Mazak’s (Florence, KY) VTC-300C milling machine is available with a friction stir welding (FSW) package that provides a cost-effective and space-saving way to expand parts-processing capabilities.
The VTC-300C FSW uses frictional heat and forging pressure to create full-penetration, defect-free joints that are stronger than conventional welding methods. A solid-state joining process with a non-consumable tool pin, the Mazak FSW head joins two metal plates without melting the workpiece. Commonly considered a forging process, FSW is well-suited for joining alloys with low melting points, including aluminum, copper, and brass.
Welding is done via a Mazak MegaStir-supplied tool holder equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled wireless sensor connection (second tool holder or FSW tool pin available as an option). Closed-loop process control uses integrated thrust and temperature sensors to maintain constant thrust and perform manual thrust offsets during welding.
The welding technology complements the existing VTC-300C machine platform with 15,000-rpm, 30-hp, 40-taper spindle. Machine and waycover design provide 1,574 ipm rapid feed rates on all axes. Fixed 78.74-inch-by-30-inch table enhances flexibility; optional center partition divides work envelope into two zones so machine can be in cycle in one area while loading, unloading, or setting up a part in the other. Axis travels: 65.35 inches in X, 30 inches in Y, and 25.6 inches in Z.
Mazatrol SmoothG CNC software facilitates programming of plunge/traverse/extract operations and stores 32GB of process data on an SD card. Functions such as high-gain feed forward control, fast rotary axis speeds, variable acceleration control, and intelligent pocket milling ensure the shortest possible cycle times, especially with fine-increment programs for free-form die-mold machining. Multitouch screen is similar to a smartphone’s for ease of use.
A large 19-inch display presents critical data on one page. Tilt control panel allows for optimum positioning based on operator height.
The machine integrates with Mazak Automation Systems loading solutions. The SmoothG control makes it easy to take advantage of machine monitoring software like Smooth Link and IIoT connectivity tools like MTConnect and the Mazak SmartBox.
In addition to FSW, Mazak multitasking technologies include Auto Gear (AG), a combination of Smooth gear-cutting technology and fully optimized machine tool platforms; hot wire deposition (HWD), a fast additive manufacturing (AM) solution that uses an arc torch in addition to lasers; and both single and multilaser metal deposition for AM.
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