The aerospace industry is one of the most technically challenging industries in the world. There are growing pressures to look at new manufacturing methods to reduce production times and increase efficiency. One of the determining factors in the production chain is the choice of the right CAM solution. Reduced machining times with high material removal rates of up to 95 per cent require state-of-the-art CAM solutions. OPEN MIND, a leading developer of CAM/CAD-Software, offers with its CAM system hyperMILL® intelligent solutions to meet the challenges rising in the aerospace industry.
The hyperMILL® CAM software features a broad range of machining strategies, from 2.5D and 3D strategies and solutions for high-speed cutting and high-performance cutting right through to 5-axis machining and mill turning. In addition numerous functions enable largely automated programming. Special hyperMILL® packages for machining of impeller, blisk and blade machining complete the broad portfolio. OPEN MIND’s aerospace segment – civil aviation, space travel, military, reconnaissance – has industry-proven application expertise when machining engine components, turbine rings and structure parts such as connectors, ribs, housings, and landing gear. Complete machining with just one CAM software and one postprocessor for all turning and milling processes results in integrated practices for minimised machining times, while also increasing reliability.
Trend-setting 5-axis technology
5-axis machining centres are now standard among manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry. Fully exploiting the potential of these machines requires a powerful CAM solution in addition to other components. hyperMILL® is one of the technologically leading CAM systems that features a broad range of powerful 5-axis strategies. 5-axis machining makes it possible to machine challenging geometries, free-form surfaces and deep cavities significantly more efficiently. Depending on the geometry and machine kinematics, the user can choose between 5-axis machining with a fixed tool angle, automatic indexing or true simultaneous machining. All toolpaths are generated fully automatically with automatic collision checking and avoidance.
OPEN MIND was one of the first CAM manufacturers to tackle 5-axis technology. Since then, it has been one of the leading developers of unique and innovative 5-axis CAM strategies.
Performance multiplied by three – hyperMILL® MAXX Machining
The performance package hyperMILL® MAXX Machining offers three powerful modules for finishing, roughing and drilling that make it possible to achieve impressive boosts in productivity. Manufacturing companies can realise fast economic benefits when working under increasing time and cost pressure using the innovative strategies.
The roughing module in the performance package includes numerous cycles for milling in trochoidal tool paths, resulting in fast and reliable HPC machining. Dynamic feedrate adjustment according to actual cutting conditions ensures milling with the highest possible feedrates at all times. This results in optimal milling paths with maximum material removal and the shortest possible production times. High-speed roughing of both prismatic and curved component faces is supported.
Innovative algorithms ensure that a constant chip volume is always removed by each tooth of the milling tool. This delivers high utilisation rates without exposing the tool to undue stresses, resulting in roughing speeds that are 20 to 70 per cent higher than before.
OPEN MIND has made this fast roughing method available for all types of machining from 2.5D to 5-axis simultaneous. The machining strategy increases the speed and tool life. Stress on the tool and machine is reduced at the same time.
Finishing with barrel cutters
The finishing module of the hyperMILL® MAXX Machining performance package is an example for the optimum application of tool characteristics in combination with trendsetting CAM strategies. This module includes pre-finishing and finishing of planes and free-form surfaces with various barrel cutters. Significant time savings can be achieved with a simultaneous improvement in surface quality. These benefits are accomplished with CAM strategies that use the special shape of the tools to best advantage. The finish depends on the step-over distance and tool radius. The quality of a workpiece surface decreases as the line increment increases, and improves as the tool diameter gets larger. This means that if you want to shorten the machining time by increasing the infeed rate, for example 5 mm instead of 0.5 mm, the tool radius has to be increased several times over to obtain a high surface quality at the same time. Since the tool diameter cannot be increased at will, barrel cutters only work with a section of the desired tool diameter – a circle segment. Larger step-over distances can be realised due to its bigger radius, while achieving high quality surface finish. The hyperMILL® MAXX Machining finishing module realises fast and high-quality machining jobs. All tool paths are checked for collisions.
Finishing in record time: Time savings of up to 90 per cent
With ‘5-axis tangent plane machining’, OPEN MIND has developed a special CAM innovation for plane machining. Time savings of up to 90 per cent can be achieved together with the conical barrel cutter. Path distances of six and eight mm are possible with the large radii of the conical barrel cutters. This results in optimal surfaces and longer tool life.
‘5-axis tangent plane machining’ is equally well suited for straightforward and hard-to-reach planes. Tool paths are generated automatically and checked for collisions.
Companies in various sectors such as aerospace, tool and mould making or the automobile industry reap tremendous benefits from the straightforward and reliable programming strategies available with the hyperMILL® MAXX Machining finishing module.
Fast drilling in materials that are difficult to chip
‘5-axis helical drilling’ is another performance strategy. Holes can be machined easily and efficiently with this solution. This cycle involves helical milling with a forward lead angle. A tilt angle to the side is then used as part of collision avoidance process.
The advantages: Only one tool is needed for different drill diameters. Pre-drilling is not necessary and the strategy is very well suited for materials that are hard to cut. The process features safe chip removal and reduces stress on the tool.