How much do you really know about portable 3-axis milling machines? The name describes what they do, but not how they work, or the type of projects they're used on.
Design and construction
Machines in both the MR and MRY ranges share many tried-and-tested components. Across both, a ball-screw feed and hardened v-rails deliver an accurate and reliable means for the milling head to travel. The milling head accepts both ISO40 and BT tooling, and the digital Vernier depth scale measures the down-feed to its maximum of 80mm.
So what’s the key difference between the MR and MRY machines?
By now you’ve probably worked out it’s the addition of the y-axis rail, which quite literally, takes the machine’s capabilities into another dimension. This means more opportunities to get involved in many different machining projects.
Applications and machine selection
When there’s machining to be done on flat metal surfaces, MRY portable 3-axis milling machines are the star performers . Think of all the pump and motor pads at refineries, power stations and manufacturing plants. Keeping these true and perfectly aligned goes a long way towards improving plant efficiency.
How do you choose your MRY milling machine?
First, make your choice based on the size of the machine needed. The y-axis delivers 30cm stroke and is standard across all 3 machines, so the x-axis rail is the key deciding factor. This is available with length options of one and a half, two and three metres.
Machining outside these parameters needs a different machine. The Mirage deck plate milling machine and keyway cutter both offer a very neat and compact solution. At the other end of the spectrum, choose an 2-axis milling rail with a modular gantry frame. This combination is a very effective choice when machining division slots on heat exchangers.
Anticipate the environment the machine will be used in and then choose between hydraulic and pneumatic drive motors. Each type has different pros and cons but both put in an impressive performance on-site. In a nutshell, hydraulic is the way to go when a power pack is available and diesel emissions aren’t an issue. In environments where an air-line is present, pneumatic machines provide a cleaner and more simple option.
Out of the box. What you get
Open up the storage box and you’ll find everything you need. If this is the first machine from Mirage you may be surprised not to see a shiny and polished machine in pristine showroom condition. Practicality comes first, so what you get is a machine coated with an inhibitor that protects your new investment against corrosion.
Ancillaries in the box include setting blocks, hose connections, and for pneumatic models; an air lubricator. Paperwork includes a CE certificate, a list of contents and a manual offering guidance on installation and safe machine use.
Setting up the MRY 3-axis milling machine
The machine can be moved safely into position using lifting eyes. Clamping slots in each base plate allow bolting directly to the job. Switch magnets are a convenient alternative option when bolting, tack-welding or clamping isn’t possible.
For quick setting, the supplied setting blocks clamp over the “V” rails, enabling a spirit level to be used in both planes. For more accurate leveling a laser unit should be used. Adjustment is made using grub screws in the mounting plates and on the x-axis carriage.
The tool clamping ring in the milling head assembly is designed to accept ISO40 and BT standard tooling. Simply change the tool clamping ring in the spindle lock assembly.
Using the machine
Applying a depth of cut is done using the hand wheel positioned at the top of the milling head assembly. When making a cut in the x-axis, you have the choice of manual or auto-feed. Straight out of the box, the feed on the y-axis is applied manually, but auto-feed is achieved simply by switching the arm end module from the x-axis rail.
The MRY range is a worthy addition to your fleet of portable machine tools. Browse the product line-up on our website, or if you already have suitable project in mind get in touch with your regional contact here.