Demonstrating Blade and Vane Machining



The objective of the A77 horizontal machining centerVane Segmentsdemonstration is to illustrate the machine’s flexibilitywith the superabrasive machining of turbine enginesegments.

The A77 horizontal machining center features acontinuously connected 5th-axis rotary work head anda unique coolant delivery system.

Process Benefits
  1. A reduction in the number of operations and machines used to produce a part
  2. The use of water-based coolant which addresses environmental considerations
  3. The use of the SMART Process (Superabrasive Multi-Axis Responsive Technology) which promotes greater part accuracy and quality
  4. Utilization of specially directed coolant flow which allows for superabrasive machining
  5. A reduction in machining time - from 2.2 hours per segment across multiple machines to 36 minutes across 1 machine
  6. Special fixturing features mechanically locked clamps
  7. An HSK Spindle/Tool Interface which increases rigidity, accuracy, torque and speed while decreasing tool change time
  8. Utilization of intelligent probing to determine part configuration and fixture offsets


MATERIAL Nickel-based alloy
TOOLING 14 tools required
SPEEDS up to 8,000 rpm


Traditionally, vane segments were produced inbatch processing through multiple machineoperations. The new superabrasive processtakes it down to one machine and twooperations. No longer is it necessary to run50 pieces in a lot to make setups cost-effective. This innovative process has thecapability to run one piece at a time throughthe machining cell.

Another aspect to consider involves thenumber of process fixtures. An operation thatnormally requires 12 fixtures now only needstwo, thus reducing the number of fixtures to bemaintained and moved around in a shop.

This superabrasive process makes runningparts more cost-effective and easier to handle -two considerations that contribute to the“just-in-time” philosophy.