Detroit-based Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), a Manufacturing USA institute, and Heller Machine Tools (Troy, MI) announced an investment in a $1,500,000-advanced 5-axis FP 6000 machining center at LIFT’s lightweight innovation acceleration center in Detroit. The new high-tech equipment will be used to develop new machining strategies for lightweight materials across industries.
“Our work is all about lightweight innovation and that means smart minds and leading edge equipment to bring transformative ideas to light,” said Chris Conrardy, interim executive director for LIFT. “Our premiere applied R&D center for metalworking benefits greatly through our important collaborations with organizations like Heller Machine Tools. With them, the possibilities are endless.”
The Heller FP 6000 is capable of machining five sides of a work piece, providing the highest available cutting capacity along with a quality machined part surface finish. Leveraging the 5-axis motion of the tool for rapid positioning and the machining spindle, which can reach 8000 rpm, the FP 6000 leads to reduced machining cycles on complex parts. Additionally, its versatility makes it suitable for many types of applications in oil and gas, aerospace, agriculture, construction, defense, automotive and all other metal cutting applications.
“Our partnership with LIFT provides us with the ability to not only showcase and demonstrate our technology, but also help other LIFT members achieve their lightweighting goals,” said Steve Pegram, vice president of Heller Machine Tools.
“We are looking forward to what’s next—now and in the future.”
Equipped with a swivel-head unit and a pallet changer handling a 630 x 630 mm table, the FP 6000 has a pallet change time of 13 seconds, tool change time of 5.9 seconds chip-to-chip, and acceleration of 4 m/s²–all of which helps minimize non-machining time. The machine can accommodate work pieces weighing up to 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs.) within a work area of 1000 mm in X and Y axes, 1300 mm in Z.
The FP 6000 machining center is expected to be installed at LIFT by fall 2018.