ITALIAN company Alenia-Aermacchi supplies aircraft components and parts to military and civil aviation customers, and recently, the company wanted to modernise its plant to increase productivity.
In order to achieve this goal, the company purchased a Flymill 5-axis machining centre for contouring and boring manufactured by Breton S.p.A.which it incorporates into its sheet metal machining and milling production line.
Milling and machining with the Flymill unit, said Luraschi, who is responsible for product industrialisation, makes it possible for Alenia-Aermacchi to keep up with changing requirements.
“We have an ever increasing need to be able to machine and engineer different materials and to produce with double-curved surfaces, processes that require a highly precise machining centre”, he explained.
The company machines parts ranging widely from small hatches to fuselages and wings, and from engine nacelle leading edges to parts for anti-icing systems.
Luraschi said that, in purchasing the Flymill, it chose a machine that offered an ample machining area and also good flexibility owing to its two workstations.
Aeronautical industry production requirements, which are increasingly demanding, include absolute precision and infinitesimal tolerances.
And Alenia-Aermacchi’s participation in several product development and manufacturing programmes has tightened its production schedules.
“We limited the range of potential suppliers to companies that could put forward a solution that could satisfy our requirements for production flexibility and productivity, above all for 5-axis machining and milling.”
The rigid Flymill, gantry-structured with a mobile cross beam, is an extremely compact milling centre designed to satisfy the high-speed machining and milling requirements of the aerospace industry.
It is said the centre is also good for machining complex large workpieces such as die moulds.
Available in various configurations, the Flymill provides travels of 2,500 to 4,000 mm in the x-axis, 2,000 to 8,000 mm (and even higher) in the y-axis, and 1,000 to 2,000 mm in the z-axis, and can perform high-speed machining of medium-sized and large workpieces in special alloys, steel, aluminium, resin, and composite materials.
Linear-axis movements reach speeds of 60 m/min, the direct-drive twist head has a maximum rotational speed of 100 rpm, and the c-axis rotates continuously.
Thus, the machine offers 5-axis capabilities for complex profiling with maximum precision and dynamics.
The twist head, which can be positioned at any angel and locked in place hydraulically, can mount 40-kW, 28,000-rpm spindles ideal for machining light alloys and other special alloys used in aeronautics applications.
For Breton, having an aeronautical industry customer like Alenia-Aermacchi represents success in expanding into a difficult market.
Commitment to designing and developing the right answer to the customer’s requirements was key.
The exchange led to rethinking some of the machine parts and features.
“Now that the machine is here on-site,” Luraschi said, “we have moved to a new stage in our working collaboration – achieving maximum machining performance and increased productivity.”
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