Turning milling hours into minutes – Part 2

By oldbac 13.05.2021

Other time-saving methods

The production time of any particular detail will depend on the circumstances and the level of complexity of the detail. However, you can rest assured that the correct method will ensure faster results, even several times faster results.

Oftentimes you can speed up the programming as well as cutting time.

In order to be able to produce a detail from start to finish with a single operation without having to dismantle it from the bench or switch to different machines, you need a milling bench that can access the detail from all angles without having to reposition the detail. This is where five-axis benches take the lead, as they allow tools to be used on three straight axes as well as two rotary axes. Simultaneous movement on all axes provides even greater freedom.

Different equipment and manufacturers use various solutions when it comes to tool mobility. There are a range of kinematics applied to movement within machines. For example, some include moving the worktop while others opt for moving the spindle. Worktop mobility is usually the preferred method for smaller benches because this makes it easier to move the detail. Extremely large details get very heavy and this means it would be more expedient to keep the detail stationary while moving the spindle.

For example, OLDBAC uses milling benches where the spindle moves on three linear axes (back & forts, left & right, up & down) while the worktop moves on the rotary axes.

How did we settle on the Hermle C32 5-axis milling station?

Before selecting a CNC bench for day-to-day operation, we took quite some time to conduct online research and visit different manufacturers. We even visited a few factories of bench manufacturers to see for ourselves what and how they produce.

User experience was one of the most important factors we considered when choosing a bench. We took a look at positive and negative user reviews and learned that there was virtually no negative feedback for Hermle machines made in Germany.

We also visited some companies that use Hermle C32 benches on a daily basis and this further supported our decision to use Hermle benches. Since we produce details for companies operating across a number of fields, we were looking for a bench with optimal universal properties. Considering the fact that Estonia is such a small market, we have to be flexible and come up with good solutions for clients who turn to us with a variety of requests.

It seemed that German-based bench manufacturer Hermle was the perfect example that all Estonian industrial companies could learn from. They recruit new employees from schools and teach them to use and maintain the benches they produce. Furthermore, Hermle’s machinery are used for all kinds of exciting school projects. As a result, their specialists have long careers in the company, some being employed for over 50 years.

See more about Hermle’s production in this video:

The more movement options there are, the quicker the process.

The main argument to consider when preparing a detail is how long it takes because CNC benches are expensive to use. Five-axis benches with simultaneously operable rotary axes produce details at a significantly faster rate, meaning that a suitable compromise should be reached when selecting the best machine. With extremely complex components, the cutting time can be drastically reduced, e.g. to minutes instead of hours.