New innovative manufacturing process brings ideas into shape even more effectively
Pentas Moulding B.V. relies on state-of-the-art milling technology from Fooke and saves 50% of the machining time in the production of aluminum moulds.
The first compact gantry milling machine of the new ENDURA® 400LINEAR series from Fooke has been producing high-precision casting moulds in Pentas Moulding B.V.'s own mould shop since the beginning of 2023. The new acquisition of this machine is a first for both companies. The Pentas team is using its new 5-axis gantry milling machine to achieve the required surface quality in the production of aluminum moulds for rotational moulding. This gives Pentas, as an experienced specialist company for rotational moulds, an inherited advantage. At Pentas, complex aluminum moulds are manufactured from the planning stage through design and the creation of milling programmes. A modern milling machine, as provided by Fooke, is an absolute requirement for the demanded high-quality standards and excellent geometries. The new ENDURA® 411LINEAR opens up new possibilities and competitive advantages: large moulds do not have to be produced and assembled in individual steps but can now be manufactured in one piece. This does not only provide a huge time advantage but also gives Pentas a unique selling point in the industry. Moreover, many years of experience and expertise in this field also significantly contribute to reducing downtimes.
Pentas manufactures high-quality, customized plastic parts using the rotomoulding process for a wide range of applications. The possibilities of the process are diverse: from fuel tanks for agriculture, to body plastic parts for commercial vehicles, agricultural and construction machinery, to container construction for a wide range of industries.
Responding to the constantly increasing demands in terms of surface and quality, Pentas has made a strategic decision and invested in a new innovative milling technology from Fooke: The ENDURA® 400LINEAR compact gantry milling machine. A modern 5-axis gantry milling machine characterized by its excellent quality of motion control for the high-precision machining of demanding workpieces as manufactured by Pentas. To achieve these qualities, the structural components of this machine series are manufactured as a trussed welded steel construction and not from standard profiles, as is often the case with simple, low-precision machines. All linear axes are equipped with state-of-the-art linear motors, i.e. without mechanical drive elements such as ball screw or rack and pinion drives. The rotary axes have torque motors. All linear and rotary axes work with direct measuring systems. It is precisely this combination of the best drive technologies and high-quality measuring systems that allows a Fooke ENDURA® 400LINEAR to mill significantly more accurate than other machines available on the market today, even with high machine dynamics. Pentas is now able to produce the CNC-milled aluminum moulds with a significantly better surface quality. This also reduces regrinding work by 90%.
Large machining area - foundationless installation
A convincing argument for Pentas was the fact that the machine can be set up without a foundation and, despite its compact design and small footprint, provides a large machining area that is optimally designed for the moulds to be machined by Pentas. With travel speeds of up to 90m/min, the Fooke ENDURA® 400LINEAR is one of the most modern high-speed milling machines.
Another elementary factor in reducing machining times is an optimally coordinated milling process.
To achieve a reduction in machining times and improvement of surfaces, a customized milling process is indispensable. In cooperation with the Pentas team, FOOKE's in-house technology centre analyzed and evaluated the customer-specific requirement in order to make the process more efficient. The right milling strategy, the selection of the most suitable tools and the individual clamping technology in combination with the ENDURA milling machine complete this turnkey solution. It was always important to the Dutch company that the machine operators and programmers accept the machine and the process. Therefore, they were involved in all decisions from the very beginning.
In order to be able to optimally use the new high-speed milling machine with modern strategies and toolpaths, it was necessary to switch to more modern CAM software. For efficient applications, it is always important to consider the entire process of manufacturing a component, as the quality of the milling programmes is also crucial. Pentas looked at several CAM solutions and decided on Work NC's software, as this provides the ability to program even complex geometries with little effort. The ability to detect toolholder collisions and then automatically eliminate them by changing the settings through the software was also impressive.
Pentas is one of the most modern and advanced companies in Europe in the field of rotational moulding of plastic products. The machinery park contains 11 rotational moulding machines and 8 milling machines. Since its foundation in 1975, Pentas has considered innovative technology fundamental to the optimal delivery of customized plastic products. The team consists of 130 professionals with a great passion for technology and the entire process. The dedicated team oversees the entire process. From design, mould making, casting, finishing to logistical handling such as delivery from stock and customized packaging. Naturally, all processes have been secured according to ISO:9001. A major advantage of this approach is Pentas' flexibility and ability to offer customized solutions even for urgent orders.
Fooke GmbH is a medium-sized family-owned company based in Borken/North Rhine-Westphalia with around 200 employees. Founded in 1904, the company is now run by the fourth generation of the family, Mr. Johannes Fooke. For more than 35 years, Fooke has been manufacturing large 5-axis milling machines, many of which are used as portal milling machines in various designs. Customers from different industrial sectors rely on Fooke's ENDURA machines. Applications include the aerospace, rail vehicle and automotive sectors. These machines are particularly used for model and prototype construction as well as tool and mould making.