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Air Turbines enable manufacturer to conduct composite machining
Air Turbines enable manufacturer to conduct composite machining
Air Turbines enable manufacturer to conduct composite machining

Air Turbines enable manufacturer to conduct composite machining

Added to MTDCNC by ITC LTD on 04 March 2014

When Mr. Peter Bowman, an engineer in charge of part fabrication at a successful manufacturer of aerospace components, Flying S Inc, encountered a problem cutting carbon fibre, he turned to Air Turbine Tools (ATT) that are sold exclusively through ITC in the UK, for the solution.

Located in Palestine, Illinois, US, the problem for the team at Flying S Inc was, as Mr Bowman says: 'We came across a project that required us to cut carbon fibre that had been bonded to a proprietary, hardened material.  Cutting this bonded carbon fibre part was difficult because we have to use a 1/16' (1.59mm) end mill in a way that didn’t create burrs and could be done at production speeds. While making test cuts, we found that our fastest spindle at the time was destroying the part during the cutting process. Bottom line was that we couldn’t make the parts.'

'Flying S was looking for an economical solution that could run the small end mills at the speeds we needed for this particular application. We also needed to retain the ability to conduct  tool changeovers on our carbon cutting CNC for the other parts that we’re trimming in production.'
'With some of these issues fresh in mind, I attended some training at Vincennes University Technical Center and noticed an air spindle attachment mounted to one of their Haas machines. I immediately asked for more information. It was a 40,000rpm  650 spindle manufactured by Air Turbine Spindle that had an automatic spindle loading capability. It was exactly what I was looking for,' says Mr Bowman.

'Their TMA feature that integrates Air Turbine Spindles means the program is not interrupted when we switch to the high speed work. Plus there's no warm-up cycle and the spindles incorporate a governor, so we can keep running the tool cutting at high speed.'
Mr. Bowman of Flying S Inc continues: 'Not long after that, we had our own 650X constant speed double turbine 40,000rpm  from Air Turbine Spindle on our Haas machine. For a fairly economical price, we were able to take our versatile 7,500rpm Haas VF-6 CNC machining centre and upgrade it to be able to perform a very high precision intricate job at 40,000rpm.'

The Air Turbine range can extend spindle life and transform a machine tool with the ability to simply retrofit a spindle to a machining centre or turning centre to incorporate an extremely high speed spindle option. With a variety of spindle options available from Tamworth based ITC with spindle speeds up to 90,000rpm, the innovative bolt-on solution is already increasing the capabilities and productivity levels in machine shops throughout the UK.

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