Turbomachinery components provide highly efficient service in many areas, from power generators to chemical processing to the jet engines found on airplanes. The demand for maximum efficiency begins in the production of the complex rotational parts used in them.
This includes impellers and blisks installed in turbomachines. Individual turbine blades are high-end components that have to meet many different requirements with regard to surface quality and profile accuracy. 5-axis milling processes are commonly used in the production of impellers and blisks.
Complex workpiece geometries: reliable 5-axis strategies are necessary for machining highly complex impeller and blisk geometries
Materials that are difficult to machine: innovative special strategies are required for the efficient and tool-friendly machining of titanium and Inconel
High surface quality and tight dimensional tolerances: highly efficient strategies are necessary to achieve the required surface quality for impellers, blisks, and turbine blades with minimal programming
Programming made easy thanks to special packages perfectly matched to the requirements
The machining of impellers and blisks places high demands on CAM software. Standard 5-axis strategies are not sufficient for efficient NC programs used to produce these components. With its multi-blade package that targets impeller, blisk and turbine components, OPEN MIND is therefore able to offer machining strategies specially designed for simple and efficient programming of turbomachinery components. Integration into the familiar hyperMILL® environment enables other machining options to be combined and thus optimize or complete the production of parts. Other components such as diffusers and casings can also be programmed in a single software solution. The hyperMILL® special packages provide easy-to-use automated functions, allowing users to program even complex components without any specialist knowledge.
The special package for impeller and blisk machining includes the following strategies:
5-axis blade top milling
5-axis blade swarf cutting
5-axis blade fillet milling
5-axis blade platform machining
Automation speeds up programming
Like all other companies, turbomachinery manufacturers are also facing the constant need to cut costs. This makes it all the more important to design the end-to-end manufacturing process – from NC programming to milling – to be as economical as possible. Feature and macro technology allow the user to save considerable time during NC programming. Having a simple definition of the key blade features enables the use of stored programming sequences in the form of a macro. The complete NC programming can thus be automated, standardised and performed very quickly.
Leaving nothing to chance: simulation and collision avoidance
The simulation technologies and postprocessors developed by OPEN MIND allow even the most complex impellers, blisks and turbine blades to be reliably manufactured every time. For instance, hyperMILL® VIRTUAL Machining offers an NC code-based simulation. This takes into account both the geometries and the kinematic behavior of all components involved in the manufacturing process. During simulated 5-axis machining, the user is shown the exact movements that the machine tool will actually perform. Integrated safety mechanisms ensure that only collision-free NC programs are transferred to the machine tool.
Advantages at a Glance
Integrated solution: everything in a single user interface
Best-in-class 5-axis strategies: enable safe machining of complex impellers, blisks, and turbine blades
Easy to program: intuitive and supported by automated functions
High process reliability: thanks to collision-checked toolpaths as well as reliable simulation and collision avoidance
Optimised roughing and finishing strategies: for efficient, tool and machine-friendly machining, even when handling difficult-to-machine materials
The manufacture of complex rotational parts with multiple blades, such as blisks and impellers, as well as individual blades, require complex 5-axis milling. OPEN MIND offers its own impeller/blisk and turbine package for components used in aircraft engines, turbomachinery and power generators. This allows the programming of these complex applications, even without special expertise in the field.
This video shows the machining of a single blade on a KERN Micro. hyperMILL®’s single blade module provides optimized milling strategies for complete and reliable machining of such parts. A special highlight is the possibility to use conical barrel cutters for finishing. This reduces machining times significantly and ensures excellent surface quality.