High-Speed Jet Machining, Tougher Than Titanium

High-Speed Jet Machining, Tougher Than Titanium

Aerospace Dynamics International Inc. (ADI), a Tier One aerospace supplier in a Valencia, Calif., that specializes at machining large, complex structures, is about to soar to new heights of proficiency. Two MAG XTi “super profilers” have been installed as part of a $100-million expansion there that included a new 120,000-sq-ft manufacturing center. The two machines share a 120-foot X-axis rail for multi-part production of titanium components for the Boeing 777 and 787, and Airbus A350 programs. According to the machines’ builder, the systems achieve a record metal removal rate (MRR) prior to shipment to ADI, 90-cubic-inches-per-minute in titanium.

Two MAG XTi profilers are being installed as part of a $100-million expansion at Aerospace Dynamics International in Valencia, Calif. The new machines are designed with 51-kW spindle motors to produce 2,523 Nm of torque.

As explained by Chip Storie, MAG executive vice president, the 3-axis, 5-spindle XTi profiler is engineered and built for maximum dynamic stiffness and sustained power in titanium roughing operations, according to ADI’s processing requirements.

“ADI's goal was to set a new standard for producing titanium parts at the lowest cost per piece, and the XTi Profiler provides that capability and more," Storie said. He noted its “massive cross rail and robust spindle design” will make it possible for the operators to machine hard-metal parts at high rates on a sustained basis.

"This is the stiffest profiler we’ve ever seen in action,” confirmed ADI president and CEO John Cave. “We typically rough machine Ti 6A14V with a radial depth of cut (RDOC) of 0.38 inch and axial depth of cut (ADOC) of 1.5 to 2.5 inches. During our visit we had MAG machine an angular channel in titanium, with 4.0-inch axial depth and a 1.5-inch radial depth. We were impressed at the ease with which these cuts were made. The machine peeled off perfect '6-shaped' chips with no chatter or sign of structural instability. The part finish was excellent. It was a remarkable demonstration and exceeded our expectations, giving us confidence as we move forward with plans for the new 5-axis model of the XTi."

The XTi profiler uses five spindle motors capable of up to 3,500 rpm. Each motor is rated at 51 kW (68 hp) and will produce 2,523 Nm (1,860 ft lb) of torque. The machine is engineered with a new spindle support structure that is incorporated into an extremely stiff, heavyweight gantry for exceptional damping, according to MAG. The cross rail is 77 percent larger than previous designs, which adds stiffness to the structure, and damping for high-horsepower, chatter-free machining.

To handle that power and torque, the ADI profilers are equipped with 60-taper tools for highly efficient roughing and finishing operations. The XTi is available with an optional HSK 125A tool interface. Five 6-pocket tool exchangers at each end of the work zone permit five tool exchanges per machine. X-axis motion is powered by rack-and-pinion drives on both rails, while Y and Z axes are driven by large-diameter ballscrews, with a counterbalance and brake on the Z.

For ADI, the two new 5-spindle profilers join 32 profilers. "Our business is growing, and we need manufacturing capacity to keep pace with the strong market,” according to Cave. "Five-spindle profilers give us a significant competitive advantage."

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