Tornos Develops Special Configuration for the Aerospace Industry
23 April 2017
Tornos has now introduced its new Almac CU 1007R, an innovative new machining solution that has been developed to produce prismatic components such as high-precision connectors for the aerospace industry. The CU 1007R machine is equipped with a bar-type loader and a comprehensive system for simultaneous 4-axis machining.
The new Tornos solution is ideal for complex automated machining in the aerospace industry with its pick-off collet and finished-workpiece collection unit that are integrated into the machine. Making it more appealing for the aerospace connector sector, the Almac CU 1007R has bar-type loading built-in to provide superb production autonomy levels. This type of loading system has now been integrated into the CU 1007R machining centre to combine precision and large-volume production, while keeping the investment level under control.
The machining of high-precision connectors for the aerospace industry actually demands high precision and in particular, the ability to produce large volumes with maximum autonomy. Thanks to its mechanical concept, the CU 1007R boasts high precision machining, even in its basic version. This is more prominent when the customer specifies a machine with linear scales instead of rotary encoder. As far as the autonomy in production is concerned, the machine previously had to be equipped with loading peripherals such as a small robotic arm that were intended to load material billets and often proved to be expensive.
Depending on the size of the connectors to be machined, up to 100 parts can be machined from each 3m bar. This corresponds to an autonomous production level of between 20 and 30 hours of machining per bar, subject to the complexity of the parts to be machined. The question may arise as to whether the use of an automatic bar feeder is reasonable because of the additional investment required. If it does, then a manual bar loader offers sufficient autonomy at a very competitive price.
Autonomy of 24hours of production from a bar is perfectly acceptable and this restricts operator intervention to one single bar change per day. This allows the operator to change the bar, empty the finished-part basket and change the tools at the same time.
Simultaneous 4-axis machining with pick-off collet
The bar is fed into a dividing head and is clamped by a collet that permits bars up to 30mm diameter to be fed. Thanks to the A-axis on the dividing head and to the spindle movement in X, Y and Z directions, the bar can be machined on 4 sides. This is done by front machining and also using tangential machining on one side. The CU 1007R has a fixed table that enables the bar to remain stationary in Y-axis direction and this is perfectly suited for bar-type loading. This is not the case with machining centres equipped with a compound table with movements that must be compatible with the bar loader (bar movement within its guide).
The pick-off collet is mounted on a slide (X2 axis) and this configuration is beneficial for two reasons. On the one hand, the workpiece can be clamped while being cut off and the machining on the 6th face. Secondly, the bar can be held and pulled for the purpose of bar feeding. This additional X2 axis is controlled by the NC unit and its travel is adjusted to the length of the workpieces to be produced.
Customised part collection
Once machining has been finished, a parts catcher that is attached to an air cylinder is moved underneath the pick-off collet, which can be opened to release the part; subsequently, the part is transported into a large collection basket that can accommodate the part production from several bars. The collection basket incorporates an oil bath to cushion the fall of the finished parts.
Change-over from billets to bars
This comprehensive solution has been carefully conceived by Almac's engineers and it opens up new horizons for the CU 1007R that up to now had been primarily used for the machining of billets. If you are interested in this configuration and would like to know more, do not hesitate to contact Tornos for a tailor-made solution to suit your requirements.