Turn Toward Greater Machining Solutions
Expanded efficiencies built into turning centers and lathes result in productivity increases for shops of all sizes.
Posted: October 19, 2022
Innovations and continuous investments in the manufacture of machining technologies provide machine shops with reliable and flexible products, which assist them in decreasing setup time and completing processes in a single setup.
Absolute Machine Tools Adds Vertical Mill/Turn Center to Its Lineup
Absolute Machine Tools, Inc. (Lorain, OH) has added the You Ji VMT Vertical Mill/Turn Center Series to its extensive line of large vertical turning lathes by You Ji based in Taiwan. Combining vertical and horizontal 5-face milling with vertical turning capabilities, the You Ji VMT provides 5-sided or 4+1-axis milling and turning of medium-sized workpieces in a single setup. Standard turning diameter and maximum turning height are 39.4” (1000 mm). The 30-hp double-wound FANUC P Series main spindle motor delivers more torque at a lower rpm than a 50-hp single-wound motor. It’s powered by a 2-speed ZF planetary gearbox spindle drive. The 20-hp 50 taper milling spindle produces high torque.
The vertical column and base are made from heavily ribbed Meehanite castings that minimize thermal distortion and dampen vibration. Smooth operation is virtually guaranteed complements of enclosed X-, Y- and Z-axis box guideways featuring hand-scraped mating surfaces, Turcite-B coatings and forced lubrication. The VMT’s simple design eliminates belts and gears in all three axes instead relying on servo motors to drive large 2”-diameter Class-3 precision ball screws during operation. A fixed turning spindle and 3-axis moving column provide optimal chip removal and simplified operation.
Powerful new Software Includes High-performance Turning Strategy
The latest GibbsCAM (Cincinnati, OH) software release, the 2023 version features powerful new features for turning machines, as well as other machines. GibbsCAM software programs, simulates, and controls any CNC machine — from 2D to 5-axis milling, turning, multi-task machining and wire-EDM. Turning machine highlights include PrimeTurningTM. This high-performance turning strategy is now built in for GibbsCAM 2023 for Sandvik Coromant and CoroTurn Prime Type A and Type B inserts. Strategies for both Roughing and Finishing allow optimum feed rate adjustment for gentle and accurate cutting in either direction.
A new tool type, Multifunction Insert Drill, has been added as a periphery insert that can perform turning and boring, such as Sandvik Coromant CoroDrill® 880 series. The Multifunction Insert Drill tool type can seamlessly switch between turning, lathe drilling, and mill drilling without retraction or tool change motions. This is a powerful addition for radial offset drilling.
GibbsCAM GO Turning can now specify Rake and Back Relief for tool inserts to more accurately define the 3D geometry of the tool inserts. A new option for Lathe Drilling with counter-rotating tools commands the live tooling spindle to turn in the opposite direction at a specified RPM to effectively increase spindle speed and significantly boost material removal rates.
Next Generation of the G220 Turn-Mill Center is Available
The next generation of the INDEX (Noblesville, IN) G220 turn-mill center incorporates the design principles introduced via the larger G320, G420 and G520 machines, providing high flexibility to produce complex, small-to-medium-sized parts in a single setup. The G220 features a Z-axis slide with a motorized milling spindle and hydrodynamically mounted Y/B axis arranged above the axis of rotation. The powerful milling spindle is available with an HSK-T63 interface with specs of 12,000 rpm, 60.3 hp (49 kW) and 53.1 ft. lbs. (72 Nm) at 25% DC, or an HSK-T40 interface with specs of 18,000 rpm, 25.5 hp (19 kW) and 22.1 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) at 25% DC. This facilitates a wide range of milling and drilling operations, and the machine is also capable of full 5-axis machining.
A tool magazine accommodating up to 139 tools feeds the milling spindle and offers incredibly easy setups. In addition to the traditional setup station at the front of the machine, the G220 offers access to the magazine’s two tool chains at the rear of the machine. This allows an operator to change tools on one chain while the other is in use, eliminating costly non-cutting time.
