New HMC for producing airframe structures

New HMC for producing airframe structures


Lantek Sheet Metal Solutions

New HMC for producing airframe structures

A new, 6-axis, horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC) with a working volume starting from X:4,100 mm x Y:1,600 mm x Z:650 mm, with options of 2.1 metres and 2.6 metres in the Y axis and up to 30 metres in the X axis has been introduced by F Zimmermann, Germany, specifically for efficient production of structural components in the aerospace industry. Availability in the UK and Ireland is through sole agent Kingsbury and in the Middle East through subsidiary company, Kingsbury Gulf.

Equipped with an integrated, expandable, patented pallet change system that automatically loads the component into the vertical plane for machining, the FZH400 is the first horizontal machining centre from F Zimmermann, a long-established manufacturer of gantry-type, vertical-spindle machines. 

The new configuration harnesses gravity to allow efficient removal of copious volumes of aluminium swarf generated from solid billets by the 100 kW (cont.) spindle. Trials have demonstrated material removal rates of over 13 litres per minute, due in part to linear axis acceleration at 6 m/s2, with rapid feed rates up to 60 m/min in the X-axis, 40 m/min in Y and Z.

The spindle head has three CNC axes, hence its designation M3 ABC, offering extra versatility compared with 2-axis heads for executing complex programs. Movement of ± 110 degrees in the A-axis, ± 225 degrees in the C-axis and the addition of ± 14 degrees in the B-axis eliminates the risk of singularity errors occurring in cutter paths, without the need to use avoidance algorithms. High productivity is therefore maintained while delivering exceptional surface finish and dimensional accuracy.

Another patented feature of the machine is a robust, water-cooled, travelling column that does not suffer from the traditional drawback of spindle deviation as the slide extends in the Z-axis. Of modular design, the machining centre is both compact and floor-mounted, requiring no special foundation, so is rapid to install and commission. 

Turnkey solutions are available through Kingsbury encompassing special workholding arrangements, tooling, handling solutions, aluminium swarf briquetting and NC programs for the components to be manufactured. 

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