Bertsche Engineering (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has developed the P5 bridge mill, designed for one-off machining of profile beams and other large parts in aerospace production environments. The system provides x/y/z travels of 300 inches by 60 inches by 30 inches (762 cm by 152.4 cm by 76.2 cm) and speeds up to 2,000 ipm (50.8 m/min). The mill handles profile beams made from composite layups, sandwiched composite/aluminum/titanium materials, and extruded aluminum or monolithic structures made from aluminum plate. Table configurations for composite, aluminum extrusion, bar and plate work are available. Its B/C Direct Drive Fork Type Head and 20,000-rpm, 43-kW spindle reportedly provide the acceleration and feed rates required for long-part machining. The Smart Work-Holding Fixturing system features automatic setup for more than 50 part configurations for C, H and J beam profiles, including profiles with varying cross-sectional thickness. The machine’s workholding features permit mill, drill, rout, saw cut and inspection operations in a single part setup. The manufacturer says this mill is currently in use on the Boeing 787 and 777 programs.
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