LinX High-Speed Machining Technology as used by the RenaultF1 Team

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The Journal of Machine Tools

LinX High-Speed Machining Technology as used by the RenaultF1 Team
Jobs has been historically involved in the ultracompetitive world of Formula 1 with its High-Speed Machining Technology employed for the machining of various types of models, molds and dies, as well as the machining of the complete chassis and carbonfibre materials.
by Dario Lampa


inX has taken its place in the Formula 1 line up with the installation of a Blitz model at the Renault F1 Team Technical Centre in Enstone (Oxfordshire). It is worth remembering that a Jomach 23 was installed at the Renault F1 Team (ex-Benetton F1) Technical Centre in 1991 and a Jomach 21 machining centre in 1990. More than one year after installation of the LinX Blitz we interviewed Jeff Fullerton (Machine Shop Manager) and John Mardle (Director of Opera-

tions) of the Renault F1 Team to check the results obtained with the users. “We installed a LinX Blitz linear motor” - said Jeff Fullerton “primarily because we needed a machine with much more rigid spindle housing. However, it became apparent very early on that the other features included on the Blitz were to have significant effects on our production capability. The introduction of linear motors on the X, Y and Z axes, combined with the Heidenhain 530 controller, gave us a dra-

matic increase in both rapid traverse and machining feed rates. This increase in feed rate enabled our machine programmers to decrease the size of “step over” on cutter paths without compromise to machining times. This instantly improved the surface quality of each component, which resulted in a 25% time saving in the subsequent stages of the finishing process”. John Mardle said, “In order to give our drivers the chance to fight for victory on the track, our challenge here at the fac-

tory is to win the manufacturing race on a daily basis. The Blitz machine’s performance has exceeded our expectations and allowed us to react faster to the demands of our race, test and design teams. In fact, in order to keep up with faster manufacturing times, we had to adjust our programming capacity. During one season the Renault F1 Team produces around 800 patterns and it’s not difficult to guess why we need the highest speed and accuracy in this department.”

Jeff Fullerton went on to give more specific details: “The majority of parts produced on the Jobs machines are ‘patterns’ made in an Epoxy material. Every laminated composite part on the race car requires a ‘mold’. The Epoxy patterns are used to make the molds. They can be as large as 2 metres long by 1 metre wide. Once the patterns have been machined (using mostly polycrystalline diamond tipped cutters) they pass through to the pattern

A strong partnership
The collaboration between Renault Formula 1 Team and Jobs yielded extremely satisfying results for the French manufacturer. Indeed, the performance of the JOBS machines has been impressive enough that the team has moved to further cement its relationship with the Piacenza company through the purchase of a new machine, the LinX Compact, in addition to the facilities already being operated in the etam’s factory in Enstone, UK. So far in 2005, the Renault F1 Team has won four times, wit Spaniard Fernando Alonso taking three race wins and Roman Giancarlo Fisichella one. The successes are testament to the excellent work carried out over the winter in manufacturing and preparing the R25 for competition. In this light, it is not surprising that the team has moved to strengthen its production capacity with a new LinX Compact machine, to run alongside the LinX Blitz currently in operation at Enstone. The extended technical collaboration has also been strengthened with a two year extension to the JOBS status as an Official Supplier to the Renault F1 Team.


Year 4 - N°2 / June 2005

The two machines
Jobs recently delivered two machines to the Renault F1 Team: LinX Blitz and LinX Compact. Both machines are five axis machining centres equipped with a 24.000 rpm spindle, HSK-A-63, and an Heidenhain iTN 530 numerical control. Both LinX Blitz and LinX Compact are driven by linear motors, which give to Blitz a speed of 70 m/min with accelerations up to 7 m/s2, while LinX Compact can work at a speed of 50 m/min with accelerations of 4 m/s2. The LinX Blitz axes are: X 1730,Y 2200, Z 900; for the LinX Compact: X 2000,Y 3200 and Z 1250. Among the most important characteristics of these machines, we find the milling heads: a T3B head for the LinX Blitz, with a C axis of 400° (±200°) and an A axis of 210° (+90° -120°) and, for the Linx Compact, a T3D head with continuous A axis of 200°(±100°) and C axis of 400° (±200°).

nautical and energy fields. From the design point of view Jobs carried on a very deep study aiming at the structural analysis, which allows the minimization of the

An interesting trip
Under the partnership agreement with the Renault F1 Team, Jobs in its role as “Official Supplier” was able to invite some of its own Customers to

preparation department. Here they are surface prepared and then hard coated before a final high gloss finish is added. The mold is then laminated onto the pattern and then cured in an autoclave. After the mold has completed its cure cycle it is then ready to be used to produce car components.”

LinX Blitz The main capability
Blitz, the smallest in size model of the LinX family, the family of high-performance linear motor milling machines, has an operational volume from 4 m 2 , created for high-speed machining of molds and dies, models, components for the aerostructures (lightest moving masses) and optimization of the dynamic characteristics (axes gain and axes acceleration). Blitz is characterized by axis speed of up to 70 m/min and an acceleration of 0,7 g in a simultaneous 5 axis interpolation. Its innovative design allows an easier integration of the machine in the Customer production system and a better value-for-money strategy for a maximised return on investments. Moreover, the mini-BUSS system for automatic head changing, enables roughing and finishing processes to be carried out on 3+2/5 axis in automatic cycles. visit the F1 Team headquarters and succeeded in showing them the most secret areas that are normally off-limits and had access to the paddock during the GP practice and qualifying sections. And here is what some Jobs Customers from Austria, the UK, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Italy were able to see at the Renault F1 Team factory in Enstone (Oxfordshire): they visited the extraordinarily well-equipped Technical Centre, the production centre where the LinX Blitz is located, the Composite Material Department and the Machine Shop where carbon-fibre is cut, the Electronic Department and the Race Shop where F1 cars are assembled and disassembled, Wind Tunnel.
Year 4 - N°2 / June 2005


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