Caterpillar Stack Routing System
The milling of slabs, in particular of aluminum, stacked in packs, has for some time been committing machine tool builders in the search for solutions that satisfactorily solve the problems of this processing, giving an answer to customer requests. Worldwide, the machines offered use different approaches and reveal the ongoing evolution. The high productivity inherent in this technology, which sometimes puts it in competition with blanking, guarantees cost-effectiveness with the irreplaceable advantage of very high flexibility. Moreover, thicknesses varying from a few tenths of a millimeter to a few tens of millimeters can be processed: this prevents penetration of the various sheets of the possible refrigerant liquid, which would require a washing of the finished pieces and the shavings that would mark the surfaces, making the work unacceptable. The machining is carried out by a standard 3-axis machining center, typically of the NOVA series, on whose operating head a special CSRS device is applied which provides for a high and constant compaction thrust in the tool area throughout the working process: this involves the stability of the sheet pack, with consequent improvement of the finish and the speed of execution, also solving the problem of the penetration of the liquid. An efficient vacuum cleaner keeps the work area clean by conveying the chips into a special container and making it easier to unload the finished parts. Belotti’s solution allows in many cases to completely outline the pieces without leaving bridges as it normally does; just stack the sheets in an orderly manner and fasten the vertices on the martyr material with four screws. The tool change, standard with 8 positions, works both with and without the locking equipment, eliminating retooling times: in fact the high power of the spindle, up to 30 KW, is motivated by the need of many users of strong removal, for example in the production of aluminum molds.