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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versión impresa ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.20 no.2 Pretoria  2009


Using palletised work-holding to emulate 5-axis machining of aerospace components in the developing world



G.A. OosthuizenI; H.J. JoubertII; N.F. TreurnichtIII

IDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
IIDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
IIIDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa




This paper proposes the application of precision pallet technology, together with common 3-axis milling, to machine certain complex aerospace components that are normally 5-axis machined. In this approach a set of different customised precision pallets are used to present each complex plane to the 3-axis machine as a series of horizontal planes for machining. After machining one surface, the pallet is exchanged for another that has been pre-setup in machining time. Trials confirm the viability of the approach, with capital recovery in less than a year.


Hierdie artikel stel die aanwending van presisiepallettegnologie, saam met gewone 3-as frees, voor om komplekse lug- en ruimtevaartkomponente te vervaardig. Die gebruiklike metode om hierdie komponente te vervaardig vereis 5-as masjinering. In die voorgestelde benadering word 'n stel verskillende pasgemaakte presisiepalette gebruik om elke komplekse vlak as 'n reeks horisontale vlakke te posisioneer vir masjinering. Die gevolg is dat eenvoudige en vinnige vlakfrees voldoende is. Nadat een vlak gemasjineer is, word die pallet vervang met 'n ander wat vooraf opgestel is gedurende masjineringstyd. Toetse bevestig die lewensvatbaarheid, met kapitaaldelging in minder as 'n jaar.



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1 The authors were enrolled for an MSc degree in the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Stellenbosch.
2 Corresponding author

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