High speed CNC Machining of aluminum front panel with pneumatic clamp workholding

Front Panel Milling & Machining - High Speed CNC Milling of Front Panels in aluminum, plastic and stainless with superior quality and short cycle times.

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Front Panel Milling with superior surface and edge finish due to a 40,000 to 60,000 RPM Spindle and an ethanol coolant that leaves aluminum front panels clean because it evaporates!

Front Panel perfection begins with DATRON. Industry leading front panel manufacturers and electronics manufacturers know that DATRON is the standard for milling front panels from aluminum, stainless steel, plastics, composites and many other substrates. Front Panel Machining with DATRON is more efficient due to the high speed spindle, automatic tool change and vacuum chucks and pneumatic clamping that reduce set up times for front panel milling. Front panels can be made on a single machine because DATRON High Speed CNC Machining Centers mill, drill, engrave and threadmill. Front panel batch machining can be performed unattended and even lights out with large machining areas up to 1,020 mm x 2,500 mm depending on model.
Milling front panels from anodized aluminum with DATRON high speed CNC Machining Center
Milling Front Panels with DATRON CNC.

Front Panel machining is performed quickly with DATRON high speed milling machines. High speed CNC spindles are ideal for Milling Aluminum Front Panels and our spray-mist coolant simply evaporates after machining leaving clean front panels and eliminating secondary operations like degreasing. Front Panel Milling Perfection!

Benefits for Front Panel Machining:
Up to 60,000 RPM Spindle
Spray-Mist Coolant Evaporates!
Integrated Clamping & Vacuum Table Workholding
Automatic Tool Changer
Easy, Fast Programming
Microsoft Windows-based Control

Front Panel Machining Video Video of Front Panel Milling will load soon (approx. 60 sec.).
Batch Machining Front Panels is possible with DATRON Large format CNC Machining Centers like the M8XL
Front Panel Milling is made easy with an intuitive Windows-based control software that makes programming front panel applications a breeze!
Anodized aluminum front panel with crip edged and engraving die to DATRONs high RPM spindle and spray mist coolant that evaporates leaving clean front panels - no degreasing required!
Front Panel Applications:
Milling aluminum Front Panels
Front Panels in Anodized Aluminum
Engraving Stainless Steel Front Panels
Machining Plastic Front Panels
Milling nameplates & ID tags
Milling Housings & Enclosures
Commonly machined plastics and substrates: ABS, Acetal, Acrylic, Cirlex, Delmat, Delrin, Durastone, Formex, G-9, G-10, G-11, GPO3, Kapton, Lexan, Nomex, Nylon, Phenolic, Polycarbonate, Polyester, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, Polysulfone, PVC, Ryton, Torlon, Ultem, Urethane, Valox, Vespel, Vinyl
Milling Front Panels from Plastic:

Milling or Machining Plastic front panels can be similar to machining aluminum front panels in that sharp tools are more beneficial than very hard-edged tools. That said, for plastic front panels being machined or milled from fiber reinforced plastics that contain glass or ceramics, carbide tools or hardened steel tools are required.

Feeds & Speeds for Machining Plastic Front Panels: This is where the true benefit of Datron high speed machining centers comes in. Machining plastic front panels really requires high speed. Slower spindle speeds allow heat to build up and melt the plastic front panel rather than cutting it. Higher spindle speeds throw chips out of the cutting channel and prevent long chips from bird-nesting around the tool and melting to it. High feeds get you from one place to another quickly without leaving the tool in one vicinity for too long heating the material up. But, since small tooling is often required for smaller plastic front panels, you can’t have high feeds without high spindle speed because it will result in unaccepatable tool breakage. Moral of the story is that if you’re machining plastic front panels, you need a Datron.

Milling Plastic Front Panels requires different feeds and speeds to avoid bird nesting and melting the plastic front panel.
Front Panel Milling using annodized aluminum sheet material fitured on Datron high speed milling machine with an integrated vacuum table
Our software has canned cycles for shapes like D-holes so programming front panel milling is easy and fast.
Aluminum Front Panels, control panels face plates - DATRON delivers front panel versatility!
Complex front panels and control panels can be set up and machines quickly with vacuum chuck or vacuum table workholding and 3D probing for front panel perfection!
Typical aluminum front panel
Front Panel Versatility - Vacuum Chuck or Vacuum Table Workholding!
Mill a batch of the same front panels or set up several different blanks on the same bed.
The Front Panels Express - high speed to front panel superiority!
Vacuum Table Workholding is ideal for batch machining front panels
Pneumatic Clamping Systems are available for one up front panel milling
Large CNC Machining Beds accommodate large batches of front panel blanks so batch machining of front panels is possible.
Batch Machining Front Panels & Save Money!

