New Manufacturing Solutions with 5-Axis CNC

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Across their 50 years in the manufacturing industry, Ben Machine has witnessed how exciting technological advancements have driven greater demand in parts complexity.

Producing tomorrow’s leading-edge military, aerospace and commercial high-tech equipment is requiring more complex geometries, tighter tolerances, and condensed features in machining capabilities. Conventional manufacturing approaches to CNC machining these complex features require multiple steps and complex setups.

However, the high demands on quality and lead time constrain efficiency and cost reductions. Competitive advantage is gained by finding ways to shorten cycle times and save time on complex parts.

Ben Machine’s move into 5-axis CNC machining over a decade ago has enabled them to deliver increases in efficiency, decreases in lead time, increases in parts accuracy, and overall higher quality finished parts. And with the increased capability that simultaneous 5-axis machining delivers, Ben Machine has been able to take on more complex challenges, effectively expanding the capabilities they can offer their customers.

One Machine, More Features: Operation Consolidation

Operation consolidation in 5 axis CNC machining is increasing the exciting options available to design engineers. Combining multiple operations into a single setup improves part throughput, creating higher part quality, repeatability, and more parts per set up. Because set ups are a costly necessity of manufacturing, reducing set up time directly reduces costs.

For example, a hydraulic manifold running on a 3 or 4 axis CNC milling machine can be more efficiently made on a 5-axis machine. Given the additional manipulation of the manifold in the machine, angular cross holes can be easily added at the same time as the inline porting and cavity machining.

Additionally, improvements to tool life and part finish can be realized. This is due to the part being held in atypical positions on the 5-axis CNC machine, as compared to 3-axis parts machining. This maximizes chip removal by utilizing gravity to assist in withdrawing the part away from the manifold.

Synchronous 5-Axis Machining in Action

The part in the video was started from a solid billet of aluminum. In one setup, the block is precisely machined into the final shape. What would have required multiple set ups in a traditional milling machine is done by the simple rotation of the part. Internal features are created within the part at high removal rates as both the part and tool are moving simultaneously.

The synchronous motions of human hands have sculpted timeless masterpieces from marble. With synchronous machining, the workpiece is moving concurrently with the cutting tool. Ben Machine’s latest 5-axis synchronous machines enable the creation of complex metal parts with significantly tighter positional tolerancing that was thought impossible to machine previously.

Benefits of synchronous 5-axis machining include the ability to:

– Machine precise features traditionally done by specialized tooling or complex setups

– Achieve tighter tolerances within a single set up without variability

– Remove the maximum amount of material in each set up

Ben Machine has more than 100 CNC machines, including a wide range of synchronous 5-axis vertical machining centers. Delivering improved efficiency, decreased lead times, parts accuracy improvements, and an overall higher quality finished part are compelling reasons to get your design engineers talking to Ben Machine’s manufacturing engineers.