Down to the smallest detail – Maximum precision with the Micro5

Developed in 2016 at the Haute Ecole Arc in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, the innovative Micro5 machining center is celebrating its fifth birthday this year. 5 is a significant number for the FACTORY5 world of micromachining with innovative solutions. Now was the perfect moment to further optimize the small, high-precision machine and add a handling system to make it even more productive. And, you guessed it, the system has a 5 in its name – the Feed5.

For the last five years, the Micro5 has been leading a small revolution in the dynamic and highly precise world of machining tiny medical instruments, delicate jewelry and the most intricate watch parts. The FACTORY5 five-axis machining center is extremely compact and can be set up very quickly almost anywhere – in the production hall or right at the work station. The »5« in the name stands for the ideal 5:1 ratio of machine size to workpiece, for five times lower weight, and for maximum efficiency. Energy consumption is 50 times lower in comparison to conventional systems.

Example applications

 Watch plates (brass)
Watch plates (brass)
 Instrument jaw (stainless steel)
Instrument jaw (stainless steel)
 Dial (brass)
Dial (brass)
 Bracelet clasp (stainless steel)
Bracelet clasp (stainless steel)
»Small like a fridge, quiet like a modern dishwasher and low in energy consumption like a coffee machine, the Micro5 is smart, for more than just machining.«
Ronny Elsmann
Head of CNC Application Technology, Medical & Precision Technology Center of the CHIRON Group

Taking on user feedback
The prototype CNC machine was first presented »en miniature« at the SIAMS 2016, Swiss trade fair for micro-technology production tools. Two years later, Samuel Vuadens’ team tried out the first Micro5 machining center in full industrial operation with five (!) customers. Now, 25 machines are producing high-precision components and the customers are always in discussion with CHIRON Swiss, supplying valuable feedback which often leads to new functions and optimization which benefit all users.

… from 50 rounds of optimization to the current Micro5 generation
The newest generation of Micro5 has undergone more than 50 improvements, small and large, enhancing its practical reliability, efficiency and autonomy. The double-torque spindle is key for higher efficiency operation. This helps reduce the machining time, which is already considerably shorter than larger machines.

Features of the Micro5:

  • Five-axis complete machining

  • High-precision and the best surface quality

  • Highly dynamic milling spindle with max. 80,000 rpm

  • Very high static rigidity 2 x 10^6 N/m

  • Repeat accuracy 0.5 μm, positioning precision < 2 μm

  • Constructed for the ideal sphere of activity

  • Compact 1,050 x 665 x 1,800 mm (L x W x H)

  • Very low energy usage (500 Watt)

  • Intuitive operation via HMI panel

  • Reduced noise 49 dB

  • Storage capacity for max. 8 workpiece holders, can be expanded with Feed5

  • Tool storage for up to 40 tools ATC 15

  • Tool change in under 5 seconds

  • Integrated zero-point clamping system

  • Option for vacuum clamping

  • Autonomous machine calibration

  • Glass door for optimum view into the working area

  • Optional: Increased autonomy with the Feed5 handling system

Early users were particularly keen to achieve increased autonomy – they wanted the Micro5 to allow automatic loading for higher production capacity. We responded with the Smartfactory Project. This is a complete production line which is fully scalable in all aspects to meet specifications.

The Feed5 automatic handling system
Feed5 is a six-axis handling robot which can load and unload the Micro5. The new module acts as a fully automatic guide for workpieces and tools. As compact as the Micro5, the Feed5 is particularly useful for enabling increased autonomy and productivity for bigger series. The handling system equips the machine and the tool change takes less than five seconds. The maximum workpiece size for the Micro5 is 50 x 50 x 50 mm (L x W x H).

The newest generation of the Micro5 and the Feed5 handling system are premiering at the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE from June 15 to 18, 2021. The Micro5 has been in operation at the CHIRON Group Medical & Precision Technology Center machining park since November 2020. According to Ronny Elsmann, Head of CNC Application Technology, »it’s impressively proving its quality in dynamic, high-precision micromachining.«

The Micro5 is also a highlight on the »micro on tour« show truck – stopping off at four locations in Switzerland from August 30 to September 10. On board you’ll find nine partners, who are holding video and product presentations, as well as talks and personal discussions about innovative solutions and services in precision manufacturing.