Machining Methods

What is a 5-axis machining center

The most effective processing surface of the vertical machining center (three axes) is only the top surface of the workpiece. The horizontal machining center can only complete the four-sided machining of the workpiece with the rotary table.

At present, high-end machining centers are developing in the direction of five-axis control, and the pentahedron can be processed with one clamping. If it is equipped with a high-end CNC system with five-axis linkage, it can also process complex spatial surfaces with high precision

Vertical five-axis machining center

There are two ways for the rotary axis of this type of machining center. One is the rotary axis of the table. The worktable set on the bed can rotate around the X axis, which is defined as the A axis. The general working range of the A axis is +30 degrees to -120 degrees. There is also a rotary table in the middle of the worktable, which rotates around the Z axis at the position shown in the figure, which is defined as the C axis, and the C axis is 360 degree rotation. In this way, through the combination of the A axis and the C axis, the workpiece fixed on the work table can be processed by the vertical spindle except for the bottom surface. The minimum division value of A-axis and C-axis is generally 0.001 degrees, so that the workpiece can be subdivided into any angle, and inclined surfaces, inclined holes, etc. can be processed. If the A-axis and C-axis are linked with the three linear axes XYZ, complex spatial curved surfaces can be processed. Of course, this requires the support of high-end CNC systems, servo systems and software. The advantage of this arrangement is that the structure of the spindle is relatively simple, the rigidity of the spindle is very good, and the manufacturing cost is relatively low. But the general worktable cannot be designed too large, and the load bearing is also small, especially when the rotation of the A axis is greater than or equal to 90 degrees, the workpiece will bring a large load moment to the worktable during cutting.

The other is to rely on the rotation of the vertical spindle head. The front end of the spindle is a rotary head, which can rotate 360 ​​degrees around the Z axis and become the C axis. The rotary head also has an A axis that can rotate around the X axis, which can generally reach more than ±90 degrees to achieve the same function as above. The advantage of this setting method is that the spindle cnc machining is very flexible, and the worktable can also be designed very large. The huge fuselage of the passenger aircraft and the huge engine shell can be processed on this type of machining center. This design also has a big advantage: when we use a spherical milling cutter to process a curved surface, when the center line of the tool is perpendicular to the machining surface, because the linear velocity of the vertex of the spherical milling cutter is zero, the surface quality of the workpiece cut by the vertex will be very poor. The design of spindle rotation makes the spindle rotate through an angle with respect to the workpiece, so that the spherical milling cutter avoids the apex cutting, guarantees a certain linear speed, and can improve the surface processing quality. This structure is very popular with the high-precision curved surface processing of the mold, which is difficult to achieve with the rotary machining center of the worktable. In order to achieve high-precision rotation, the high-end rotary shaft is also equipped with circular scale feedback, and the indexing accuracy is within a few seconds. Of course, the rotary structure of this type of spindle is relatively complicated and the manufacturing cost is also high.

The spindle of the vertical machining center has downward gravity, the radial force of the bearing is idling at high speed, and the rotation characteristics are very good, so the speed can be improved. The general high speed can reach more than 1,2000r/min, and the practical maximum speed has reached 4,0000 rpm. The spindle system is equipped with a circulating cooling device. The circulating cooling oil takes away the heat generated by the high-speed rotation, drops to a suitable temperature through the refrigerator, and then flows back to the spindle system. X, Y, Z three linear axes can also use linear grating feedback, the bidirectional positioning accuracy is within the micron level. Due to the rapid feed rate above 40~60m/min, the ball screws of the X, Y and Z axes are mostly center-cooled, which is the same as the main shaft system. The cooled circulating oil flows through the center of the ball screw and is taken away Heat.

Horizontal five-axis machining center

There are also two ways for the rotary axis of this type of machining center. One is the horizontal spindle swing as a rotary axis, plus a rotary axis of the worktable to realize five-axis linkage processing. This kind of setting method is simple and flexible. If spindle vertical and horizontal conversion is required, the table can be easily configured as a three-axis machining center for vertical and horizontal conversion only by indexing positioning. The vertical and horizontal conversion of the main shaft and the indexing of the working table realize the processing of the pentahedron of the workpiece, which reduces the manufacturing cost and is very practical. It is also possible to set a CNC axis on the worktable with a minimum index value of 0.001 degrees, but without linkage, it becomes a four-axis machining center for vertical and horizontal conversion, adapting to different processing requirements, and the price is very competitive.

The other is the traditional worktable rotation axis, and the worktable A axis set on the bed generally has a working range of +20 degrees to -100 degrees. There is also a turntable B axis in the middle of the worktable, which can rotate 360 ​​degrees in both directions. This horizontal five-axis machining center has better linkage characteristics than the first method, and is often used to process complex curved surfaces of large impellers. The rotary axis can also be equipped with feedback from a circular grating ruler, and the indexing accuracy can reach several seconds. Of course, the structure of this rotary axis is relatively complicated and expensive.
At present, the table of horizontal machining center can be larger than 1.25m2, which has no effect on the first five-axis setting method. However, the second five-axis installation method is more difficult.

