The new purchase is expected to increase capability for machining complex geometry to tight tolerances.
by: Matt Danford
Silicone mold manufacturer M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, CA) has purchased a Yasda Vi40 five-axis vertical jig borer in response to demand for more complex tooling. The Vi40 is capable of full five-axis machining, reducing machining time by approximately one-fifth.
"In order to better serve our customers and drive down lead times, purchasing a five-axis is something that needed to be done," says Rick Finnie, president of M.R. Mold & Engineering. "Seventy percent of the molds we build have complex geometry, and the capabilities of the Yasda five-axis will enable us to increase our already finite capabilities."
According to the company, the decision to purchase a Yasda was based in part on consultations with American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) colleagues as it searched for a system with high enough precision and accuracy to serve medical-industry customers. The company says it particularly appreciates the fact that "the quality control by Yasda is 100-percent driven by in-house production of 100 percent of the machine."
Featuring a rigid structure for hard-milling die and mold components, the Vi40's single-setup, five-sided machining capability significantly reduces process steps and cycle time, the company says. Five-axis capability also enables using shorter tools to achieve quality surface finish and high precision at higher feed rates. The machine reportedly achieved 2.32um (measured value) of circularity in a tilted cone machining test. The machine is also designed for accessibilty between spindle and workpiece, and operator and machining point.
Along with the new machine, M.R. Mold purchased hyperMill CAM software from Open Mind Technologies. Although many CAM systems offer five-axis support, this system focuses on "true" five-axis programming, says Nhut Nyugen, programming lead at M.R. Mold. According to the company, the CAM developers' deep knowledge of the Yasda's capabilities is an added bonus.