Speed, Power, and Flexibility for Large-Part Machining | Starrag | American Machinist

A Michigan manufacturer is enjoying considerable demand from new aerospace programs, as well as from automotive customers filing orders as they adopt work for electric vehicle production. Projects like that, along with ongoing work for appliance, defense, renewable energy, and other industrial sectors, prompted the in Rochester Hills to install a new Starrag EcoSpeed F 1540 five-axis machining center.

“The 3-Dimensional Services Group is the most technically advanced job shop in the market,” according to chief strategy officer Daniel J. Smith. “Our customers include the most innovative companies in the world who come to us for production intent parts with incredibly short lead times. We can then quickly scale our expertise and processes to provide a bridge to the start of production. Machining Part

Speed, Power, and Flexibility for Large-Part Machining | Starrag | American Machinist

“As we look to expand our capabilities to support a wider range of aerospace customers, we will also use these new capabilities to grow our existing electric vehicle parts business – and that is why we have invested in a Starrag machine.”

The need to expand prompted the group to conduct a review of the market for milling and turning machine, and identify Starrag as the right choice for the tasks at hand. With a multitude of available machine tool suppliers, the 3-Dimensional Services Group conducted a review of the market, and it was Starrag that stood above all its rivals.

“We pride ourselves on our commitment to investing in the world’s leading machine tool brands,” Smith added. “When it came to Starrag, the technical characteristics and form factor of the EcoSpeed F 1540 are incredible.

“We view this investment as an opportunity to acquire a world-class piece of machinery. The extensive feasibility studies we conducted with trial parts at Starrag suggested that for some of the trial parts we currently run, we could cut our cycle times in half. The machine simulations suggest that we’ll be able to mill aluminum parts nearly twice as fast as we currently are (doing.) This magnitude of difference is incredible when you consider that the machines we currently operate are very high-end mills.”

Smith continued: “With the results of these feasibility studies, it is evident why Starrag is a world leader in the aerospace industry and is recognized as a brand trusted by globally renowned OEMs.”

The Starrag EcoSpeed F 1540 is well-suited to machining large, complex aerospace components thanks to the parallel kinematics Sprint Z3 machining head that offers flexibility along with exceptional rigidity – and speed. The 1G acceleration and deceleration in all axes means that the machine can achieve the highest material removal rates in the industry, according to Starrag.

With an X-Y-Z axes work envelope of 169.3 X 63 X 26.4 inches, the EcoSpeed F 1540 will be an ideal machine for accelerating growth at 3-Dimensional Services Group.

“This Starrag machine will allow us to machine aluminum with unparalleled speed and accuracy – as the feasibility studies have proven,” Smith noted. “We will utilize this machine to mill large aerospace parts as well as stamping tools for parts like EV battery enclosures. We currently run a high mix of low-volume parts, which is typical of large structural aerospace parts, and also tools and components for the expanding EV industry.”

To produce that range of components, 3-Dimensional Services Group set criteria for its machine tool choice. “We had a set of KPIs in place when we were looking for a new machine,” Smith recalled. “We needed a machine with a large workspace capacity, a large tool capacity, high speed-and-feed rates, with rapid acceleration – the Starrag EcoSpeed F 1540 ticked all the boxes.

“We mill a significant amount of aluminum components and tools, and this machine’s performance will dramatically improve the cycle times while maintaining high-quality surface finishes that are important to both our customers and us. We want the ability to machine to tight tolerances, faster than anyone else in the world,” Smith asserted.

Looking at the technical merits of the Starrag EcoSpeed F 1540 and how it fits into the strategy of the 3-Dimensional Services Group, Smith concluded: “The performance of this machine is outstanding. It has a 120-kW / 30,000-rpm spindle with a maximum feed of 1968 inches per minute… This is world-class performance. This will be one of the finest CNC mills in the United States and it will be available to all of our customers.”

Speed, Power, and Flexibility for Large-Part Machining | Starrag | American Machinist

CNC Machining Parts With the ability to automatically change angle-milling heads plus the end-tool holders of the milling heads, and to incorporate pallet handling and complex FMS systems, the Starrag EcoSpeed F 1540 is providing future growth opportunities too.