Because the 1.25m2 table rotates along the A axis, it is indeed difficult to link with the B axis rotary table in the middle of the table. The spindle speed of the horizontal machining center is generally above 10,000rpm. Due to the self-gravity in the radial direction of the horizontal spindle, the radial forces on the bearings are uneven during high-speed idling, and the larger BT50 tool holder is also required. Generally up to 20,000rpm. The rapid feed of the horizontal machining center reaches above 30~60m/min, the power of the spindle motor is above 22-40KW, the capacity of the tool magazine can be increased from 40 to 160 as required, and the processing capacity is far more than the general vertical machining center, which is heavy First choice for machining.
Most of the machining centers can be designed as double-table exchange. When one worktable runs in the processing area, the other worktable replaces the workpiece outside the processing area to prepare for the processing of the next workpiece. The time for the worktable exchange depends on the worktable The size can be completed from a few seconds to tens of seconds.

The newly designed machining center is considered to be structurally suitable to form a modular manufacturing unit (FMC) and a flexible production line (FMS). The modular manufacturing unit generally consists of at least two machining centers and four exchange worktables, all of which are placed side by side The exchange worktables are lined up in front of the machine, and many exchange worktables can be arranged in two lines or even a double-layer design. There is a station on both sides as the position of the upper and lower workpieces. The exchange worktables on the other stations are equipped with workpieces waiting for processing. A trolley will send the exchange worktables with workpieces to or from the machining center according to the system instructions.

Take out the exchange workbench to complete the processing and send it to the next station or directly to the cutting station to complete the entire processing operation. The flexible production line has the same tool library in addition to the trolley and the exchange workbench. Generally, there will be hundreds of tools, and the identity code information of the tools is stored in the system, and then sent to the machining center through the tool conveying system, and used After the finished tool is retrieved, the flexible production line often needs a FMS controller to direct the operation.

In the past, five-axis machining centers were mostly made in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Italy. What is gratifying is that at the “China CNC Machine Tool Exhibition” held in Shanghai in March this year, several domestically produced five-axis machining centers were exhibited. For example, the gantry-type five-axis machining center exhibited by Jinan No. 2 Machine Tool Group Co., Ltd. has a table length of 6m and a width of 2m. It uses a vertical spindle to rotate, and the A-axis rotation angle is ±100 degrees, and the C-axis rotation angle is ±200 degrees. This behemoth attracts a lot Visitors, it marks that China’s CNC machine tool industry has reached an advanced level. The vertical and horizontal machining centers manufactured by Shanghai No. 3 Machine Tool Plant and No. 4 Machine Tool Plant have a working table of 630mm2 and a high-speed internal cooling electric spindle. The spindle can be converted vertically and horizontally. The table can be divided into 360 degrees, similar to the above simple configuration. The three-axis machining center with horizontal and horizontal conversion can process the pentahedron of the workpiece. Although it has not been configured with five axes, it is also very practical.

Development and future of machining center

Now the processing center has gradually become the most important equipment in the mechanical processing industry, which has a wide processing range and a large amount of use. In recent years, there have been great developments in terms of variety, performance and function. Variety:

There are new vertical and horizontal five-axis linkage machining centers, which can be used for aerospace and aerospace parts processing; there are high-performance machining centers specifically for mold processing, integrated 3D CAD/CAM for super-precision machining of complex mold surfaces; applicable It is a high-speed machining center for high-volume parts processing of automobiles and motorcycles, with high production efficiency and flexibility. Performance: Motor spindles with more than 10,000 revolutions are generally used, up to 60,000 to 100,000 revolutions; the application of linear motors accelerates the machine tool to 3-5g; the implementation of ISO/VDI testing standards prompts manufacturers to improve the bidirectional positioning of the machining center Precision. Function: Combined with the composite function of laser processing, the structure is suitable for forming modular manufacturing unit (FMC) and flexible production line (FMS), and has the integrated functions of electromechanical and communication.

The leading machine tool manufacturer is conceiving the “machining center” in 2010. It will be a universal equipment that can be used for turning, milling, grinding, laser swiss machining, etc., and become a true machining center. Fully automatic from material feeding to finished product output, rough finishing, hardening treatment, super finishing, automatic detection and automatic correction will do everything. The equipment will attach importance to environmental protection and energy saving, showing the sign of green manufacturing. The IT functions characteristic of the 21st century era are absolutely indispensable. The equipment will exchange information with the outside world through the network to obtain the latest technological achievements. Human intelligence will be fully demonstrated in the high-tech product processing center.

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