The G220 provides two tool turrets located at the bottom of the machine’s workspace. Each turret can move not just along the X and Z axes, but along the Y axis as well. Additionally, each of the turrets’ stations can be equipped with live tools for maximum flexibility.
Easy-to-install Turning Center Offers Wide-ranging, Affordable Options
Mazak Corp.’s (Florence, KY) QT-Ez 8MY Turning Center is designed to give job shops and other manufacturers affordable access to Mazak technology and engineering expertise. This horizontal turning machine features an 8″ chuck, milling and Y-axis off-centerline capabilities for multitasking functionality.
The QT-Ez 8MY uses a larger A2-6 spindle nose with 5,000 rpm, 15 kW (20 hp) and 123 ft. lbs. (167 Nm) of torque as well as a 2″ (50.8 mm) bar capacity. Its standard 6,000 rpm milling spindle provides 10 hp (7.5 kW) and 25.8 ft. lbs. (38.6 Nm) of torque. For further increases in productivity and unattended operations, the machine seamlessly integrates with bar feeders and robots.
On the QT-Ez 8MY, Mazak offers an optional 6″ chuck for greater maximum rpm capability. Available machine turrets include 2-axis drum style with a bolt-on or a BMT55 turret for rotary tool applications. The no-tailstock option supports chucker-style operations while the standard manual-body tailstock includes a hydraulic quill and #5 live center that provides 1124 ft-lbs. (5,000 Nm) of thrust. The optional servo-driven tailstock with #5 live center provides up to 1,574 ft-lbs. (7000 Nm) of thrust.
To further aid shops in maximizing productivity, QT-Ez Series machines are designed for easy installation of a range of automation solutions, from simple bar feeders and parts catchers to full collaborative robot installations such as Mazak Automation Systems’ CC-10 and CC-16 Cobot System models.
The CC-10 system – shown with the QT-Ez 8MY at IMTS – uses a FANUC CRX-10iA/L with 10 kg payload capacity, while the CC-16 is built around a Universal Robots UR16e platform with a 35.27 lb. (16 kg) payload capacity. Both cobot models come with three available grip systems and use an area scanner with limited fixed fencing for fully collaborative human-robot workflows.
Like all QT-Ez Series machines, the QT-Ez 8MY features a powerful, dependable integral motor headstock, Hybrid MX roller guideways and pre-tensioned ball screws supported at both ends for reliable, thermally stable and precise machine axis movement. A new bed casting design provides outstanding rigidity, as well as streamlined chip flow to help eliminate chip accumulation. For ease of integration, the machine incorporates a 200-to-230 Volt power supply system.
For fast and easy machine programming on all QT-Ez machines, Mazak’s MAZATROL SmoothEz CNC provides dual 800 MHz processors, 512 MB of RAM and a vibrant 15″ capacitive touch screen that includes a full keyboard and displays up to 60 lines of code.
Concentrated Expertise Packed into an Ergonomic Design
Starrag USA Inc’s. (Hebron, KY) Bumotec 191neo mill/turn center is as versatile as its predecessor. The new model is easier to operate, mainly thanks to the new human-machine interface. The model’s large glass surfaces and optimally positioned access doors mean operators have a great view of the different areas of the machine and improved access. The light strip allows users to immediately identify the operating status of the machine at a glance, and operators can easily switch between the screens using their fingers.
Track the progress of ongoing machining processes, configure the programming and monitor production — all in real time. This mill/turn center is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing operators to quickly become familiar with the machine, which is a significant advantage due to the lack of highly skilled workers on the job market.
Bumotec 191neo is not just a machining solution — it offers 12 different machines in a single platform. This diverse range is the only way to meet the specific requirements of typical users in the fields of medical technology and micromechanics, for example, in an economical and technologically optimal way. Even without user intervention, the Bumotec 191neo operates in a stable, reliable and productive manner. The tool change time is reduced by nearly 15%, meaning tough demands relating to the cycle time are met and unproductive downtimes are reduced. Other advantages of this model include the increased torque of the Starrag milling spindle and the pick-up unit, which operates 12% faster than before. The Bumotec tool magazine offers more than 90 tool slots as standard and has tool breakage sensor which works in parallel, for when problems arise.
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