High-speed machining was once a niche technology, known only to aerospace shops making large airframe components. No more. High-speed machining (HSM) use is now widespread. So are its counterparts high-feed (HFM) and high-efficiency (HEM) machining. All are now common in shops of all sizes and specialties.
That said, shops wishing to pursue a more productive path need to get their high-speed house in order. As we touched on in this blog post, HSM in its many forms requires the right toolholders and cutting tools. It needs a machining center able to keep up with the demands of small, precise, and rapid motions. And it needs the right machine control and software. Full stop.
High-Speed Machining and AICC
As hundreds of satisfied customers have found, Kent USA offers numerous controls on its CNC milling machines. From FANUC and Heidenhain to Siemens, Mitsubishi, and Fagor, each has its own high-speed, high-feed capabilities. For owners of FANUC controls, that option is AI Contour Control or AICC.
Two versions exist: AICC I and AICC II. Both aim to enhance accuracy and efficiency but do so in different ways.
AICC I uses advanced algorithms (software) to plan the ideal path for a tool during machining. It “looks ahead” at future machining steps and modifies the tool’s path accordingly, optimizing for speed and precision. This feature also allows the tool to maintain constant velocity while cutting complex profiles, improving tool life. The result? Better surface finished and shorter cycle times.
On the other hand, AICC II builds on the features of AICC I with an artificial intelligence (AI) component. As its name suggests, AI uses machine learning algorithms to further optimize tool paths. It also takes into account the capabilities of the machine tool, cutting conditions, and other factors that could influence performance. This allows AICC II to further reduce cycle time and improve part surface quality.
As noted in the blog post mentioned earlier, HSM is a deep subject. So is AICC. FANUC has many pages devoted to it in the company’s CNC Function Brochure. And in Part 8 of this machining tips video series, the control builder provides additional advice. More details are available in the manuals that came with your machine.
Wherever you find the information, mastering AICC and other high-speed machining control features is critical to staying competitive in today’s fast moving machining industry. It’s widely used in aerospace and medical machining, mold making, tool and die, and other industry segments. You might not be using it today but rest assured, the shop down the street is, or will be soon.
If you’d like to learn more about this and other advanced control features, reach out to one of the application specialists at Kent USA. We know metal removal.