Machining large parts from a plate of material instead of assembling them from many pieces can offer significant benefits to manufacturers, including less tooling to hold the parts together during assembly.
The method of machining is often slow and earthbound. However, a single high speed spindle moving at high feed rates may be able to machine large parts fast enough to compete with the productivity of a gantry making three identical pieces at once. And when the high speed spindle machines in a horizontal configuration, both quality and efficiency stand to improve in a variety of ways.
Examples of such machines are multiple-axis machining centers; some designed for parts too large for typical CNC machining centers. A typical machine includes a 30,000-rpm, 60-kW spindle and a combination of CNC features that permit precision milling at high feeds. Models ranging in size from 4 to 16 meters of travel in the X-axis feature linear motors for this longest axis.
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