600, 800 or 1,200 mm: Productive future concept for e-mobility and aviation

»Whether in the booming e-mobility sector or dealing with the structural changes that aviation is undergoing, as ever, maximum efficiency is the order of the day when machining large and complex parts.« So says Bernd Hilgarth, CSO at the CHIRON Group, discussing the current developments in both markets. On the one hand it’s about increasing production to meet the growing demand. And on the other, it’s about further reducing operating procedures to enable machining a workpiece on one five-axis machine, rather than multiple three-axis options, for example, the CHIRON Series 22, 25 and 28, with spindle clearance of 600, 800 or 1,200 mm. They also have the perfect combination of power, precision and dynamics.

In 2020, more than 1.2 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids were sold – around a 15% increase on the previous year. According to a recent report by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM), China is increasingly becoming the mainstay customer of the transforming automotive industry. The Electromobility Report 2021, by industry news outlet electrive.net, also says »China is not only the largest global car market, which [...] has recovered best from the coronavirus crisis. The country is also the most important market for electric cars, enabling new players to enter the premier league of global car manufacturers. Above all, the domestic players are showing enormous flexibility and dynamism with new future-focused topics.« In Europe too, the turnover from plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars is growing rapidly compared to the downward trend of the market overall. Norway is in pole position, where 87% of all new vehicle approvals in December 2020 were plug-ins. The regulatory requirements on pollutants and sinking battery costs are helping drive the development of the e-mobility sector.

Less air traffic, smaller vehicles
China is also seeing growth in the aviation sector. The country now has over 50 international airports and an additional 150 for domestic travel. The large state airlines significantly built up their fleets in 2020; the five-year plan announced at the 13th National People’s Congress, particularly demanded development and construction of jet engines. The development across the rest of the world is more complex. In 2020, consultancy firm Roland Berger drew up three different scenarios on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the further development of the global aviation industry by 2030.
Scenario 1: A quick recovery by winter 2020. Scenario 2: Delayed Cure with a 27% reduced demand until 2030 and the lower air traffic density effecting the product mix. In the future, smaller models will be most in demand, to make flying on certain routes profitable even with lower passenger numbers. Scenario 3 – which is now the most likely – is a significantly recessive development. This would include the »new normal«, a low level in summer 2022, and a 50% reduction in demand. This »new normal« also presents a challenge for suppliers. Operational processes have to be reduced further and designed to be more efficient. The aviation industry also requires innovative solutions to halve the CO2 output, as planned, by 2050. The solutions may be in new drive technologies.

With this backdrop – rapid growth in e-mobility and changed market conditions in aviation – the highly productive machining of large components is gaining significance for both sectors.

Automotive

 Engine mounts
Engine mounts
 Battery housing/oil pan
Battery housing/oil pan
 Main chassis beam
Main chassis beam

Aerospace

 Wing Nose Rib
Wing Nose Rib
 Track Rib
Track Rib
 Window Frame
Window Frame

Large, larger at the largest: Two spindles for maximum productivity
600, 800, 1,200 mm: With their graduated spindle clearance, the three series are precisely designed for the various workpiece dimensions and cover the whole range of sizes and complex components for automotive and aerospace applications.

The common denominators for the double-spindle machining centers include: Significantly shorter cycle times, optimum component quality, high level of flexibility and a portable-sized rigid machine board for the required precision. The large magazines ensure the productive machining of demanding workpieces or product series, and the loading and unloading takes place during regular operation. All machining centers can be configured to customer requirements, and a coolant system or chip conveyor (and more) can be added depending on the use. For increased utilization, the system can be expanded to be fully automated. All series are ready to integrate the SmartLine digital systems for optimized processes at the machine, in the environment, and in your company.

Process advantages

  • Double-spindle, highly productive machining of large components
  • Rigid machine base with a gantry or mobile gantry construction ensures high precision 
  • Process easily visible thanks to separation of the operating and loading sides
  • Lots of tool options for versatile machining
  • Tool change during main operation
  • Independent tool change for each spindle for short chip-to-chip times
  • Compact, flexible machine layout
  • Intuitive operation via TouchLine
  • Easy automation via robots or gantry

With the DZ 22 W five axis with a spindle clearance of 600 millimeters, two different main spindles can be used depending on the task at hand. The quicker spindle with an RPM up to 20,000 min-1 and a torque of up to 110 Nm is ideal for aluminum or aluminum-alloy workpieces. The stronger spindle with up to 12,500 min-1 RPM and a torque of up to 200 Nm is best for hard materials and large tools. High axle acceleration and efficient rapid traverse ensure the required dynamism. The 22 Series is available with two drives: A ball screw drive or a linear direct drive. You can also choose from two plate variants: A suspension plate for four-axis machining or two face plates for five-axis simultaneous machining.

CHIRON DZ 22 W five axis I High-performance milling

The spindles on the DZ 25, with a spindle clearance of 800 mm, and the DZ 28 with 1,200-mm spindle clearance, can traverse independently in X or Y direction – this makes it easy to offset inaccuracies in tool pre-settings and with the clamping devices. Operating and loading take place on separate sides with easy access to the working area, and the same is true for the DZ 25 P five axis and DZ 28 P five axis versions with pallet changer for high piece turnover and short cycle times.

CHIRON DZ 25 P five axis I Wing Slot

At a glance

DZ 22 W five axis DZ 25 S five axis DZ 28 S five axis
DZ 25 P five axis DZ 28 P five axis
Max. travel X–Y–Z 620 – 650 – 600 mm 800 – 1,100 – 800 mm 1,200 – 1,100 – 800 mm
Max. power 61 kW 61 kW 61 kW
Spindle clearance DZ 600 mm 800 mm 1,200 mm
Max. spindle speed 20,000 RPM 20,000 RPM 20,000 RPM
Max. spindle torque 200 Nm 200 Nm 200 Nm
Chip-to-chip time from 3.1 s 3.5 s 3.5 s
Max. axis acceleration X–Y–Z 10 – 10 – 17 m/s2 10 – 10 – 15 m/s2 10 – 10 – 15 m/s2
Max. rapid traverse speeds X–Y–Z 75 – 75 – 75 m/min 120 – 75 – 75 m/min 120 – 75 – 75 m/min
Max. number of tools 2 x 77 2 x 60 2 x 60
Tool holder HSK-A63/-A100/-T63 HSK-A63 HSK-A63
Max. workpiece weight 600 kg 500 kg 700 kg
Max. workpiece diameter 599 mm 799 mm 1,200 mm
Max. workpiece height 340 mm 612 mm 750 mm
Pallet size (for P variant) 630 x 630 mm 800 x 800 mm
Time to change pallet 12 s 12 s