New Five-Axis Machining Giant Hits the U.S. to Tackle Large Machining Projects

Baker Industries installs an Emco Mecof PowerMill five-axis machining center, which is the largest and most versatile milling center in the Midwest Region and the first of its kind to enter the United States, to expand its capacity to service OEM and Tier 1 customers’ largest machining projects.  

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Baker Industries has finished the ground work for its Emco Mecof PowerMill. This five-axis machining center is notably the first of its kind to enter the United States, and will be one of the largest and most versatile milling centers in the Midwest Region. This acquisition is the next step in Baker’s planned approach to expanding its capacity in servicing OEM and Tier 1 customers largest machining projects with the same level of experience, quality and precision that customers have come to expect from Baker.

Virtually No Limits. With 38 versatile CNC machines on the roster already, the PowerMill was primarily purchased for the machining of large-scale assembly tools, bond tools and other colossal components. The open structure of the machines moving gantry allows for more convenient loading and handling of these very large tools. The spacious 52’ x 20’ x 10’ envelope, is large enough to fit seven full-size SUVs or two semi-truck trailers on its platform. This unique design enables Baker to process parts up to a maximum weight of 2.6 million pounds on the stationary table. In other words, the PowerMill is only limited by the size of the job.

Power and Major Versatility.  The new five-axis machine will come equipped with several automatically changing heads that allow for universal direction machining. In addition to the sizable 14-meter (46 feet) X-axis travel, the PowerMill offers travel of 6 meters (20 feet) in the Y-axis and 2.5 meters (8 feet) of travel in the Z-axis. In order to maximize productivity, the new PowerMill speeds around the work area with rapid travel and feed rates of 30m/min.

Aside from the flexibility, capacity, and high-speed functionality, the new PowerMill delivers an unprecedented level of rigidity and machining performance, which is ideal for the heavy duty cutting of invar, steel, aluminum, cast iron, composites and other alloys that are generally difficult to machine on a large scale. The heavy-duty machining potential of the new PowerMill is exemplified by the unique bifurcated cross rail with ram and saddle riding, and guiding inside the cross rail. This is complemented by a 6,000 rpm (42 kW) main spindle motor that has a torque output of 1200 Nm, which retains exceptional power output throughout the complete speed range.

Working in synergy with the spindle motor is a CAT50, HSK63 and HSK100 spindle taper that accommodates large cutting tools. The spindle nose is supplied tools via an automatic tool changing system that gives Baker Industries the capacity to process a complete variety of jobs with minimum set-up time.

From Rough to Finish. The PowerMill is capable of taking each job from rough to finish, all on one machine. For the machining of large components and tools up to and beyond 16 meters, this will provide paramount precision, repeatability and overall lead times.

Building a Strong Foundation. To prepare for a machine of this size and stature, Baker began construction on the site last June (see video below). The company removed approximately 436,000 pounds of 10-inch thick concrete in 4’ x 4’ sections. The total excavation of the 45’ x 75’ x 7’ pit, including concrete and 450 yards of clay, weighed close to 1.2 million pounds.

Once the contents of the pit were removed, roughly 1.94 million pounds of crushed stone and concrete were poured into the pit, spread and tamped down. All concrete was poured within the same day to eliminate any seams in the foundation; nearly 60,000 pounds of steel reinforcement framework was also added to support the structure.

Including construction, the company’s total financial investment for this acquisition is $3.2M. “Our willingness to proactively make investments to support our customer’s needs, has allowed us to achieve continuous growth year after year. The PowerMill is just one of many investments that we have made in 2017 and will continue to make in years to come,” Baker Industries President Kevin Baker says. 

 
 

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