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Save time on every groove and slot

Saving time in manufacturing results in real financial benefits and contributes to competitiveness. With this in mind, it makes sense for companies to look at trochoidal milling — a little technique used today. Trochoidal milling is available as an app when digitalization is implemented with Sinumerik Edge.

Smart milling technology saves time

In trochoidal milling, a milling tool with a small diameter is selected. When milling grooves, for example, a milling tool is chosen that is significantly smaller than the groove width

Trochoidal milling brings considerable increases in productivity when milling grooves, slots, and cut-outs with a flat base. It uses a milling tool with a small diameter. This milling tool is guided in a circular or curved motion in such a way that there is only a small wrap angle between the milling tool and the material to be cut. This also means a low cutting force and allows chips to be removed from the workpiece and tool quickly. The result is reduced friction and improved heat dissipation through the chip, which in turn facilitates excellent feed depths, high path speeds, and good tool utilization.

Although the tool covers a longer distance due to the circular path, the machining time is considerably less than with contour-parallel multi-pass milling or milling at the width of the groove. Trochoidal milling speeds up many work steps — often by 1.5 times or more. However, purely manual programming of a trochoidal tool path is very time-consuming. In practice, this cutting strategy has, until now, more or less only ever been used in CAD/CAM-generated parts programs.

Trochoidal machining as an app-based cutting strategy

With Sinumerik Edge (see article on page 10 of this edition), trochoidal milling is now implemented using the Optimize MyMachining /Trochoidal Edge app. The app is installed on the Edge device via the MindSphere cloud platform. This means that trochoidal milling is available as an additional cutting strategy (configurable directly on the operator panel) to the Sinumerik CNCs connected to the Edge device.

The contour defined in the program editor or via DXF file is then converted into a trochoidal production process by means of a complex algorithm. The trochoidal tool path is calculated on the Edge device and returned to the CNC to be processed as a sub-routine. As such, the CNC’s performance is unaffected, despite the CPU-intensive procedure. In addition, Optimize MyMachining /Trochoidal generates tool paths that are highly homogenous and match the dynamics of the relevant machine — with the result that the machine runs more smoothly and lasts longer.

With the Optimize MyMachining / Trochoidal Edge app, highly productive trochoidal milling can be programmed quickly and easily right on the machine. Using it is worthwhile even for small batches and one-off items.

08/28/2018 | Author: Björn Rosenbaum