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Baker Installs Five-Axis Machining Giant for Big Aerospace Projects

By Baker Industries Press Release
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At Baker Industries, the large scale five-axis EMCO Mecof PowerMill has gone operational.

At Baker Industries (Macomb, MI) the large scale five-axis EMCO Mecof PowerMill has gone operational. This five-axis machining center is notably the first of its kind to enter the United States and one of the largest and most versatile milling centers in the Midwest. This acquisition is the next step in Baker’s planned approach to expanding its capacity in servicing OEM and Tier 1 customers largest machining projects with the same level of experience, quality and precision that customers have come to expect from Baker.

The PowerMill joins 38 versatile CNC machines already on Baker’s roster. The giant five-axis machining center was primarily purchased for the machining of large-scale assembly tools, bond tools and other colossal components. The open structure of the machines moving gantry allows for more convenient loading and handling of these very large tools. The spacious 52’ x 20’ x 10’ (15.8 x 6 x 3-m) work envelope is large enough to fit seven full-size SUVs or two semi-truck trailers on its platform. This unique design enables Baker to process parts up to a maximum weight of 2.6 million lb (1149 t) on the stationary table. In other words, the PowerMill is only limited by the size of the job.

The new five-axis machining center is equipped with several automatically changing heads that allow for universal direction machining. In addition to the sizable 14-m  X-axis travel, the PowerMill offers travel of 6 m  in the Y-axis and 2.5 m of travel in the Z-axis. In order to maximize productivity, the new PowerMill speeds around the work area with rapid travel and feed rates of 30 m/min.

Aside from the flexibility, capacity, and high-speed functionality, the new PowerMill delivers an unprecedented level of rigidity and machining performance, which is ideal for the heavy duty cutting of Invar, steel, aluminum, cast iron, composites and other alloys that are generally difficult to machine on a large scale. The heavy-duty machining potential of the new PowerMill is exemplified by the unique bifurcated cross rail with ram and saddle riding, and guiding inside the cross rail. This is complemented by a 6000-rpm, 42-kW main spindle motor that has a torque output of 1200 Nm, which retains exceptional power output throughout the complete speed range.

Working in synergy with the spindle motor, CAT 50, HSK 63 and HSK 100 spindle tapers accommodate large cutting tools. The spindle nose is supplied tools via an automatic tool changing system that gives Baker Industries the capacity to process a complete variety of jobs with minimum set-up time.

The PowerMill is capable of taking each job from rough to finish, all on one machine. For the machining of large components and tools up to and beyond 16 m, this will provide paramount precision, repeatability and overall lead times.

To prepare for a machine of this size and stature, Baker began construction on the site in June 2017. Including construction, the company’s total financial investment for this acquisition is $3.4 million. “Our willingness to proactively make investments to support our customer’s needs, has allowed us to achieve continuous growth year after year. The PowerMill is just one of many investments that we have made in 2017 and will continue to make in years to come,” said Baker Industries’ president Kevin Baker.

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