The Mikron HSM 200U LP milling machine from GF AgieCharmilles is available in three- and five-axis versions. It is said to bring speed, efficiency and precision to the machining of small, highly complex components, such as medical implants, electrodes and watch components. With a compact footprint, the machine is designed to fit into most facilities, which is important for dental labs, watchmaking shops and other locations where floor space may be limited. It accommodates the medical industry’s need for lean manufacturing via small-footprint, high-speed machines that combine accuracy and fine surface finishes to small parts production.
Linear motor technology in the main machine axes and optimized direct-drive motors for the B and C axes result in high precision and part surface finishes as fine as Ra 0.05 μm, the company says. The machine’s 50,000-rpm, 11.4-hp Step-Tec spindle assists in providing excellent surface finish and part detail. To counteract the high levels of heat that can develop over prolonged periods of high axis feed rates, the machine uses thermal management system. Each of the linear axes features a cooling unit to draw the heat out of the machine.
A Heidenhain iTNC 530 control system and smart machining modules provide levels of monitoring critical to the production of high-value precision medical parts. The system enables the machine to automatically check and evaluate tools and workpieces, inspect tools for breakage and perform measurements of the workpiece. The smart machine modules automatically monitor spindle vibration, calibrate machine geometry and transmit process status messages to an operator’s cell phone. To avoid inconsistent loading of small tools and 3D geometry errors due to the inaccurate measurement of those tools, the machine features Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM). ITM records the complete tool tip as large as 0.47" in diameter on image sensors. Special software cleans and measures the recorded tool geometry for repeatability in the micrometer range.
The polymer concrete base enhances vibration damping and thermal stability, extending tool life and reducing operating cost. The machine is capable of round-the-clock unattended machining using its optional pallet magazines with System 3R and Erowa interfaces. These integrated pallet magazines can be loaded without interrupting cutting operations already in progress. The automation of tool or workpiece handling is possible from three sides of the machine.
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