GF AgieCharmilles to Demonstrate 5-Axis Milling at AeroDef

New HEM 500U brings performance and value to aerospace and defense applications.

January 30, 2013
Manufacturing Group
Assembly Industry News

At the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition, from March 19 to 21, in California, GF AgieCharmilles will showcase its new MIKRON HEM 500U high efficiency milling machine. The machine provides high-performance, high-value 5-axis capabilities to manufacturers focused on efficient, accurate, and reliable parts production, including aerospace and defense work.   

According to Gisbert Ledvon, director of business development for GF AgieCharmilles in North America, the company successfully achieved its price/performance goals with the HEM 500U thanks to its highly experienced and forward-thinking design and engineering teams. “This machine proves it’s possible to maintain our deeply rooted expertise in 5-axis machining at a new lower pricing level in this market segment.”

Ideal for cutting parts out of aluminum, alloys and steel, the HEM 500U features a highly dynamic 12,000rpm ISO-B40 spindle and 30-tool magazine that provides a 2-second chip-to-chip time for high-speed continuous milling operations and increased spindle uptime. Additionally, a 20,000rpm spindle and 60-tool changer are available.

A trunnion table measuring 19.7” (500mm) in diameter and accommodating workpiece weights up to 440 lb (200kg) tilts +50mm/-110mm in the B-axis and rotates 360° in C for 3 + 2 machining as well as 5-side positioning. Axis travels in X, Y, and Z measure 19.7” (500mm), 17.7” (450mm) and 15.7” (400mm), respectively, while a distance of 5.9” (150mm) between the machine spindle nose and rotary table surface allows for ample maneuverability around workpieces.

The highly robust HEM 500U works well under a variety working conditions. Its C-frame structure supports a cross-sledge for the transversal X- and Y- movements. All three linear axes are located on a sturdy block that houses the B-axis. The vertical Z-movement, which contains the inline spindle, mounts to the rigid Y-axis column. 

The HEM 500U relies on a new Heidenhain iTNC 530 control for quick and reliable machining. This versatile, workshop-oriented control for 5 (3+2) axis machining features an integrated digital drive control with integrated inverter, enabling it to produce a highly accurate workpiece contour while machining at high velocity. The HEM 500U also comes equipped with smart machining modules that provide advanced levels of monitoring critical to the production of aerospace and defense parts.

Featuring a small footprint, the HEM 500U is ideal for tight setup areas in small job shops and large production plants. The attention to the ergonomics of the machine’s design allows for easy access to workpieces. Its highly accessible structure makes it possible to load and unload workpieces using a forklift as opposed to a crane.    

In developing the MIKRON HEM 500U and the entire High Efficiency Machining (HEM) Series, which also includes the HEM 800, HEM 1000 and the HEM 1200, GF AgieCharmilles sought to redefine the performance and quality standards in the vertical machining center category by creating cost-effective solutions that place the company’s best technologies into modern, reliable, and ergonomic designs.