Video: Additive, Subtractive Cell Achieves High Throughput

Two industry suppliers say cells combining separate, dedicated equipment can outperform hybrid machines in high-volume industrial applications.


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With their protruding line attachments, turbine combustion housings like the ones depicted in this video are ideal candidates for manufacturing process that combine additive and subtractive technology. Machining the housing, then adding the bosses via laser deposition, then proceeding with any additional machining is far more efficient than machining the entire geometry from a single block of material.

For that reason, parts like this are often showcased during demonstrations of hybrid machine tools that combine additive and subtractive processes in one platform. However, the greater the volume of parts, the more likely it is that a hybrid cell like the one above, will provide greater throughput, even if it requires investing in more machines. That’s the view of machine tool builder Okuma America Corp. and laser deposition specialist RPM Innovations, which are collaborating on this concept.

The video speaks for itself when it comes to throughput advantages. However, productivity isn’t the only advantage of a hybrid cellular approach. As detailed in this brief article, manufacturers can also benefit from additional flexibility, material cost savings, and easier incorporation of other processes into the workflow.