FlexiCAM » Precision Machining of Small Aluminum Parts in the Aviation Industry
Machining Center

Precision Machining of Small Aluminum Parts in the Aviation Industry

FlexiCAM has recently delivered a second Ultimate machining center equipped with Vilmill technology to a company in the aviation industry. This company specializes in manufacturing critical components for aircraft and helicopters, including aero-engines and aerostructures. With a comprehensive approach, the company provides end-to-end solutions for OEMs worldwide, encompassing design and engineering, advanced tool design and manufacture, complex machining, composites, sheet metal fabrication, and airframe assemblies.

The delivered machining center has an area of 1.65 x 4.2 meters and is equipped with a 6.5 kW automatic tool change spindle capable of 40,000 RPM. A 12-position rotary tool changer mounted on the gantry allows for quick tool changes, enhancing the machine’s efficiency. Additionally, the machine features a high-pressure Busch vacuum pump and a specialized Vilmill table designed to securely hold small parts during the milling process, particularly for thin and lightweight materials like aluminum.

Key features of this advanced machining center include:

  • Tilting 4-axis Head: Ideal for machining taper shims with precision.
  • Pressure Foot: Ensures effective suction of chips, maintaining a clean work environment.
  • Bellow-covered Pressure Foot: Enhances the suction mechanism and protects against debris.
  • Vilmill Roll Holder: Conveniently located at the rear end of the machine for easy access.
  • Safety Fence: Surrounds the machine, ensuring a safe operational environment for the operators.
  • Automatic Unloading Table: Positioned at the front end of the machine, this feature uses stamping pads located at either end of the table to pull the Vilmill sheet from the work table to the unloading area after cutting. This mechanism ensures the work table is immediately ready for the next sheet.

 

These features collectively contribute to the machining center’s ability to handle complex tasks efficiently while ensuring the safety and precision required in the aviation industry. The implementation of such advanced technology ensures delivering high-quality, reliable components for aerospace.

Some of the advantages of this machine include:

Accuracy of Machined Parts

  • The Vilmill table, used in conjunction with a vacuum pump, ensures that parts remain firmly in place, preventing any movement during high-speed milling.
  • By holding parts securely, the Vilmill table minimized vibrations and shifts, which are common causes of inaccuracies in machining.
  • The stable hold provided by the Vilmill table allowed for consistent positioning of parts, leading to high precision in machining operations for the customer.

 

Reduced Rework

  • The improved accuracy and precision lower the incidence of defects, thereby decreasing the need for rework and saving time and resources.

 

Higher Feed Rates and Productivity

  • The Vilmill table enabled higher feed rates, allowing for faster machining of parts, which significantly boosted productivity and facilitated high-volume production of aerostructures.

 

Efficiency

  • The machine’s automatic unloading table allows for simultaneous unloading of materials, ensuring a continuous and efficient workflow by enabling the operator to safely remove finished components while the machine processes new parts.
  • This capability is crucial for maintaining the high production rates needed for the customer’s large-scale aerospace manufacturing.