Parallel Kinematic Machine Offers Multi-Function Capability

The Tricept T9000 parallel kinematic machine system offers five-axis interpolated machining. It can perform milling; drilling; routing; deburring and finishing; optical inspection and touch probing; fastener/rivet installation; and friction stir welding. According to the company, coordinated motion between three precision actuators and a two-axis head enables high speed, high-accuracy interpolation for spindle/tool orientation; "one stop" fixture/setup efficiencies; internal/external feature machining; and ample part access. Linear actuators and a central-structural tube are mounted to a gimbal support structure. At the other end, the tripod struts and tube come together in a triangular arrangement around the two-axis rotary head. Independently extending/retracting the struts manipulates the head in X, Y and Z axes, while the head combines 360-degree horizontal rotation with +5-degree to -150-degree vertical plane rotation. The structure allows high speed multi-axis moves, gives tool access to tight and awkward locations and enables use of shorter tools allowing higher speeds with reduced vibration, the company says.  A high speed servodrive for the struts enables 3,500-ipm (88.9-m/min) rapid traverse and 2G maximum acceleration/deceleration. Each strut delivers a 39" (990-mm) stroke. The greatest Z reach is at the center, decreasing as travel moves to outer extremes. The system is said to deliver ±0.0015" (0.038-mm) positioning accuracy and ±0.0004" (0.010-mm) repeatability. The system features a 6,000-rpm, 50-hp HSK63 spindle (a 15,000-rpm, 50-hp spindle is also available) allowing it to process a range of materials from graphite composite and aluminum to tough alloy steels and titanium. The parallel kinematic module can be mounted to a variety of platforms custom-tailored to application requirements. The orthogonal platforms provide linear travel to enable processing of long and large parts.