Manufacturers seeking greater flexibility, agility and multi-function capability can find a uniquely adaptable solution at IMTS in 5-axis interpolated machining by the Tricept T9000 parallel kinematic machine system. Proven with more than 300 installations worldwide at progressive aerospace, automotive, rail and general manufacturers, the amazingly versatile T9000 can perform milling, drilling, routing, deburing and finishing, optical inspection and touch probing, fastener/rivet installation, even friction stir welding with just a change of tooling. The universal machine is being exhibited on a Modular Element Systems (MES) platform that allows simple bolt-up reconfiguration between vertical, horizontal and 45° angular orientations.
parallel kinematic machine system, configured for horizontal machining,
performs multi-axis processing at speeds not possible with many other machine
tools, gives tool access to tight and awkward locations, and enables use of
shorter tools allowing higher speeds with reduced vibration.
Coordinated motion between three precision actuators and a two-axis head enables high-speed, high-accuracy interpolation for near-infinite spindle/tool orientation, “one stop” fixture/setup efficiencies, internal/external feature machining, and extreme part access.
The patented Tricept design mounts the linear actuators and a central structural tube to a gimbal support structure. At the other end, the tripod struts and tube come together in an inherently stable triangular arrangement around the two-axis rotary head. Independently extending/retracting the struts manipulates the head in X-Y-Z axes, while the head combines 360° horizontal rotation with +5° to -150° vertical plane rotation. The agile structure allows multi-axis moves at speeds not possible with many other machine tools, gives tool access to tight and awkward locations, and enables use of shorter tools allowing higher speeds with reduced vibration.
High-speed, servo-drive for the struts, created exclusively for the Tricept by SKF, enables 88.9 m/min (3,500 in/min) rapid traverse and 2G max acceleration/deceleration. Each strut delivers 990mm (39 in) stroke, giving machining reach of metric/inch in both X and Y and metric/inch in Z. Unlike the machining cube of conventional machine tools, the Tricept envelope can be envisioned as an upside-down umbrella. The greatest Z reach is at dead center, decreasing as travel moves to outer extremes. The system design delivers ±0,038 mm (0.0015 in) positioning accuracy and ±0.010 mm (0.0004 in) repeatability to meet ever-tighter part tolerances.
The T9000 at IMTS features a 6000 rpm, 50 hp HSK63 spindle. A 15,000 rpm/50 hp spindle is also available. These support the T9000's universal capability, processing the entire range of materials from graphite composite and aluminum to tough alloy steels and titanium. The T9000 is engineered for high rigidity and precision in machining difficult materials. Measured under ISO 9283/1998 Section 10, static stiffness is 35N/micron for Kx, 45N/micron for Ky and 80N/micron for Kz.
Made in Spain by LOXIN, the Tricept parallel kinematic module can be mounted to a variety of platforms custom tailored to application requirements. The orthogonal platforms provide linear travel to enable processing of long and large parts. However, unlike conventional large machines where spindle motion requires the entire structure to move for all cutting routines, affecting precision and processing speed, a LOXIN machine design can rapid into location, then allow the lower-mass, more agile Tricept system to drive the spindle through cutting routines at higher speeds and acceleration. This can greatly shorten cycle times on parts with many machined details, as well as optimize efficiency of the Tricept in multi-function processing.
Filed Under: Machine tool industry + subtractive manufacturing, Motion control • motor controls