5-Axis, Why it Makes a Difference
So why does 5 Axis Machining make a difference, and how can it help on your shop floor?
You can reduce the overall production cost by using 5-axis machining, think about it traditional 3-axis machines are able to work only on one side of a part at a time. There are certain parts that require multiple finished sides, re-calibration and, in some cases, reprogramming. All of this can add to increases in overall production time, which leads to increase in labor and final product costs.
Previously there had been limited software support available for 5-axis machines, now all compatible with CAD / CAM —The technologies behind computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing have advanced by leaps and bounds over the past decade.
Mold producers realize the value in using advanced equipment for their needs. While 3-axis machines are fine for milling simple molds, these units cannot always handle some of the more complex designs. The truth of the matter is they’re simply not always accurate or fast enough to meet the stringent industry standards. Projects with specifications like this call for the use of a modern 5-axis mill. To accommodate this, many manufacturers are making the transition to 5-axis machines.
Most importantly 5-axis machining offers time saving. Time reduction is one of the most obvious advantages of a 5-axis CNC mill. Working with a standard 3-axis machine could require several different set-ups, its 5-axis counterpart can complete the part in just a couple operations that take less than two hours from start to finish.
Some machine shops operate are under the impression that 5-axis machines are solely for special projects or highly complicated parts. While they can make short work of complex pieces, it’s not their only application. Like their more traditional CNC machines, 5-axis mills also excel at simple parts and pieces that require minimal work.
By upgrading 5-axis replacements, we’ve already experienced shorter lead times, greater quality control and greater profitability across the board. 5-axis machines offer the opportunity to save set-up and production time and cost. For a machine shop that wants to optimize production times and maximize profits, the upgrade should be made sooner rather than later.
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