hyperMILL® Helps NASA’s Quest for Knowledge
Ramco Machine, LLC | Rowley, MA, USA
Ramco Machine, LLC is a family owned and operated CNC machine shop. Their 24,000 square foot facility utilizes highly skilled, self-reliant employees combined with the latest CNC machine tools available. For more than 30 years, RAMCO has been manufacturing products that have enriched our lives.
Ramco specializes in complex milled and turned parts that must meet stringent tolerances and be delivered with fast turnaround times. They take on many interesting projects, and among other types of work they support robotics companies, medical manufacturers, and occasionally build replacement parts for vintage Ferrari’s and other exotic cars. And now RAMCO is helping to impact the future of space exploration by making parts for an advanced NASA satellite mission.
First 5‑axis machine
To get to this point, Ramco entered the world of 5‑axis machining. Vice President Mike Jezowski explains, “In order to efficiently produce some of the complex parts that come in, we had to go to 5‑axis machining. To be competitive, we had no other choice.” Ramco decided to purchase a DMG MORI, DMU 65 FD monoBLOCK high-end mill and turn machining center. They then searched for highly reliable CAM software that would efficiently control all the capabilities of this sophisticated 5‑axis machine.
High quality CAM software
Ramco chose hyperMILL® from OPEN MIND Technologies. Mike explained that, “We chose hyperMILL®, because when you buy high quality equipment like the DMU 65 you need high quality CAM software to program it. hyperMILL® was the perfect solution. I had already researched CAM software for several years before we bought the machine, so the day we received the 5‑axis machine, I ordered hyperMILL® software.”
“We got hyperMILL®, because when you buy a high quality piece of equipment you need high quality CAM Software to program it. hyperMILL® CAM software handles the complex parts that we make and I haven’t found anything that it can’t do.”
Mike Jezowski, Vice President of RAMCO Machine
Discovering new horizons takes accuracy
Ramco was recently contracted by MIT Lincoln Laboratory to fabricate the critical camera mount brackets for an important NASA TESS satellite mission. Making the mounting brackets required machining Invar, a nickel-iron alloy with a low thermal expansion coefficient, allowing it to meet the rigors of launch and enabling it to compensate for the extreme temperature swings of outer space. The mounting bracket has exceedingly tight tolerances. The central rib’s thickness is .050” +/- .001”, perpendicularity between surfaces is held to .001” and the bracket’s two opposing surfaces must be in-line with each other to within .001”.
Very tight tolerances
To cut Invar and achieve the required tolerances Mike Jezowski used a hyperMILL® generated 5‑axis profile finish tool path. By doing this, he was able to achieve an accurate finish across each part, keeping them within these very tight tolerances. The four-camera mounting brackets were shipped on time, and will soon be on their way to explore outer space.
Mike said, “hyperMILL® helps my bottom line because I can be sure the part we make is perfect. That makes a big difference. If you’re making bad parts it’s hard to meet costs. I haven’t found anything that the software isn’t able to do.”
Vice President Mike Jezowski shows a complex 5-axis part