Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Advanced Machining Systems
Partnered with industry, academia, and professional organizations, Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT) is developing advanced machining systems to increase productivity and serve as an evaluation platform for industry. This endeavor develops new manufacturing processes and evaluates state-of-the-art machine tools, components, and processes. Active projects include commodity machine tools, hexapod machine tools, advanced turning machines, and advanced machining processes.
The commodity machine tools project shows the feasibility of replacing transfer lines with a single machine. A milling machine in the ORCMT Skills Demonstration Center has been instrumented to monitor machine temperature, vibration, and cutting loads. Objectives of the project include investigating how the machine functions when operated near its maximum design capabilities; achieving a better understanding of noise characteristics; and detecting pending motor, gear, bearing, and slide failures. Success with these objectives could result in eliminating most transfer lines and provide an increase in reliability.
The hexapod machine tool project shows promise as an evaluation platform for industry. A Hexel stewart platform machine at ORCMT (capable of milling, precision drilling, and turning) features a five-axis capability over a 1.0- meter volume; a high stiffness; a water-cooled, hybrid-ceramic bearing spindle; a Windows 95 Pentium-based controller; and a small footprint. Objectives of the project include multiple operations from a single platform; high speed and thin wall machining; rapid prototyping; and contained metal removal operations when inert atmospheres are involved. The machine is currently being evaluated for accuracy and capability.
The endeavor of developing advanced machining systems may enable Oak Ridge to survive the production constraints predicted for the year 2000 and beyond. Strategies suggest that Oak Ridge will be able to produce any stockpiled component on short notice without up-front testing or failures.
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