ALUMINUM and COPPER
5 Axis FIXTURE
A simple machining order of two square plates with some slots and holes, one made in aluminum and the other in copper, turned out to be an exiciting project towards the end because of a change in the application of these plates by the customer. Because of the change in application, the customer wanted to weld these plates together and not connect them with fasteners. The application of the part demanded that these two plates be welded together and notconnected by any other means.
But how? The problem is, Aluminum melts at 600 deg Celsius and Copper melts at 1200 deg Celcius. If you want to weld these two plates, the copper plate should be heated to 1200 deg Celsius which will turn Aluminum plate totally to a liquid state. Now thats an engineering challenge. The solution was to use Friction Stir welding process. Friction stir welding is a solid state welding process with a special tool. The tool was quickly engineered and a regular CNC mini mill was converted to a Friction stir welder to complete the job. More than the drastic cost savings, the effective job that was done was the greatest satisfaction the team achieved.
This is a perfect example of how cost is saved with us. The part shown in the picture has to be made in a single piece and has holes at weird angles on the bottom side of it. This is a perfect example of a 5 axis machining job. And it is made of steel, thus making the machining process not easy. So the regular quote to make this prototype will be sky high. Our team engineered a very simple fixture that would be used to reduce the setup for this part to less than a minute, in a regular 3 axis mini CNC machine. The cost of the prototype was reduced by 70% by using just a simple but effective fixture and by avoiding a 5 axis CNC machine.
Listed here are few of the many manufacturing projects that were a real challenge to our team in terms of engineering, design and manufacturing. Though the idea and execution of these projects were extraordinary, the method and process were kept very simple to eliminate any extra cost that may incur. We face everyday with atleast one such interesting project which is always taken as a learning experience by our team to reduce the cost of operation for any such future projects. Looking back, we are proud of working on such projects and we thank our customers for trusting us and giving us the responsibility to engineer their need.