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3/28/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Rock West Composites expands machining capability

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The company’s new 5-axis CNC machine center has 5' x 10' x 4' of useable volume for working on large composite parts. 


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Rock West Composites (RWC, San Diego, Calif., U.S.) has announced that it has brought online a new DMS Moving Table 5-Axis CNC Machine for working on large composite parts and other non-ferrous materials. The high-precision equipment will be used to drill, trim and contour parts such as masters, molds and trim and drill fixtures, in addition to prototypes and composite hardware. The addition is part of a strategic expansion in machining capability RWC’s San Diego facility has added multiple CNC machines over the past 18 months, with other equipment investments anticipated later this year.

RWC says the new custom machine is designed to handle large parts and complex operations. It reportedly has a stationary bridge and a moving table to facilitate faster loading and positioning of large hardware. There are two operational modes including traditional 5-axis functionality and a secondary rotisserie operation that allows for working on tubular parts. There is an integrated tool changer that automatically adjusts for tool length offsets, providing rapid and highly accurate machining and drilling action. The machine’s programming can compensate to a tool-center-point at the tool tip, allowing for faster and more reliable setups. Also, with variable RPM up to 24,000 rotations per minute, it provides the flexibility for a variety of material processing feeds and speeds. The company’s designers use CAD software that works with the CAM software to create an easy transition between the design and part.

According to RWC, the ability to machine large parts in-house quickly offers a strategic cost advantage through significant risk mitigation and labor efficiencies.

“We are cultivating the resources to get things done for our customers in the most cost-efficient and reliable manner possible,” says Victor Montoya, general manager of RWC’s San Diego facility. “Bringing certain functions in-house reduces risk, increases throughput, and enables greater control over quality.”