Application: Fast, accurate 5-axis machining

From the start, in 1985, the need for five-axis machining was apparent, says Rob Bujeaud, vice-president of manufacturing for Turbocam and its recently created high-production division, TAPS (Turbocam Automated Production Systems). Turbocam focuses its five-axis machining work on impellers, blades, blisks (bladed disks) and other mechanical components used in turbine engines, diesel engines, t...

08/01/2006


From the start, in 1985, the need for five-axis machining was apparent, says Rob Bujeaud, vice-president of manufacturing for Turbocam and its recently created high-production division, TAPS (Turbocam Automated Production Systems).

Turbocam focuses its five-axis machining work on impellers, blades, blisks (bladed disks) and other mechanical components used in turbine engines, diesel engines, turbochargers, aerospace and power generation equipment, as well as medical devices such as heart pumps. TAPS does high-production runs, primarily aimed at the automotive sector, with similar work products.

The company operates facilities in Dover and Barrington, NH, with the latter scheduled for full production in fall 2006. At each, prototype and production work is performed on a variety of the machine tool industry's premier multi-axis machining centers as well as work cells created by the Turbocam engineering staff, headed by engineering manager Andrew Hussey.

The Barrington facility houses TAPS, at the core of which are recently installed work cells, each containing twin five-axis Chiron Model FZ08KSM machining centers, fed by 250-capacity workpiece carousels and an ABB articulating robot. Work cells produce Type 2618 aluminum impellers for a diesel engine turbocharger.

Hussey says, 'Aluminum stock is turned on CNC lathes and then loaded onto the carousels. CNC onboard the machining centers, a Siemens Sinumerik 840D, interfaces through our Profibus network to the robot controller and the carousel to maintain workpiece load/unload cycles on the machines. Each robot handles two Chiron machines for virtually non-stop production, where the cells are programmed to run in fully unattended mode.'

As Hussey notes, 'We'd put our productivity curves up against any shop in the country,' having cut runtime recently by 20%. A large part of the success at TAPS can be attributed to the speed, accuracy, control, and automation of these work cells, driven by the Chiron machining centers, he says. www.chironamerica.com , www.turbocam.com , www.siemenscnc.com

For more application details, including feed and spindle rates and another photo, read this online, August 2006, at www.controleng.com/archive.


For more about this application from Control Engineering and another photo,

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