The primary application of the AXYZ ACM PanelBuilder solution is the machining of aluminum composite sheet stock into fabricated panels for architectural metal projects. It is also suitable for other composites such as stainless steel, titanium, copper and zinc. Producers of these materials include Mitsubishi Chemical (Alpolic), Alucobond.
The conventional approach to the production of these panels has been to use panel saws, guillotines, notchers and turret punches. This is all extremely labor intensive and requires panels to be continually moved from one station to another. Consistency and reliability of output is also a major issue where multiple machines and operators are involved. Common materials in this industry are typically 50", 62" or 78" wide and typically up to 196" long. By delivering a CNC Router with the bed size to handle the full sheet in one piece, the PanelBuilder system reduces the opportunity for damage to the pre-finished panels.
The PanelBuilder solution starts with the software which allows users to quickly and easily build up a library of panels by either using the built in powerful drawing package or by importing existing drawings. The software will then automatically generate machine tool paths for cutting all of the panels on the AXYZ cnc router.
Typically, hundreds or even thousands of panels will be required in a single project. It is therefore important to maximize the material utilization to reduce costs and keep scrap to a minimum. PanelBuilder incorporates a sophisticated nesting algorithm which can cope with both simple and complex panel geometry to reduce process time and maintain high levels of efficiency.
AXYZ CNC routers with their well established dual and triple head configurations are ideally suited to the processing of composite materials. Most applications require either two or three tools to process the sheets. To cope with this, other conventional CNC routing solutions have required the use of an automatic tool change system which significantly increases the machining cycle times.
The AXYZ dual and triple spindle machines eliminate the need for a tool changer and therefore allow much faster processing times. Typically, one spindle would have a V or ball nosed tool for cutting the fold lines, a second spindle would have a straight tool for cutting the panel out and a third spindle would be used for drill holes. Switching between tools is all handled automatically by the machine controller and results in a fast, seamless machining operation.
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