Delcam’s FeatureCAM used to produce 815 mm steel part on Hermle mill-turn

A new video from Delcam demonstrates the improved metal-cutting possibilities on a Hermle machining centre with integrated turning capability when the machine is fitted with the latest TNC 640 contouring control system from Heidenhain and programmed with Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM software.  To watch the video, please go to the Delcam AMS channel on YouTube at


The process starts with a 1.6-tonne EN8 steel billet measuring 815 mm in diameter and includes a complex series of machining operations that, in total, removed 935 kgs of material.  It demonstrates clearly the improved productivity possible with the latest equipment and machining methods, through increased speed and accuracy, reduced idle times and longer tool life.

Caption: Almost 1 tonne of steel was machined away to produce this part on the Hermle machine at the NAMRC




The filming was undertaken during two seminars at the NAMRC (Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) during May.  Jointly sponsored and organised by Heidenhain (GB) and Geo Kingsbury, sole agent for Hermle machines in the UK and Ireland, the event was also supported by tooling supplier Seco and workholding firm, Schunk as well as Delcam.


Many features of the machine and control combination are shown in the video, including ‘A-axis Turning’, which allows the trunnion to be continuously positioned at any angle while the component on the table is rotated for turning using a fixed tool in the spindle.  This simultaneous interpolation gives improve cutter access and allows shorter turning tools to be used for more stable machining.


Another attribute demonstrated was programmable ‘Adaptive Feed Control’ within the TNC 640 control, which continuously adjusts the feed rate to keep the spindle load constant as the milling cutter moves into different parts of a cycle.  When used together with Delcam’s Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy, AFC can significantly shorten cycle times as the full depth of the cutter flutes can be used rather than just the bottom few millimetres, leading to faster metal removal and longer tool life.


Finally, a series of five-axis finishing operations are shown, including swarf machining and deburring by edge profiling.  All these strategies can be checked on the computer using FeatureCAM’s full-machine simulation to ensure that they will run safely on the machine.


For further information on Delcam’s FeatureCAM software, please contact: –

Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager

Direct phone: 0121 683 1081             e-mail:


Delcam Ltd

Small Heath Business Park,

Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK