A Tier 1 maker of aircraft structural assemblies wanted to replace three standard-size machining centers with one machine that could also do long parts. Bertsche Engineering says it responded by developing the “X-Flex Center” seen here. The machine is like a pallet system inside of one long machining center. Various tables along the length of this machine’s X-axis travel allow various setups from the old machining centers to remain in place simultaneously, minimizing delay time between different part numbers. Meanwhile, by using long T-slot tables to bridge these base tables, this machine can also handle workpieces up to 240 inches long.
The machine has two work zones, Bertsche notes. This further avoids setup time delays, because it allows work to be set up in one area of the machine while the machine is cutting a part in another area. Each of these work zones is equipped with its own independent toolchanger.
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