Makino's MAG3.EX five axis HMC for aluminum aerospace partsClick image to enlarge

Makino has introduced the next-generation MAG3.EX five axis horizontal machining centre, with expanded capabilities for the processing of complex aluminum structural parts for the aerospace industry.

“The original MAG3.EX has been a staple in the aerospace industry for more than a decade, acording to Makino. However, to continuously innovate and position manufacturers for the future, it pushed to increase both cutting and control capabilities,” says Dave Ward, product marketing manager, Makino. “

"When updating the machine, we focused on three main design objectives: higher productivity, enhanced features and reliability, and interchangeability. The new design delivers on all three with exceptional results, establishing a new standard for aluminum structural aircraft component production.”"

The MAG3.EX is fully equipped to take on aluminum structural parts up to 4 m in length (approximately 13 ft), including wing ribs, bulk heads and beam-type components. Its X, Y and Z axis travels of 4,00 0mm, 1,500 mm, and 1,000 mm (157.5 in. 59.1 in., 39.4.), respectively, accommodate part sizes up to 4,000 mm by 1,500 mm by 750 mm (157.5 in. by 59.1 in. by 29.5 in., respectively). The machine’'s A and C axes are located within the spindle housing and provide ±110-degree tilting and 360-degree rotation.

Many key components, including the spindle, coolant system and automatic tool changer, have been updated with enhanced technologies to achieve next-generation productivity.

By increasing the spindle power from 120 kW to 130 kW in the updated model, maximum power can be achieved at 26,000 rpm rather than 33,000 rpm with the previous spindle. Cutting feedrates and acceleration rates have also been improved with cutting feedrates increasing from 25.4 M/minute to 50 M/minute and acceleration rates reaching 1G. Together, these enhanced features dramatically improve processing speeds for all aluminum structural type components.

Rapid traverse rates have been improved across all axes: 25 revolutions per minute on the A/C, 62.7 m/minute (2,440 ipm) on the X axis, and 58 m/minute (2,283 ipm) on the Y and Z axis. These faster axial movements, combined with an improved automatic tool changer and automatic pallet changer, reduce non-cutting times in operation for the highest degree of machine utilization, claims Makino. In some test parts, cycle times have been reduced by up to 23 per cent compared to the previous model.

To keep up with the larger volume of chips removed by the improved spindle capabilities, coolant and chip management systems have also been updated for improved maintainability.

The machine is built with a large capacity automatic tool changer, capable of holding up to 120 tools and reducing the time it takes to change tools by 30 percent, and an automatic pallet changer, eliminating the need to stop machining for work setup. Furthermore, the platform features a horizontally oriented work-setting station that lets operators quickly and easily set workpieces on the pallet, similar to how they would a vertical machining center.

Three key features of the MAG3.EX include Makino’'s new Pro6 control, MPmax real-time process monitoring and Collision Safe Guard technologies. A dedicated monitor screen for MPmax is located next to the Pro6 control. Here, the operator can watch uptime rates, view images captured by the monitoring camera and monitor the condition of the spindle in real time. Moreover, operators can access the recorded data and check details afterward.

Makino’'s proprietary Collision Safe Guard technology is a function that runs real-time interference checks to avoid spindle crashes. By combining on-board machine geometry models with workpiece, fixture and tooling data input by the user, Collision Safe Guard can predict and stop the machine prior to collision, protecting investments in the machine, fixture, tooling and workpiece. This sensing technology protects the spindle from damage caused by overload.

The updated MAG3.EX can be used with existing pallets, work-setting stations and even pallet changers, making it fully compatible with Makino’s highly flexible MMC2 systems. This design enables manufacturers to expand existing MAG3.EX cells or replace older machines from their MMC2 with no changes to the foundation.

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