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August 2020

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Solutions to Optimize Manufacturing Workflows

As part of its continued effort to provide customers with productive turn-key manufacturing systems, GF Machining Solutions has developed a number of model machining cells to showcase its comprehensive range of total manufacturing solutions. These models demonstrate everything from simple pairs of machines and robots to mixed-machine configurations for advanced hybridized additive/subtractive machining strategies.

Cell 1: Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing Workflow

As additive manufacturing (AM) and laser micromachining become increasingly common, manufacturers need a way to easily integrate these technologies with their conventional subtractive machining operations. GF Machining Solutions has an example of this form of integration: a three-machine cell comprised of the DMP Flex 350, AgieCharmilles CUT AM 500 and Mikron MILL S 400 U for fast, optimized hybrid part production operations.

"The flexible DMP Flex 350 enables the efficient 24/7 production of very dense, pure metal AM parts from tough-to-machine alloys, including Inconel, titanium, cobalt chrome, aluminum and steel," said a company spokesperson. "Short changeover times and streamlined 3DXpert all-in-one parametric software allow shops to move quickly from 3D modeling to successful part printing, while the CUT AM 500 uses an innovative tilting table and horizontal wire EDM to separate parts from build plates with lower running costs and higher part quality than conventional EDMs and band saws."

To complete parts produced with metal AM as quickly as possible, even when unattended, GF Machining Solutions has included the MILL S 400 U in the cell, a high-speed full simultaneous 5-axis milling machine with an integrated 18-pallet changer, automatic table and workpiece cleaning system and a range of smart machining modules for advanced in-process monitoring. Both the additive and subtractive processes utilize the same type of System 3R tooling to expedite moving parts between machines and provide high repeatability.

Cell 2: Lights-Out Automation

"For the most demanding part production applications, accuracy must be maintained over long periods of machining, even when left unattended overnight," said the spokesperson. In this second model cell, GF Machining Solutions highlights the long-term precision machining capabilities of three machine tools: the AgieCharmilles FORM S 350 die-sinking EDM, AgieCharmilles LASER S 1000 U laser texturing platform and Mikron MILL P 500 3-axis vertical machining center (VMC).

"All three of these machines are capable of achieving micron-scale precision for the highest quality surfaces even during long machining cycles due to features such as integrated thermostabilization, rigid polymer concrete machine bases and software solutions such as Intelligent Spindle Monitoring (ISM), Smartpatch and Intelligent Speed Power Generator (ISPG)," said the spokesperson.

Cell 3: Standalone Robot

"To make the most of advanced manufacturing technology, even a single machine's productivity can be enhanced with the appropriate automation. In this model cell, the AgieCharmilles CUT P 550 Pro wire EDM solution is made even more productive with the addition of a System 3R WorkPartner 1+ (WPT1+), an automation solution that offers maximum magazine capacity in minimal floor space for unprecedented flexibility, making it easy for manufacturers to start with a single magazine and add one or two as required," said the spokesperson.

"This is ideal for the high-speed productivity of the CUT P 550 Pro, which provides 20% faster cutting speeds with 25% less wire consumption due to its Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) technology," continued the spokesperson. To maximize its productivity during unattended machining-and leverage the flexible capacity of the WPT1+-the wire EDM solution also features new Spark Track technology with Intelligent Spark Protection System (ISPS) to provide secure processes.

For even greater part processing speeds, the CUT P 550 Pro will be compatible with the company's new Uniqua control. This innovative human-machine interface builds on the dynamic programming potential of the company's VISION Controls with EIA/ISO code compatibility and offers a range of features designed to improve wire cutting speeds 14-28% percent on CUT P series machines.

For more information contact:

GF Machining Solutions LLC

560 Bond St.

Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224


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