Is High Feed Machining Right for My Shop?

  • Machine Tools

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, October 04, 2022 - 

Getting parts out the door with the highest efficiency and lowest cost has remained a constant productivity marker for machine tool shops. High feed machining is a process that has been around for a while and when applied properly can open the door for shops to gain new business opportunities with increased productivity and improved machining time.

Using a high feed machining strategy, the machine tool works with low depth of cuts and high feed per revolution to improve metal removal rates. It helps to not only keep the chip load low, but optimize the heat generation and dissipation of heat through the chips formed. In order to properly apply the high feed machining process it is important your machine tool is up to the challenge and the correct cutting application is applied. 

Evaluating Your Machine Tool for High Feed Machining

High feed machining (HFM) requires a rigid and highly capable machine tool. Using a smaller depth of cut this process produces a thinner chip that carries the heat away from the cutting edge. The cutter runs at extremely high feeds, which require the machine and the control to be able to keep up. Compared to conventional machining it is not uncommon to run at up to five times higher feed per tooth.

To accomplish a HFM strategy and increase metal removal rates not only does the machine itself need to be engineered to certain standards, but the CNC control and CAM software will also need to be evaluated. The CNC control should have a higher processor speed in order to handle significantly more lines of program data to maintain machine accuracy. Secondly, the CAM system should be able to handle tool path smoothing strategies, which require a dynamic tool path option.

While newer machine tools provide an easy path to applying HFM, it is possible to use an older  machine tool and still work at a high speed achieving reliable results, provided the CNC control has the necessary capabilities.

Is HFM Right For My Shop?

HFM is a great process to achieve high metal removal rates, improving productivity and machining time when applied correctly. It allows your shop to take full advantage of machine tools and the benefits can significantly outweigh the challenges. 

If you are considering a HFM strategy contact the Machine Tool Team to help guide your shop to success.

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