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POWERFUL AND INCREASINGLY PREVALENT, CNC MACHINES CONTINUE THE EVOLUTION OF MACHINING
A century ago, metal working was advanced technology. This fall, two labs will open in the Thomas Riley Building to house SAIT’s CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines, thanks to a US$1-million donation from the Gene Haas Foundation. “Two years ago, our curriculum was about 75 per cent manual machining and 25 per cent CNC, and now we’ve gone to about 50/50,” says Steve Wooldridge, Academic Chair of the School of Manufacturing and Automation’s Millwright, Machinist and Natural Gas Compression Technician programs. Here’s a look at one of the lab’s most highly used milling machines.
Multiple tools enable operators to cut and shape metals to different sizes. This machine includes a high-speed, 20-station tool changer and an automatic tool measurement system.
The parameters, processes and sequences of the machining process are tested, then programmed into the computer. Sounds simple, but an incorrect sequence is costly and dangerous with this powerful machine.
The machine’s maximum RPM is 12,000 with an inline direct drive spindle.
Thanks to its 48″ by 18″ table and wide doors, larger pieces of equipment can be produced in this machine.