Here's How Front Panel Batch Machining Works:

Batch machining is defined as manufacturing a minimum of two parts on the machining table at any given time.  This paper uses the terms “batch machining” and “batch processing” interchangeably.  There is no limit to the number of parts that define a batch, but ideally the manufacturer achieves efficiencies by maximizing the space available on the machine bed and producing as many parts in one run as possible. 

When companies produce a quantity of front panels, they usually have an operator in front of the machine for an entire shift, producing work-pieces one at a time.  The operator takes raw stock, puts it on the machine bed, machines the part and then removes it — repeating the entire process for eight hours.  Therefore, the operator is dedicated or “tied” to a single machine.  This procedure is known as “one-up” production.

Based on an 8-hour day, labor costs about $0.40 a minute and a machine costs about $0.20 a minute to operate.  Therefore, if you tie an operator to the machine with one-up production, your total cost will be $0.60 a minute.  If you were to run two shifts, the machine would cost only $0.10 a minute, while the labor cost remains the same at $0.40 a minute.  Although it’s a savings, it falls short of maximizing the impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line and more can actually be saved.  By empowering the machine do the work without operator intervention during the second shift, the reduction in the labor cost brings the machine cost as low as $0.05 a minute.

Batch machining front panels on a large machining bed reduces operator intervention since it accommodates numerous “blanks” and a full front panel batch can have a cycle time that coincides with the length of an operator’s shift.  That way, the operator can place a batch of front panels on the machine in the morning and attend to other duties during the day.  The automated machine works all day producing the front panels.  Near the end of the shift, the operator then removes the completed batch of front panels, sweeps down the machine, and sets up another batch of front panels to run unattended all night.

When the operator returns to work the next morning, he removes the batch of front panels that the machine produced overnight and starts up another one.  This gets two shifts’ worth of work out of one operator.  This is the principle of “lights out” production — so named because the machine is left running overnight when everyone has gone home.  Bear in mind that the above example reflects the “ideal”, since it keeps the machine operating unattended for most of the workday and at night.  This may not fit your exact application but, the closer you can get to that ideal, the more efficient and cost-effective your operation will become

Control and front panels can be programmed and machined quickly for rapid prototyping of front panels and electronics components.
Custom front panel machined from aluminum
Stainless Steel Front Panels and aluminum front panels can be milled, drilled and engraved on one high speed CNC machining center
Expand your front panel capabilities with DATRON high speed CNC Milling Machines.
Need to fly cut or mill deep cavities in your front panels? Our 3kW spinlde will provide all the power you need for any aluminum front panel milling operation.
Membrane switches can be machined with the same CNC machine used for milling front panels
Vacuum table workholding provides quick set up of sheet material used for front panel machining
Make quick work of your front panel applications with a high speed CNC machining center from DATRON.
Laminates and overlays alradey on front panels can be machined easily due to our high speed CNC machining spindle.
Contoured front panels with tread milling can be machined, drilled and trad milled in a single set up
Front Panels with clean edges are the result of a high speed CNC spindle combined with our ethanol coolant that provides superior cooling and evaporates leaving your front panels clean with no degreasing required!
Aluminum dials, gaskets, nameplates, identification tags, Metalphoto - you name it DATRON high speed CNC machines can machine your front panels ... and then some!
Front Panel Milling?

Aluminum Front Panel Machining

Plastic Front Panel Milling

Stainless Steel Front Panel Engraving

All Front Panel Applications

Call 888.262.2833

Milling Front Panels on Datron high speed milling machines
Milling Front Panels

Machining Housings

• Milling Enclosures

• Milling & Engraving Nameplates

DATRON High Speed CNC Machining Center is the ideal choice for Front Panel Applications. Milling front panels in aluminum benefits from a 40,000 to 60,000 RPM spindle, Automatic Tool Change and Vacuum Workholding - for quick set up and shorter cycles.
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