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Rock West Composites continues the strategic expansion of its machining capability

News International-French

21 Mar 2019

The company brought online this month a 5-axis CNC machine center with 5’ x 10’ x 4’ of useable volume for working on composites and other non-ferrous materials. In addition to other investments in machining equipment over the past 18 months, this high-precision tool is part of a targeted effort to expand the company’s tooling, rapid prototyping, and complex part capability.

Rock West Composites continues the strategic expansion of its machining capability

Rock West Composites continues the strategic expansion of its machining capability

As part of a strategic expansion in machining capability, Rock West Composites (RWC) brought online this month a new DMS Moving Table 5-Axis CNC Machine for working on large composite parts and other non-ferrous materials. This high-precision equipment will be used to drill, trim and contour parts such as masters, molds, and trim and drill fixtures, in addition to other deliverables such as prototypes and composite hardware. Over the past 18 months, RWC’s San Diego facility has added multiple CNC machines to support its operations, with other equipment investments anticipated later this year as the company grows to support new and future projects.

This new custom machine is particularly impressive in its ability to handle large parts and complex operations. It has a stationary bridge and a moving table to facilitate faster loading and positioning of large hardware. There are two operational modes including traditional 5-axis functionality and a secondary rotisserie operation that allows for working on tubular parts. There is an integrated tool changer that automatically adjusts for tool length offsets, providing rapid and highly accurate machining and drilling action. The machine’s programming can compensate to a tool-center-point at the tool tip, allowing for faster and more reliable setups. Also, with variable RPM up to 24,000 rotations per minute, it provides the flexibility for a variety of material processing feeds and speeds. The company’s designers use CAD software that works with the CAM software to create an easy transition between the design and part.

The ability to machine large parts in-house quickly offers a strategic cost advantage through significant risk mitigation and labor efficiencies.

Victor Montoya, General Manager of RWC’s San Diego facility said:

“We are cultivating the resources to get things done for our customers in the most cost-efficient and reliable manner possible,”

“Bringing certain functions in-house reduces risk, increases throughput, and enables greater control over quality.”