In precision aerospace grinding, the size of components matters. For smaller parts, less can be more in machine size requirements, features, and especially flexibility and speed.
Machines developed to grind small blades, vanes, and shrouds increase flexibility, economy, and productivity. And adding milling and drilling multitasking to a compact, 5-axis grinding machine multiplies production flow benefits.
Maximum efficiency results when manufacturers process parts on appropriately sized and equipped machines, so United Grinding North America offers several configurations of Mägerle 5-axis multitasking grinding machines to process aerospace components and other high- value parts.
Engineers designed the Mägerle MFP 30 5-axis grinding machine to manufacture small blades, vanes, and shrouds typically used for the CFM International Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion (LEAP) high-bypass turbofan or the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan (GTF). For smaller components, the MFP 30’s compact size maximizes useful space and facilitates smooth production flow.
For maximum effectiveness, the MFP 30 machine uses design elements from larger platforms, such as preloaded ballscrews to prevent backlash and hydrostatic wrap-around guideways on the Y-axis to provide dampening for accuracy, high metal removal rates, and extended tool life.
A space-efficient, double-sided servo-driven table dresser accommodates dresser roll lengths up to 307mm for several separate diamond rolls for different part features. Twin bearings and a servo motor drive facilitate reliable dressing across the entire speed range.
While the machine’s compact size facilitates manual loading of smaller, lighter components, larger components on clamping fixtures can be loaded through the top of the machine using a crane.
Features that support strength, flexibility, and productivity remain critical, such as rigid HSK-B80 flange mountings that support 300mm x 60mm x 76.2mm grinding wheels for wide profiles.
The MFP 30’s direct-drive, 12,000rpm, 26kW (from 1,750rpm) spindle gives power and torque at low spindle speeds for creep-feed and conventional grinding, as well as high rotational speeds for plated carbon boron nitride (CBN) grinding, milling, and drilling. Critical to such multi-process capability, the MFP 30 features through-spindle coolant for chip evacuation, longer overall tool life, better surface finishes, and higher throughput.
A 12- or 24-pocket automatic tool changer accommodates grinding wheels up to 12" as well as mills and drills. Additionally, a shop can install a measuring probe to check workpiece positioning and dimensions. Operators can load and unload the tool changer while the machine is in cycle. Operation The MFP 30’s multitasking capabilities include single-clamping and multi-operation part processing. Processing a typical turbine blade, for example, may require six operations:
- Grind two profiles on one side of blade with standard corundum wheel
- Rotate part in B-axis to grind two profiles on reverse side
- After tool change, grind shank face on blade’s trailing edge
- Grind shank face on blade’s leading edge
- Grind notch with a CBN wheel
- Mill pocket with torus end mill
Accomplishing these operations in a single part fixturing reduces cycle time and increases part accuracy.
A separate system delivers clean coolant.
The MFP 30’s software addresses turbine grinding applications. Macros further simplify operator responsibilities, including standard cycles for grinding, milling, and drilling.
When choosing grinding systems for certain parts and operations, particularly in the aerospace industry, coordinating machine size and capabilities with component sizes produces multiple benefits. For reduced machining time, fewer setups, more efficient shop floor utilization, and the ability to respond quickly to frequent shifts in production volume of small parts, smaller can be faster.