K-Form is continually researching new technologies to deliver value. Our 5-Axis machining rotates and tilts the work-piece to mill multiple sides. This innovation allows K-Form to offer short lead times of complex machined parts.
Although many high-mix, low volume “job shop” manufacturers have yet to invest in 5-Axis machining, we see the process as a necessity. Customer lead times are shrinking. Quality expectations are increasing. 3D CAD makes generating complex geometry easier. K-Form uses 5-Axis machining to meet customer expectations.
For prototype shops, reducing setup time is one of the most important focuses for productivity improvement. 5-Axis machining allows milling multiple sides of a part from a single setup. For example, K-Form successfully converted a UAV frame job from 22 to 2 setups. Eliminating setups reduces human error, work-in-process (WIP), and non-value added activities. These benefits translate into shorter lead times for our customers.
Complex machined components often have referential features precisely located across multiple faces. For example, K-Form manufactures a variety rugged enclosures comprised of panels tapped on multiple edges. Traditional 3-Axis milling requires at least one setup between these operations. Multiple setups stack errors leading to slight variation.
The 2 additional axis of motion forces K-Form to think about workholding in new, innovated ways. K-Form uses modular, quick-change fixtures for 5-Axis machining that center the part and repeat within .0002″.
The complexities of 5-axis machining requires certainty. K-Form 5-axis mills are equipped with the Renishaw OTS contact tool setting system. OTS primarily gives precision length and diameter measurements. This reduces human error and speeds setup times. The system also provides assurance capabilities through in-cycle tool break detection and wear offsets. These functions are a critical element in our focus on Defense and Aerospace precision manufacturing.