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5-Axis Medical Machining

"Having a 5-axis machine offers tremendous advantages in the processing of medical and surgical parts such as dental, knee, hip and spine implants and surgical instruments, just to name a few medical applications," said an Expand Machinery spokesperson. "Part handling can be greatly reduced using 5-axis milling machines to complete complex parts in a single set-up, which reduces lead time and increases shop efficiency and leads to higher workflow predictability. Often three or more set-ups with expensive fixtures would be required to process work on 3- or 4-axis machines with the resultant loss of accuracy each time the part is relocated for subsequent operations."

The GenMill 5X-12 is a full-featured high-performance 5-axis simultaneous milling machine featuring glass scale feedback in all 5-axes to help ensure accuracy. The 12.6" platter diameter tilting rotary trunnion table is driven by a precision worm gear and provides 150° of tilt motion and 0.001° indexing resolution. "The GenMill 5X-12 eliminates set-ups by allowing you to machine multiple sides of the workpiece in just one operation, without relocating the part or fabrication expensive fixtures, as well as allowing you to handle parts that require full 5-axis simultaneous machining," said the spokesperson.

Standard features include a 12,000 RPM high-performance BIG-Plus dual-contact precision ground #40 taper spindle for extra tool rigidity and accurate tool length repeatability. "The rigidity of the dual-contact tool clamping system enhances tool life, which leads to increased productivity," said the spokesperson. The standard coolant system provides 300 PSI through-the-tool coolant flow, and a separate coolant pump is supplied for chip wash-down to efficiently move chips into the belt-style chip conveyor. A 40-tool chain drive twin-arm tool changer delivers tools in in just 1.7 seconds (tool-to-tool), providing fast tool changes with ample tooling availability for complex workpieces. Rapid traverse rates of 1,417 IPM reduce cycle time providing for efficient production. High-speed synchronous rigid tapping is another included production enhancement.

"Certified medical materials are often challenging to machine," said the spokesperson. "Materials such as Invar, Kovar, Inconel and titanium alloys required a rigid machine with the workpiece rigidly held and ample stiffness in the spindle. The GenMill 5X-12 addresses this issue with added stiffness provided by the heavy-duty cross-roller style way system in the 3 linear axes, providing the needed rigidity and enhanced cutting accuracy and helps extend tool life. The heavy-duty cross-roller way system provides over twice the rigidity offered by the standard ball-style liner ways used in typical machines. The machine is constructed of all certified premium grade high-density Meehanite castings and weighs over 15,700 lbs. for enhanced vibration dampening that extends tool life. The wide spacing of the ways offers the optimal guide ratio for the moving elements, further enhancing the rugged design of the machine for accurate and heavy-duty machining."

"Five axis machining requires a CNC controller that is up to the task," continued the spokesperson. "The Mitsubishi M850 is well suited to the demands of high-speed machining that are required for efficient 5-axis work. The M850 control features an impressive 270,000 block-per-minute processing speed with a 2,700 block look-ahead with NANO smoothing, and includes a 32 GB data server to ensure a seamless flow of data to provide a smooth and accurate toolpath. Selectable tolerance control can be calibrated to favor just the right level of accuracy or productivity required for the feature being machined. Mid-program restart can be completed in a variety of circumstances, such as tool breakage or after a power outage or other interruptions, for quick and efficient recovery in these time-robbing situations."

The rigidity of the high-strength cast iron frame provides a high-strength cutting platform with vibration dampening for improved surface finish and extended tool life. "The blending of strength with speed provides the ultimate value enhancing combination with the 12,000 RPM BIG-Plus spindle, making the machine ideal for medical grade materials. The strength of the cross-roller ways provide the rigidity needed for efficient machining of Inconel and stainless. The GenMill 5X-12 was designed to provide the dynamic results shops are looking for to efficiently process their multi-faced or 5-axis work profitability," said the spokesperson.

For more information contact:

Expand Machinery LLC

20869 Plummer St.

Chatsworth, CA 91311

888-542-6374 / 818-349-9166

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