CNC Machine Installation and Validation

Protomatic has recently added a Haas 5 Axis CNC milling machine  to support the growing demand. Adding a new machine (new or used) requires a thorough installation process and validation testing  prior to use. This is a brief outline of the process prior to use.

nstallation of a Vertical Milling Center (VMC)
The installation process is vital to the consistent and reliable operation of a CNC machine tool.
The process of a mill or lathe installation typically involves the following:

Electrical Line Voltage- Checks for AC and DC system voltages. These voltages are critical for uninterrupted operation during power glitches.

Machine Level- Typically machines are very accurately leveled  with maximum error of 0.0005” over 10″ with various table positions.

Spindle Sweep- This checks the machine tool for tram (perpendicularity to the machine table). The  spindle sweep using  an indicator mounted to the spindle shaft is rotated with a 5” radius.  The error should be no larger than 0.0001”.

Lube System Verification- Verifies that machine lubrication system is operating correctly.

Compressed Air Check- Verifies that the system air is clean, dry and has correct pressure (PSI).
Machine Break-In and controls testing is then conducted.  This tests the main spindle and axis controls for  reliability and accuracy.

Machine Validation
We are not finished yet.  The next step confirms that the machine tool can make a part accurately.  One of the best ways to conduct a series of tests, such as:

Ball Bar Test- This will test for the combination axis. This tests three orthogonal planes. The results are then recorded and posted on the machine confirming accuracy.

Environment- Confirm that the environment is maintaining a consistent temperature.  This is critical for manufacturing consistent parts. Confirm that the machine is thermally stabilized and is  conditioned to the average 76F environment.

Rotary Table Testing- We confirm that the rotary tables move like they are programmed.  We correct for any error(s).

Test Part- Coolant is then added to the machine and a test part is manufactured. This demonstrates loaded conditions.  Machine is ready for final verification.

Verification vs Validation
Protomatic does an installation validation on all CNC equipment installations. Parts are then verified  with another means such as a Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) or other instruments.

We are ready to Run!
This is  a short summary of the process to setup a new machine, to make your parts precisely and accurately.