First Zimmermann portal milling machine—of the newly designed FZP machine family with thermo-symmetrical design—offers significant user benefits.
By Zimmermann Inc.
Model, tool, and die makers must de- liver perfect quality at competitive prices under increasing deadlinepressure in order to prevail against strongglobal competition. Zimmermann is responding to this market condition with thenewly developed FZP machine line. These5-axis portal milling machines are customizable, space-saving, and extremely thermostable. These features are ensured bythe new thermo-symmetrical design witha center-guided Z-slide. Daniel Demlang,technical director at Zimmermann, explains the advantages for the user.
“Our customers are burdened by increasing cost pressure and the demand forever-higher quality, while simultaneouslyincreasing delivery deadline pressure forcomponents. Reducing throughput timesfor workpieces was one of our main goalswith the newly developed FZP series interms of design,” explains Demlang.
“Stable process control and high machining quality are decisive factors for thecost-effectiveness of our systems. However,the customizability of our milling machineswas not allowed to decline. Machines ofthe FZP Series are, therefore, even moreflexible in terms of set-up and design, witha comprehensive range of additional options,” Demlang adds.
Customizable—Not Only in Length
“With our FZP line, we primarily wantto empower customers to compete successfully in the market for the long term,” saysDemlang. The developers have placed particular emphasis on the customizability ofthe machines. Their structure can be variedin length and width with different verticalslides and gantries, thus adapting to a widerange of workpiece sizes.
The “lightest” machine in the FZP line isthe new FZP32 with a working range of upto X = 10, Y = 4 and Z = 2. 5 meters (393x 157 x 98 inches). The user can machineblock materials, plastics, as well as CFRP,GFRP, and aluminum, among other materials. Due to the large working area, it isalso possible to mill components completelywithout reclamping.
“The modular design of the machine offers the possibility to consider different options. Automation solutions such as a palletchanging system, a positionable rotary table, dust extraction bells, and an individualized tool clamping system are all possible,”explains the technical director.
It was important to the developers to buildthe FZP line for maximum dimensional accuracy during workpiece machining. Thisis because changing temperatures in the user’s facility, as well as long machine runningtimes, inevitably influence the machiningquality. For this reason, the Zimmermanndevelopers designed these portal millingmachines thermo-symmetrically—a conceptthat was used successfully for the first time atZimmermann in 2017 in the compact FZUportal milling machine line and was enthusiastically received by customers.
“The idea of the thermo-symmetrical de-
sign is based on the fact that inevitable ther-
mal influences can be absorbed to a consid-
erable extent by the design of the machine
structure,” explains Demlang. In the portal
milling machines of the FZP line, Zimmer-
mann has arranged the milling spindle,
guides, and other accuracy-determining
components in such a way that their heating
is either absorbed or can expand in non-crit-
ical directions. The gantry’s center-guided
Z-slide in double-bridge design, for example,
has an octagonal cross-section that makes it
particularly stable. With this design, Zim-
mermann was able to achieve very high
thermo-symmetric stability. Comparable
systems usually use complex cooling or soft-
ware-based compensation for this purpose.
“Our concept is future-proof, especiallywhen the demands on quality and surfacecontinue to rise,” promises Demlang.
Companies that do not have an air-conditioned machining facility and are, therefore,particularly exposed to temperature fluctuations in their production will also benefitfrom this concept. And this is where thenew design further scores points, according to Demlang. The design of the structurealone reduces the effects of the influencingvariables to a minimum.
VH10: Milling Head
The Zimmermann VH10 milling head
is used on this new machine line. The fork
head is designed in monoblock versions
made of cast iron. It is compactly built,
has only minimal interference contours,
achieves high clamping forces, and thus
enables stable component machining. Zim-
mermann optionally equips the VH10 mill-
ing head with process cooling via cooling
lubricants and minimum quantity lubrica-
tion. To reduce throughput times, a pow-
erful spindle with 34 kilowatts (45 HP) at
a maximum speed of 24,000 rpm is used as
standard in the milling head.
“We have now also equipped the VH10with a dust extraction bell around the milling tool,” Demlang notes. This makes it suitable for abrasive and harmful materials suchas GRP or CFRP which are used in aircraftconstruction. The dust extraction systemcaptures the dust directly at the point of origin, which greatly reduces contamination ofthe interior.
Great Flexibility by Design
Facility conditions are often a challengefor the installation of large milling machines.Free installation space is usually scarce andmachine concepts must offer a high degree offlexibility in installation. The Zimmermanndevelopers have applied symmetry not onlyto the basic structure of the gantry but alsoto the complete machine concept. This allowsthe customer to individually determine specific connections or peripheral attachments.“We can then simply position the peripheralsas required by the individual situation without making any major design changes to thenew FZP32,” says Demlang. Overall, the ratioof floor space to workspace has been optimized with this development.
Zimmermann equips the machine linewith larger tool magazines or even palletchangers on request. This allows users toreduce non-productive time and make theirproduction more automated. Another feature: “Milling-turning applications are increasing, especially in aircraft construction,for example in turbine production,” saysDemlang. “For this purpose, we also equipour milling machines with carousel rotarytables on request.” Regardless of the task thecustomer needs to perform, Zimmermann’sexperts can supply the machines in a cus-tomer-specific, optimized way with theirmodular plant construction kit (MAB).
For more, visit newequipment.com/21166339
Credit: F. Zimmermann GmbH