Flexible Precision Part Manufacturing

The Advanced Technology (AT) machine is a modular, open architecture machining system useful for mid- to high-volume production of parts from irregular-shaped cast or forged blanks. Available in 8- to 10-station models, with a 115-mm diameter work envelope, the AT is equally adept at families of parts or highly engineered complex component shapes. It is a CNC-controlled, servodriven pallet machine.

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The Advanced Technology (AT) machine is a modular, open architecture machining system useful for mid- to high-volume production of parts from irregular-shaped cast or forged blanks. Available in 8- to 10-station models, with a 115-mm diameter work envelope, the AT is equally adept at families of parts or highly engineered complex component shapes. It is a CNC-controlled, servodriven pallet machine. The machine table transports the pallets from station to station. Pallets with finished workpieces can be unloaded together and sent directly to a CMM or gauging station for machining performance verification and analysis. Loading and unloading of pallets and/or workpieces can be done automatically or by conveyor, robot or pick-and-place device. The table of the AT serves only as a transport device. On a 10-station machine, all 10 stations simultaneously release the modular pallets carrying fixtured workpieces. The table lifts and transports each modular pallet to the next pallet fixture. It lowers the modular pallet to the fixture pallet where it is located and clamped. The workholding pallet chuck system features an Erowa power chuck that provides precise location and clamping of the modular pallet. Each pallet fixture has a base-mounted servodrive with rotary encoder and hydraulic brake. This arrangement provides unlimited axial positioning of the pallet fixture as well as high-speed fixture rotation--up to 5,000 rpm--permitting precision lathe-type operations. Thus, many combinations of machining operations can be done at a single station--for example, heavy milling followed by turning. AT base units are modular single-piece castings that support the pallet fixture, fixture servodrive and machining unit. The base-mounted fixture servodrive provides additional axes of movement via unlimited axial positioning of the pallet fixture, high speed fixture rotation and a vertical B axis for horizontal or vertical milling. The open architecture design of the AT permits quick, easy removal of the entire modular base for tool change, complete part changeover or routine maintenance. The AT's inherent design flexibility is further augmented by the GE Fanuc 2050 control system, which features a Windows NT operator interface with 15" touch-screen. Five Fanuc 16I CNC units control the AT's various servodrives. Linear axis movement of the tool spindles is via servo-controlled precision-ground ball screws. The Cimplicity software package serves as a system supervisor and coordinates the actions of the Fanuc CNC units.