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High speed milling in die and mould making


Objectives and content
The die and mould making industry (DMMI) occupies a major
position in the process chain for the automotive,
aeroplane, goods, and electronics industries. The
application of High Speed Cutting technology (HSC) to
this industry offers a drastic reduction in machining
times by a five- to ten-fold increase in cutting and feed
rates. However, most DMMIs are SMEs or SME sized
subsidiary companies. For both, the implementation of
HSC is a high-risk venture, not only because of the
considerable investment, but also because HSC is not yet
fully industrially evaluated.
The exploitation of HSC by DMMIs alone is hardly
conceivable because of the following obstacles:
There exists a lack of information concerning the workpiece geometry, the best cutting strategy and recommended
technology that allows an information model for CAM
systems to be built.
The length of time required for the NC programming of
High Speed Machining may be from three, up to five, times
that needed for the cutting operation.
Real-time control of the operation at NC level is not
possible due to the speed of NC lines, thus making a
Cutter Location Control (CLC) model essential.
Hard-coated tooling is not yet fully developed to meet
HSC criteria and broken dies may result from tool damage
caused by instability during cutting, or a poor hard
coating, thus making the process uneconomic.
High performance 5-axes milling covering the whole
working cycle from roughing to finishing is not yet
achieved in the same machine tool.
The proposed HIDAM (High Speed Milling in Die and Mould
Making) has the purpose to overcome the above mentioned
limitation offering major advantages for HSC in the DMMI.
Using a fully developed information model for the CAM
system (which will include features for free form
surfaces) the optimisation of strategy and technology
will reduce the machining time by 30-40% compared with
existing machining processes: especially with respect to
semifinishing. Moreover, the CLC model will be
integrated into the NC programming, thus supporting the
shop-floor operator and allowing a stable process for
both machine and cutting tool. In addition, the
development of novel hard tool coatings (based upon TiAlN
and TiAlCrYN multi-component systems or, for example,
TiALYN/VN multi-layered super lattice coatings) will be
carried out, as will careful coating failure analysis,
using modern electron and ion optical based surface
analytical techniques. This will raise the potential to
machine workpiece without unplanned tool changes.
Finally the development of a new machine tool
architecture will allow to perform high productivity in
roughing and semifinishing combined with 5-axes high
quality finishing.
In effect, the whole process - CAM, NC,
Technology/cutting tools and machine tool- will be an
integrated solution starting with CAM and concluding with
the cutting process. This will guarantee safe,
collision-free and rapid high speed machining, therefore
insuring the triangle - quality, costs and time. The
whole project is submitted to the task force "The Car of Tomorrow". The consortium members are:
COMAU France (FR): High Speed Milling Machine
PTW-TH Darmstadt (DE): Centre of excellence for High
Speed Cutting technology and CAM-techniques;
Fidia (IT): Manufacturer of CAM NC Systems
Grau (DE): Manufacturer of Dies and Moulds for
automotive industry;
Casting Development Centre (GB): Manufacturer of Dies
and Moulds for foundry industry;
Hydra-Marwin (GB): Manufacturer of cutting tools
especially for HSC use
Sheffield University of Hallam (GB): Material research
institute focused on coatings.
Brite Euram III Areas covered by the proposals are:
1.1.3.S, 1.1.2.S and 1.1.7.M.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Comau Systems SpA
18,Strada Del Portone
10137 Torino

Participants (6)

United Kingdom
East Bank Road 7
S2 3PT Sheffield
11,Corso Lombardia 11
10099 San Mauro
GRAU Werkzeug - und Formenbau GmbH & Co.
73529 Schwäbisch Gmünd - Strassdorf
Hydra Tools International PLC
United Kingdom
Nether Lane
S30 3ZF Ecclesfield - Sheffield
United Kingdom
Howard Street
Technische Hochschule Darmstadt
30,Petersen Straße
64287 Darmstadt