Delcam will demonstrate the huge time savings that can be made with its Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy at Seco’s ‘Inspiration through Innovation’ manufacturing best-practice event to be held at the company’s premises in Alcester, Warwickshire, on 24th and 25th September.
The Vortex strategy offers substantial time savings by allowing users to make deeper cuts using the full flute length as the cutting surface. A series of trials run by Delcam, on different machine tools within its Advanced Manufacturing Facility, has shown that time savings of up to 70% are possible with the new strategy.
Unlike other high-speed roughing techniques that aim to maintain a constant theoretical metal-removal rate, the Vortex strategy produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle for the complete operation. This maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the entire toolpath that would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves. As a result, the cutting time will be significantly shorter, while cutting will be undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and feed rate, so protecting the machine.
Because Vortex toolpaths have a controlled engagement angle, tools should never be overloaded and so will achieve the maximum tool life. Shock loading caused by changes in the contact angle is minimised, preventing chipping of the flutes. In addition, the stability of the cutting conditions gives more consistent edge temperatures, so prolonging the life of the tool coating and removing heat damage to the surface of the part. Finally, the ability to use stepdowns of three, or even more, times the tool diameter spreads the tool wear evenly over the cutting surface of the tool, again contributing to longer tool life.
Two enhancements in the new PowerMILL 2015 release will give even greater reductions in machining time with Vortex compared to conventional roughing. The first change allows toolpaths to approach the part from outside the stock at the cutting height, both for open pockets and in areas where earlier cuts have made this possible. Previously, all entry moves had to be made by plunging onto the surface or by ramping into the material.
The second change allows an increased feed rate to be set for non-cutting moves. The default value is set at double the rate for the cutting moves but this can be altered as required for each machine tool. The extra time that can be saved depends on the shape of the part but an additional saving of around 20% should be expected above the earlier releases of Vortex.
Other companies taking part in ‘Inspiration through Innovation’ include Mazak, Mills CNC, Nikken, George Kingsbury, Renishaw, Roemheld and REM Erowa.