Napoleon Machine is making substantial investments between 2021 and 2022. Owner Kevin Febrey says, “we’ve seen significant growth opportunities in the manufacturing sector in recent years and that growth potential is why we are making these types of investments.” Napoleon Machine is striving to be on the front edge of CNC machining technology, and its recent equipment purchase solidifies that statement. One of the company’s largest investments was a 5-axis Shin Nippon Koki (SNK) HGM2500 High-Speed Gantry Mill which will be instrumental in addressing growing aerospace aluminum machining demands. The Japanese-built machine is a high-end, high-speed, and efficient gantry mill. The SNK-HGM2500 uses a rigid bridge-type construction with a Cross-rail design which travels on fixed precision linear guide rails with helical gear racks. The Cross-rail design will minimize thermal displacement through asymmetric thermal cross-section, which will allow Napoleon Machine to machine parts with accuracy over a prolonged period. This high-end gantry mill uses thick, rigid steel where it is needed and lightweight, yet durable parts, when possible. This combination of heavy steel and lightweight components allows the machine to move rapidly, decreasing cycle times.
The most impressive engineering on the SNK-HGM2500 machine is in the spindle head. The gantry mill’s spindle uses a “built-in, high revolution, high-horsepower design.” The proprietary HSK system and jacket ensure temperature-controlled oil, allowing for prolonged (75kw/20,000 min-1) runtime. Regarding speeds and feeds, Napoleon Machine’s head CNC Programmer says, “the feed rates are insanely fast on this machine, there are many machines that claim to be fast, but this machine is the real deal.” Napoleon Machine is known as a large-part machine shop, and the SNK-HGM2500 fits in that category as a true 5-axis machine with 255 inches of travel on (X), 98 inches on (Y), and 60 inches on (Z). The 100 Horsepower spindle with 20,000 RPMs is a major advantage when cutting aluminum. The speed of this machine allows Napoleon Machine to be at the forefront of competitive aluminum machining cycle times due to the rapid feed rates and high spindle RPMs. While competitive cycle times are important in every industry, they are the standard in defense and aerospace CNC machining.
A balanced tool is critical when running at those spindle speeds. Therefore, the company purchased Haimer’s Tool Dynamic TD Preset Microset, a balancer and presetter in one. Haimer’s website explains the importance of tool balancing best when they say, “Only the high-precision balancing of tools and tool holders can make the complete capacity of the machines tool with regards to speed, cutting volume and produced surface finish accessible. Because balancing provides for fewer vibrations. It reduces wear of the spindle and tool, reduces the downtimes, and increases process security.” Napoleon Machine also outfitted the new machine with modular sub-tables and custom-built modular fixtures for quick and efficient setups. With the company’s focus on production machining, standardized automatic tool changers and quick setup modular systems are important—the SNK’s modular sub-table and setup components compliment Napoleon Machine’s BLUCO Modular Welding System.
Lastly, the table on the SNK-HGM2500 is so long that the machine requires a high-definition camera. Napoleon Machine installed a Dalhua PTZ Speed Dome camera with wiper and 30x optical zoom inside the machine. The Machinist controls the camera with a joystick controller from their station, and the camera is displayed on a 70″ High-definition TV mounted about the Machinist’s workstation.
The SNK-HGM2500 is just one of the new “toys” Napoleon Machine has installed in 2021, another machine like the SNK is currently getting its foundation. These types of investments show how serious this company is about growing into a world-class machine shop. Stay tuned and subscribe below to track Napoleon Machine’s future growth. If you have aluminum machining needs drop us an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.