Mastercam – Getting In Sync With Mill-Turn

Mill-Turn CNC machines — with multiple-spindles and/or turrets— can dramatically improve machining productivity and accuracy by eliminating setups. These machines have been available for a long time. However, until recently, they were so expensive that only the largest and most sophisticated manufacturers could afford them. This is no longer the case. The makes and models of equipment in this category have grown and prices have come down. Even small job shops can now justify the cost of this equipment for making complex parts that require many operations. Manufacturers who have successfully made the transition to mill-turn manufacturing are reducing operating costs and reducing lead times for these parts, often realizing a return on investment within months.

Many other shops that wish to remain competitive in the complex part manufacturing arena are seriously considering mill-turn manufacturing but are justifiably cautious about taking this step. Mill-Turn equipment can be very complex and requires a clear and buttoned-down workflow that allows the programmer/machinist to generate safe and efficient manufacturing programs without becoming overwhelmed by the details.  MECAD Manufacturing has deep experience working with customers and machine tool vendors to develop a safe and comprehensive software environment that maximizes the benefits while minimizing risks of mill-turn machining.

Posts Are Critical
Post processors are the heart and soul of CAM. So, it is very important to make sure the post is set up correctly and in tune with your particular machine and the way you would like it to perform. Mastercam has initiated collaborations with manufacturers of the most popular multi-axis CNCs to assure that mill-turn posts control their machines properly.  Dozens of machine-specific posts have been created and more are added every month. Even so, it has been difficult to keep pace with the growing numbers of mill-turn machines that are being introduced each year. In this case, many resellers are adept at customizing generic posts to fulfil the requirements of recently introduced mill-turn equipment.  In addition, Mastercam routinely collaborates with machine tool builders and cutting tool vendors on research and turnkey programs that continually expand our knowledge of the most effective mill-turn strategies and best practices. This non-proprietary knowledge is typically passed along to users on an as-needed basis and incorporated appropriately into subsequent releases of Mill-Turn software.

In conclusion, Mill-Turn is becoming a viable option to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs, however it is best use market leading software like Mastercam and to consult experts to set it up to ensure you mitigate the risks associated.