HMC for airframe structures

A six-axis, horizontal-spindle machining centre with a working volume starting from 4100 x 1600 x 650 mm, with options of 2.1 and 2.6 m in the Y axis, and up to 30 m in the X axis, has been introduced by F Zimmermann specifically for producing structural components in the aerospace industry.

Availability in the UK and Ireland is through sole agent Kingsbury, and in the Middle East through subsidiary company, Kingsbury Gulf.
Equipped with an integrated, expandable, patented pallet-change system that automatically loads the component into the vertical plane for machining, the FZH400 is the first horizontal machining centre from F Zimmermann, a long-established manufacturer of gantry-type, vertical-spindle machines.
A horizontal configuration harnesses gravity to allow the removal of copious volumes of aluminium swarf generated from solid billets by the 100 kW spindle. Trials have demonstrated material removal rates of over 13 l/min, due in part to linear axis acceleration at 6 m/s2, with rapid feed rates up to 60 m/min in the X axis, and 40 m/min in Y and Z.
The spindle head has three CNC axes, hence its designation M3 ABC, offering extra versatility compared with two-axis heads for executing complex programs. Movement of ±110° in the A axis, ±225° in the C axis and the addition of ±14° in the B axis eliminates the risk of singularity errors occurring in cutter paths, without the need to use avoidance algorithms.
Another patented feature of the machine is a water-cooled travelling column that does not suffer from the traditional drawback of spindle deviation as the slide extends in the Z axis.
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