FEA improves machine tool's structure

DN Staff

November 19, 2001

2 Min Read
FEA improves machine tool's structure

Derek Rimmer, the engineering director at machine tool manufacturer Cincinnati Machine, knows his customers want better products at a lower cost. "The biggest challenge is providing increased performance and productivity for less cost to the end user," he says. The question was how satisfy both demands simultaneously.

In Behavioral Modeler, users define non-geometric features such as volume and center of mass. These specifications drive the design.

For its new Arrow Series 2 vertical machining center (VMC), Cincinnati Machine cut costs and improved performance of the machine tool with Pro/ENGINEER 2000i software from PTC (Needham, MA). The company used the software's FEA module to examine all structural areas, including the Series 2's base, saddle, column, carrier, spindle, and table structure. "These are the components that have a major effect upon the work zone of the machine," says Rimmer.

The 7- x 7- x 9-ft Series 2 VMC holds up to 21 different tools. It weighs nearly 7,000 lbs, so engineers at Cincinnati Machine carefully examine its structural integrity for areas that are candidates for trimming and optimizing.

Results of the FEA analysis prompted changes to most of the structural elements. "Structural analysis of major components facilitated their optimum placement and position to suit different applications," says Rimmer. "This allowed material and cost savings, as well as optimization of the structural performance." Cincinnati Machine used both static and dynamic analyses to determine the overall structure of the Series 2 VMC.

Pro/ENGINEER 2000i uses behavior modeling for creation of engineered designs driven by specification requirements. The software also includes a new module for mechanism design. The module allows concurrent design and simulation of kinematics assemblies. Engineers grab and drag functions for specifying functional connections: between components in the assembly; testing the range of component motions; and checking for interference among adjacent components as assemblies move.

Cincinnati Machine introduced the first of the Arrow Series 2 this year. Additional models are coming next year.

For more information about software from PTC: Enter 536

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