 JetMachining abrasive waterjet machine is a fully integrated system that uses two P4055V pumps to produce unprecedented cutting speed and power and to significantly reduce machining times as compared with previous models. The system is specifically designed for shops cutting thick, difficult-to-machine materials and who have high-capacity production or multiple-nozzle requirements.

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