In 2009, delivery began of an order of the ECOSPEED F machining centres to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), whose flexible manufacturing system (FMS) now consists of seven machines and were expanded by an additional two machines in 2016.
The FMS is used by KAI as part of its production of complex components, such as wing ribs for the Airbus A350 XWB. The ribs are made from an aluminium/aluminium-lithium alloy. After going through comprehensive machining sequences, the rib weighs only 112.7 kg whereas it previously weighed 4,123 kg as a solid block.
When machining a test part, the ECOSPEED F surpassed its competitor in terms of both quality and cycle time. The machine even proved to be 30 to 50 percent faster, which is down to the motor capacity of the main spindle in the ECOSPEED F. At a nominal capacity of 120 kW, it runs without interruption at 30,000 rpm in S1 mode. The machine is also highly dynamic, with an acceleration of 1 G on all five axes and jerk values of up to 200 m/s³. In fact, an ECOSPEED F machining centre can transform a 4-tonne aluminium block into a complex structural component weighing 120 kg in less than 20 hours when the machine is running at the maximum removal volume of 10,000 cm³/min. The system enables the customer to significantly increase productivity, as the machining time is halved in comparison to conventional machines.
The ECOSPEEDS are connected via a pallet transport system with 63 loading, unloading and storage stations for the system's 60 pallets. They also feature a parallel kinematic Sprint Z3 machining head, which enables highly dynamic 5-axis simultaneous machining. The head uses three parallel linear axis drives that enable synchronised movement on three Z-axes when simultaneously activated. This allows the spindle to take any available path within a conical space of +/- 45 degrees at up to 80 degrees/second. When the three axes move differentially, the spindle platform is tilted in the A/B kinematics.
The high availability of the machines of over 95% is also a significant factor for the customer's production security.