Sales success from across the Pond

The ability to respond to a major surge in automotive die and mould contracts, mostly from North America for Mollart Engineering, has been enhanced with the full integration of specialist multi-axis deep hole drilling software able to increase application and programming capability for multiple side approach, compound angle and specific interconnecting hole and feature targeting.

The software integration increases the capability of Mollart’s Chessington operation to work directly from 3D models, access the data and write programs more efficiently and with high degrees of accuracy while also enhancing the ability to more easily incorporate elements of a workpiece such as porting features.

These operations can involve drilling, counterboring, reaming, thread milling and small feed hole drilling as well as the production of sealing faces in addition to milling and profiling. These are carried out on the installed Matrix DHD, Prismabore PRB40 and Centeplex multi-axis, dual-spindle special purpose drilling and milling centres plus a range of Mazak Integrex turn/mill centres.

Says operations director Mike Pragnell: “We have enhanced our processing capability to include the one-off manufacture of moulds and dies in steel and aluminium incorporating multiple cooling and venting holes with complex intersections. Our new software provides highly accurate program data to ensure we maintain specific geometric relationships and we are currently building our library with the likes of tooling and its application data linked to material types.”

Gundrilling cooling holes in automotive die

Mollart’s success in the automotive sector in North America has been achieved through its ability to offer a complete package of machining with strong internal application team support based on a successful deep hole drilling machine tool background plus its own specialised toolroom service. This has led to current orders for the rough and semi-finish machining plus multiple hole drilling covering up to 30 dies in a month in sizes up to 2.5m x 2.5m x 300mm being shipped.

The Prismabore PRB40 deep hole drilling machine was developed to provide a machining centre approach to deep hole drilling operations. The 5-axis, two-spindle machine provides a single cycle production capability with a high rigidity solution to combine milling sequences on components weighing up to eight tonnes with deep hole drilling and boring capacity for holes between 6mm and 40mm diameter by 1,500mm deep.

Typical components machined apart for moulds and dies include multi-feature Inconel and titanium parts and the combined drilling of cooling holes needing extended depth with the same components requiring milled feature.

Meanwhile, the Mollart Matrix DHD, a 4-axis deep hole drilling centre with 3mm to 30mm diameter by 1,000mm drilling specification is targeted to meet deep hole drilling requirements with high levels of versatility. The Matrix machine is ideal for a number of applications such as the production of water feed cavities in die and mould bases, off-centre hole and pattern hole drilling under CNC control as well as lighter duty secondary features such as counterboring and thread milling. Table dimensions are 2,700mm by 1,200mm with a maximum loading up to 15 tonnes.

Multiple cooling holes being drilled on a mould plate

Mollart’s capability to combine deep hole and conventional machining centre type applications within a single cycle has also been served through its 6-axis Centeplex. The Centeplex has the capability to perform milling, drilling, boring and threading and extends the conventional horizontal spindle approach by inclining both the gundrill and milling spindles by 25°.

These are mounted under/over (shotgun style) and the ±15° programmable swivel action creates an additional compound angle production capability. The machine has a deep hole drilling capacity between 6mm and 80mm diameter by up to 2,000mm in depth. The ISO50 milling spindle is powered by a 22kW motor with automatic toolchange. A 14-tonne table capacity will accept work up to 2,000mm by 2,750mm.

Mollart www.mollart.com

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