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Agie Charmilles has launched a range of high-speed three- and five-axis Mikron machining centres equipped with linear motors.

The machines are aimed at precision-component manufacturers looking for increased productivity, improved part accuracy and repeatability, consistently high surface finishes and better control and reliability over the milling process.

They have been designed for the high-speed machining of materials including steel, aluminium, titanium, hardened alloys and exotics.

The three-axis machines – HSM 400 LP and XSM 400 LP – and the five-axis models – HSM 400U LP and XSM 400U LP – were launched at EMO 09.

The 400 LP/400U LP machines feature a range of technologies and design features that aid the performance benefits of linear-motor integration, while negating heat buildup.

They have a rigid and ultra-stable bridge structure, and polymer concrete construction that minimises vibration and reduces thermal drift.

Independent (water) cooling systems on all LP machines’ axes also help to reduce thermal displacement and distortion.

Other features include: direct-drive technology on all axes, providing extra rigidity and reliability, and negating potential pitch or reverse errors.

The simpler and more direct drive chain means less moving parts and less cogging, increasing accuracy and reducing wear and repair costs.

The Steptec Opticool spindle system controls the temperature of the machine’s spindle and spindle bearings, which improves part accuracy and surface finish.

This spindle system, working in conjunction with the LP machines’ Smart Technology software helps reduce spindle warm-up cycle times and ensures high accuracy and reliable machining.

The intelligent tool measurement (ITM) system uses a camera that can measure tools down to 0.002mm and which, by digital recalibration, avoids measurement issues caused by swarf sticking to a tool’s tip/cutting edge.

The ITM system, in conjunction with integrated touch probes, ensures improved accuracy and surface finish, and increased reliability.

Integrated automation on the LP machines increases their flexibility and productivity.

Different size tool changers are available – 20 or 40 position ATCs can be specified with HSK E32 tools and 18/36/68 position ATCs can be specified with HSK E40 tools.

A similar choice exists with LP machines’ workpiece pallet changers (APCs) and means that LP machines can become mini-manufacturing cells in their own right.

The machines also have different swarf/chip management systems, depending on the nature of machining.

The three-axis HSM/XSM 400 LP machines provide users with X, Y and Z travels of 500, 450 and 360mm.

The HSM/XSM 400U LP five-axis machines have 500 x 235 x 360mm X, Y and Z-axis travels, with the machines’ five-axis capability being delivered through a B and C axis.

This enables users to machine multiple surfaces of a component, by virtue of its +110/-110deg of movement in B axis and continuous 360deg of movement in the C axis, in 0.0001 increments.

Rapid rates for HSM LP machines are 60m/min in X, Y and Z axis, and rates in B and C axis are 165 and 250rev/min respectively.

XSM LP machines have feed rates of 100m/min in X, Y and Z axis, with 165 and 250rev/min rates in B and C axis.

HSM and XSM three- and five-axis machines are equipped with a choice of spindles to suit every high-speed machining application.

All LP machines have the Heidenhain iTNC 530 control and feature Agie Charmilles’ Smart Technology software – ITC; ITC 5X and the operator-support system.

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