While the ProtoTRAK is by no means a high-volume, production-oriented machine, it is just as useful as a CNC machine for high mix/low-volume applications for both milling and turning. The secret sauce for this piece of capital equipment comes from the patented ProtoTRAK CNC control which offers a variety of ways to set up and program your machining operations. Some will choose to write simple, geometry-based programs at the control with simple prompts and commands.
Others may take their CAD/CAM files and import them directly into the machine. For basic operations, the machinist can choose to run the machine manually by turning the X and Y handwheels.
Capable of Manual Machining
While this machine is not equipped with a tool-changer, it offers a power drawbar to quickly change out the CAT40-style tooling. With the push of a button, the pneumatic drawbar quickly screws and unscrews the tooling in the machine for tool changes in under 30 seconds. An optional CAT40 tool cart will allow the operator to store up to 8 tools on the cart, which can be stationed right next to the milling machine for even quicker changeovers. Although the head remains in a fixed position, the machine operator can use a manual quill on this machine for setting tool offsets, performing manual drilling operations, and more.
Capable of 4-/5-Axis Machining
For added complexity, the ProtoTRAK Bed Mills allow a third-party rotary table to be hooked into the machine to an added “A-Axis” to extend from its initial 3-axis machining capabilities. Setup for this workholding device is fairly straightforward and prompts within the ProtoTRAK programming language allow the machinist to prompt when to rotate the rotary table and by how much.
This is a great add-on feature for shops that routinely face sophisticated geometries requiring more handling of the part than a Kurt Vise can handle. Your One-Stop Machining Powerhouse
What was once known by the CNC industry as a typical “toolroom mill” has now taken many forms as a means to high-mix, low-volume machining that can accommodate a wide variety of parts, materials, and machining operations all within 1 open-style machine.
For the aerospace and automotive world, having a repeatable and accurate machine tool is critical for today’s demanding aircraft, vehicles, space systems, and anything else that flies, orbits, or drives. Baker and its team of machining experts are extremely excited to leverage this machine for its tooling operations as well as production capabilities for the overflow that our larger VMCs might have from time to time.