Photos courtesy of Mazak Corp.
Photos courtesy of Mazak Corp.

Within the aerospace part-processing world, a sweet spot exists between 5-axis machining centers and big gantry-type machines. For most aerospace shops, the part size limit when machining aircraft structural components runs up to about 11' long. But instead of turning to an expensive-to-operate gantry-style machine to go beyond that, manufacturers can instead increase size capabilities at a competitive price with the Mazak VORTEX HORIZONTAL PROFILER (VHP) 160.

Photos courtesy of Mazak Corp.

Mazak designed the VHP160 “sweet spot” machine specifically for the aerospace sector. As such, the machine’s work envelope accommodates about 70% of all the common large airframe and aerospace parts. The number of shops that can cost effectively process such parts is limited. With the VHP160, shops can join the rare and valuable few that can.

The VHP160 also allows aerospace shops to position the machine’s worktable horizontally for quick and easy loading and setup before returning it to a vertical position for machining operations. This vertical orientation uses gravity to ensure excellent chip evacuation during high material removal operations.

With optional two-table-changing capabilities, the VHP160 can deliver continuous uninterrupted operations. If needed, a shop can opt to expand this single-machine, two-table configuration to an entire manufacturing cell with the addition of both tables and machines.

Photos courtesy of Mazak Corp.

The VHP160 has a special box-type construction that integrates its base, column, and table to provide maximum machining rigidity for overall part accuracy. Furthermore, the machine’s symmetrical base/column construction works in conjunction with an advanced coolant and chip disposal system to minimize heat displacement.

For getting into the cut as quickly as possible and shortening overall cycle times, the VHP160 rapid traverses at speeds up to 1,380 ipm in X and 1,181 ipm in both Y and Z with an acceleration/deceleration rate of 0.5G.

In addition to handling large part sizes, the VHP160 enhances a shop’s cutting capabilities, particularly when it comes to aerospace components that have deep, thin-walled pockets and require lots of metal removal. While most shops can machine a 0.050"-thick wall that’s only 0.100" deep and high, the real challenge is to hold tolerance, straightness and required surface finish when that thin wall is 3" high and deep. Accomplishing this relies on machine capabilities – speed, accuracy and rigidity.

Mazak Corp.
http://www.mazakusa.com