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Starrag's new LX 021 machining centre is a compact and cost-effective route to the single set-up machining of turbine blades, impellers and small blisks

Starrag's new LX 021 machining centre cuts a dash into cost-effective blade manufacture

Starrag UK has announced the new LX 021 machining centre as a compact, cost-efficient answer to the complete machining in a single set-up of aero engine, gas and steam turbine blades up to 200 mm long. It will also process impellers/small blisks.

Importantly, the LX 021 can include a full capability for turning and, courtesy of the machine's axis arrangement, an optional automatic bar feed accommodates square or round bar up to 65 mm diameter – to create the ultimate in cost-effective blade machining in a machine that requires a floorspace of just 3.2 m by 3.1 m by 2.4 m.

The machine's automation can be further extended by its integration into a flexible manufacturing system with automatic pallet change.

Developed jointly by Starrag, a world leader in the provision of best-in-class five-axis turbine blade machining, and Bumotec – renowned globally for the machining of highly-accurate 'micro' parts in industry sectors including computer, medical and electronics in addition to watchmaking and jewellery – the LX 021 brings a new, smaller capacity capability to Starrag's LX range.

LX machines have been specifically developed for the high precision and efficient simultaneous five-axis machining of blades in difficult-to-machine materials, such as titanium and nickel based alloys, with extremely low rigidity and poor damping (rather than blades with relatively simple geometries and made from forgings or castings).

With X, Y and Z axes of 400 mm by 200 mm by 410 mm, respectively, plus 360deg in the A axis (root) and -45deg to +95deg in the B (swivel) axis, the LX 021 also offers an NC-driven U axis (tailstock) which can accommodate three clamping elements including a pneumatic device, allowing machining to be performed on all sides of a component.

The machine has a 13 kW/12.5 Nm torque main spindle that produces 30,000 revs/min and features a 30-tool ATC as standard (optionally 90-tool). Tool change is completed in 1.5 secs.

Like all machines in the LX range, the state-of-the-art through-spindle cooling options embrace high-pressure water- or oil-based coolant, air, minimum quantity aerosol, CO2 cryogenic and aerosol plus CO2.

Starrag LX machines extend to models having X, Y and Z axes of 2,800 mm by 660 mm by 660 mm, respectively and, as is common with all Starrag Group machines, are built to the highest standards incorporating, for example, blacklash-free rotary and linear axes with high stiffness and damping, plus counterbalanced vertical axes to provide a high level of dynamic contour accuracy.

Press release issued by Starrag UK on September 3, 2014


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Starrag UK Machining Systems, Machine Tools, Flexible Manufacturing Systems


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