Simultaneous turning on five-axis machine

GF Machining Solutions has introduced the Mikron Mill P 800 U ST machining centre, which integrates milling and turning in a single machine. This compact model provides 800 mm of X-axis travel, an 800 rpm C-axis rotation speed and a maximum table load of 800 kg.

The Mill P 800 U ST offers a gantry-type concept in direct response to the needs of component manufacturers serving the automotive, aerospace, energy and general machining industries. A small footprint makes it easy to integrate the machine into facilities where space is at a premium.

Being able to fully produce prismatic and turned components on a single machine also eliminates transfer-related part run out and accuracy errors, and helps alleviate production bottlenecks. The five-axis simultaneous Mill P 800 U ST is also capable of four-axis simultaneous turning, a capability often required by customers that need to have the cutting tool positioned at a 90° angle to the workpiece surface to avoid tool shape errors.

Mill P 800 U ST machines incorporate a 20,000 rpm HSK A63 spindle that GFMS says is the industry’s fastest for a milling and turning machine of this size. Water-cooled torque motors for the A and C axes ensure accuracy and stability, while speed has received a boost through the axes’ 0.3-second clamp time in any position.

With the new machine’s gantry concept, the workpiece on the 500 x 730 mm table is fully accessible without rotating the table. This design eliminates errors related to table rotation and avoids the need for hand polishing. The tool changer for the machine is also located so as to avoid moving the table during tool changes.

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JWA invests in British-built machine

A Leicester-based precision engineering company has reaffirmed its commitment to high-quality, high-accuracy production by becoming one of the first to invest in Yamazaki Mazak’s new British-built CV5-500 simultaneous five-axis machining centre.

JWA Tooling (JWA) is a specialist provider of high-precision manufacturing solutions to some of the world’s largest blue-chip companies, with capabilities including precision CNC milling, turning and wire EDM. The company had previously invested in a Mazak VCN-530C vertical machining centre to meet customer demand for larger batch sizes. Since its installation in November 2019, the machine’s reliability and speed has proved vital to JWA’s day-to-day operations, freeing up its skilled workforce to take on more complex tasks.

To build on the success of its previous machine, JWA has invested in another VCN-530C, and purchased one of Mazak’s first five-axis CV5-500 machining centres. Conceived, designed and built in the UK, the CV5-500 offers high-rigidity bridge construction with a fully supported trunnion table that travels in the Y-axis direction under the bridge.

The CV5-500’s 12,000 rpm spindle is capable of a peak performance of 18.5 kW and 119.4 Nm, making it suitable for the wide range of materials with which JWA works. Its rapid traverse rate of 36 m/min in the X, Y and Z axes also allows for highly agile performance, and the machine can process workpieces up to 500 mm diameter by 320 mm high, and up to 200 kg in weight.
Peter Wood, operations director at JWA, says: “Frankly, it’s just a great machine – it’s well-built, and the best five-axis machining centre I’ve seen at that price point by far. We’ve certainly got high hopes for it going forward.”

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Large workpiece machining solution

High-precision, five-axis machining of components up to 2300 mm long may be carried out productively on the new DMF 200|8 travelling-column machining centre from DMG Mori. Offering travels of 2000 x 800 x 850 mm, the DMF 200|8 offers users in the aerospace and mould-making industries, for example, scope to machine long components up to the maximum table load of 2000 kg. Rapid traverse in the linear axes is 50 m/min as standard, but with an optional linear drive in the X axis, the machine reaches 80 m/min. Holistic cooling throughout the machine delivers long-term accuracy and tight tolerances.

The B-axis milling head with 6000 Nm maximum clamping torque offers a swivel range of ±120° for flexible five-axis machining. A 15,000 rpm speedMASTER spindle is standard, while an extensive choice of other modular spindles is available, including a 200 Nm high-torque variant and a 20,000 rpm high-speed version. All come with a 36-month warranty, regardless of running hours.

DMG Mori’s new machine is equipped with a Siemens control and the latest version of the company’s proprietary APP-based user interface, CELOS. So users are well equipped for digitalised production and automation, for example through the attachment of the manufacturer’s PH Cell automatic pallet changer.

The DMF 200|8 features a novel tool change mechanism, which takes place behind the table for fast, safe, collision-free cutter exchange, so the entire clamping surface is available for use. Compared with the predecessor model, the working volume is over 50% larger, creating new possibilities for machining complex components. The ability to employ 400 mm long tools is said to be a unique selling point in this machine class.

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High-speed automated machining

Speedio 30-taper, three- to five-axis machining centres built by Brother are able to produce components in such short cycle times that it is difficult to load raw material and unload finished parts by hand quickly enough. So to maximise production efficiency, the Japanese machine manufacturer introduced a robotic handling system, Feedio, at the EMO machine tool show in 2017.

Now, an automated cell comprising both products is available for demonstration in the showroom of UK sales and service agent, Whitehouse Machine Tools. The cell can show manufacturers the suitability of the configuration for unattended and overnight running in high-volume production environments.

A Speedio M300X3 trunnion-type, five-axis mill-turn centre has been chosen to demonstrate the benefits of the Feedio automatic load/unload system. The machine is able to perform prismatic and rotational metal cutting in one hit within a 300 x 440 x 305 mm working volume.

Notable features include a BIG-Plus face-and-taper contact spindle that accelerates from zero to 16,000 rpm in 0.2 second, a -30 to +120° tilting table axis, high-output turning capability that generates a maximum torque of 102 Nm and rotational speeds up to 1500 rpm from zero in less than 0.3 second, and a Brother control with increased memory for holding multiple programs.

To extract the most from this specification, the machine is linked to a Feedio component storage and robotic handling system developed jointly by Brother and ABB. This plug-and-play automation solution is able to serve either one machine, or alternatively two to enable op 10 and op 20 machining of prismatic parts on six sides. The automation unit is designed specifically for Speedio machines, rather than being a generic solution provided by a third party.

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HB Bearings opts for Leadwell

In August 2021, a pair of BT40 vertical machining centres built in Taiwan by Leadwell was supplied by UK and Ireland agent WH-Lead to the Holmfirth factory of HB Bearings, which less than a year previously had increased its turnover by one third through the acquisition of Gamet Bearings.

Low-volume manufacture of both bearing ranges, which include precision radial, taper roller, deep groove ball, cylindrical roller and angular contact, as well as many other types, is now under one roof at the Holmfirth factory, where a purpose-built extension houses some of the production equipment from Gamet Bearings.

The new Leadwell machines, a four-axis V-30iF model with rotary table and a five-axis V-40iT trunnion-type machining centre, strengthen the company’s production capacity. A wide range of materials are involved, including stainless steel, tool steel, plastics, bronze, aluminium and exotic alloys. The bearings are often specials, new designs or obsolete types that may need to be reverse-engineered to keep old manufacturing plant, steel mills, mining equipment, oil rigs or classic cars in operation.

Graham Hirst, managing director of HB Bearings/Gamet Bearings, says: “We have prioritised the purchase of these Taiwanese machines ever since we bought our first one, a machining centre, more than 25 years ago. We sold it when the two new machines arrived, with a view to pre-empting its eventual failure. However, right to the end it still milled dowel holes in 62 HRc steel to within 10 µm.

“We now have five machining centres from Leadwell, including two recent models installed in August 2017, which are just as well-built, accurate and reliable.”

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