The complete machining of turbine blades requires a manufacture to strike a balance between powerful roughing and ultra-precise finishing — a task for which modern, five-axis turning-milling centers are well suited, as long as the stability and sturdiness of the machine construction is combined with high-quality drive and control engineering.

For machine tool builder, Hamuel Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, experience is one element of high-quality construction. The German company has been building machines for 85 years, and CNC machines for the past 35 years. Add to this its 25-year record for building five-axis simultaneous machining systems, and more than 10 years’ experience in the construction of five-axis turning-milling centers. CEO Dr. Markus Stanik acknowledged that experience alone is no indicator for the quality of machine tools, but, “It certainly helps us, together with the right partner companies, to design and build the machines so that our customers can be successful in the marketplace."

Hamuel’s emphasizes three aspects of its machine-building capability: 

•  Its production of machine-tool components (e.g., axis units, machine bases and machine bodies);

•  Its development and construction of CNC-gantry milling machines; and,

•  Its production of five-axis turning-milling centers.

The last of these, as demonstrated by Hamuel’s HSTM (high-speed turning-milling) series introduced in 1999, is a significant part of the success of the company. The world’s most successful manufacturers of aerospace and industrial-gas turbines are particularly impressed by the responsiveness, capability, and precision of these machines.

HSTM machines running on Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D sl CNC controllers are used mainly to manufacture turbine blades and blisks (turbine disks) deployed in stationary steam and gas turbines, as well as in mobile turbines for aircraft jet engines and large turbochargers. These products always consist of high-strength materials, such as titanium or high-alloyed steels. Form deviations are unacceptable in such applications, because even the smallest error would significantly reduce the efficiency of the turbines. Correspondingly high and comprehensive requirements are placed on the machine tools.