DMG and Sescoi join forces to demonstrate high speed 5-axis machining in China

September 28, 2009 - A 2 day seminar event organized by DMG China and Sescoi has enabled the two companies to demonstrate the benefits of high speed 5-axis machining, as well as some techniques for automated 5-axis programming made possible by the WorkNC automatic CAM/CAD system’s innovative “Auto 5” module. Held at DMG’s Chinese machine tool showroom earlier this month, the companies welcomed a large number of senior engineers from leading national and private businesses in the moldmaking industry from the Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou and Kunshan regions.

Until now, 5-axis machining has not been widely adopted in China due to the perceived difficulty in implementing the technology and producing reliable cutterpaths. Its use in China has mainly been limited to 5-axis engraving and simple raster toolpaths. On the other hand, Sescoi’s WorkNC 5-axis technology has been widely adopted in many parts of the world. The WorkNC Auto 5 module greatly simplifies programming by allowing parts to be programmed in 3-axis and then automatically changing the paths to full 5-axis, bringing the generation of far more comprehensive toolpaths well within the capabilities of most companies.

Partipicants watched the machining of a mold cavity on a 5-axis DMG HSC 105 linear machine. This machine is capable of acceleration of up to 2g, thanks to its dynamic linear drives, and rapid feedrates of up to 90m/min resulting in 20% productivity improvements.

To maximize efficiency and take full advantage of the capabilities of the DMG, the WorkNC software considers the kinematics of the machine and its tools, avoiding collisions during the programming phase. Flip and rotate moves are automatically introduced when axis limits are reached, and toolpaths are altered where the cutter length is too short. The software also uses high speed machining techniques such as trochoidal machining, corner smoothing, and minimization of retract and feed-in movements to optimize the cutting conditions and shorten the machining time.

Users have control over how the automatic 3-axis to 5-axis conversion takes place, with nine strategies including normal to a surface, constant angle and guide surface to achieve the exact result required. Verification and collision checking takes place as the part is being programmed, ensuring that the finished cutterpath is completely reliable and that all areas of the cavity have been machined successfully and to a high quality.

Intelligence within WorkNC automatically selects machining parameters, so even the generation of the 3-axis paths ready for 5-axis machining is extremely simple, saving programming time, ensuring consistent results and making shop floor programming realistic and achievable.

The engineers attending the seminar in China could see that by using WorkNC to program the DMG they could realize its full potential, making best use of its high speed capabilities, increasing tool life, finishing mold cavities completely in one operation, and achieving far higher quality standards, all factors which will cut costs and delivery times and increase profit margins.

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