5-axis machining: study and production of complex mechanical parts.

Specializing in precision mechanics, PSI not only has experience in high-precision grinding, but also CNC 5-axis machining, so that it can bring its customers a complete and innovative package.

For PSI, innovation is at the forefront of its development strategy: Four years ago, the company chose to invest in the 5-axis technology within the scope of a collaboration with CETIM and then invested in several CNC 5 axis machines.


The mastery of 5-axis machining and CAM/CAD software is an in-depth expertise of PSI, thus enabling us to offer our customers solutions for the manufacture of parts that are complex and highly technical in terms of forms and that are subject to deformation during the manufacturing process. This might be metal or plastic parts, from prototypes to small- and medium-sized series.

Optics, aeronautics, automotive, military, medical … On both the national and international market, PSI is an acknowledged authority in 5-axis machining.


5 axis machining: 3 MIKRON 5-axis high speed machining centres.
CAM/CAD software: TOP SOLID / TOP CAM / TOP WIRE (continuous 4 and 5-axis milling, see our Production tools page).

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Innovation and collaboration: the PSI spirit

PSI picked up the 5-axis machining technology in 2008. PSI participates in the shared platform project implemented by CETIM (Centre technique des industries mécaniques) in Saint-Étienne, along with 4 other companies.

The UDPP (Unité Pilote à Dispositif Partagé) UGV 5-axis allows the testing and control of high-speed 5-axis milling technologies, as well as the testing and validation of the machine operation, among four pieces of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software on machines that work 24 hours a day.

PSI then invested in its own CNC 5-axis machines: MIKRON HSM 600 U, MIKRON VCP 800 and MIKRON HPM 1150 U.

The advantages of 5-axis machining: precise and rapid signs

A major justification of the investment in a 5-axis machine lies in the fact that this type of machine is capable of machining a part on 5 of its surfaces.

This is particularly important in serial production of complex parts requiring multiple machinings. The mobile elements of the machine will be mainly called on for positioning. They allow drilling and tapping to be carried out at determined angles, or machining to be carried out at an angle.

5-axis machining, especially in a continuous operation, thus offers a number of advantages for production:

  • easier machining of parts with five surfaces, without dismantling the part;
  • continuous machining of larger surfaces;
  • shorter lengths and tool removals for quicker and more reliable milling processes;
  • larger volumes of chippings;
  • the milling of undercut geometries;
  • better quality surfaces.

The importance of CAM software

A high performance CAM software facilitates the creation of NC (numerical control) programs and allows machine-tool performances to be fully harnessed.

The use of short tools is a key characteristic of 5-axis machining. It significantly reduces the bending of the tool, allows better quality surfaces, avoids retouching, and considerably limits the number of electrode erosions.

At the same time, the demands on CAM systems continue to increase. Monitoring and avoiding collisions in particular are complex and time consuming tasks. Automated collision avoidance along a path, all while preserving the machine dynamics and respecting set limits, is an important challenge for the present-day CAM systems.

The user will have the possibility of programming all kinds of machining (2-axis, 3-axis, UGV, and 5-axis) or milling – all from a single user interface. Indeed, few parts only require a single type of machining. Thanks to programming, the machine can run 7 days a week, both day and night, with a remote video surveillance system for monitoring.

(Sources: extracts from various articles: Usine Nouvelle, Mach'Pro, Industries et Technologies)