Extra CNC axes boost VMC productivity

Compound tables for converting a three-axis VMC into a four-axis or five-axis machine are becoming increasingly popular.

Such tables boost output by reducing the number of component set-ups, often enabling one-hit production, and minimising tolerance build-up for higher accuracy machining. Fixture costs are lower, handling is less and smaller batches can be produced economically, reducing cost per part.
Provided that a rigid, high quality table is purchased, the metal-cutting configuration will be just as robust and accurate as the rotary axes on true five-axis machines.
Kitagawa, which is represented in the UK by sole agent 1st Machine Tool Accessories, manufactures the world’s largest range of NC rotary tables, covering single- and multiple-spindle, tilting, and waterproof models. The tables can be configured with the motor on the right, left, back or top. Table diameters range from as small as 100 mm, including some with built-in 5C spindles, up to 500 mm.
Most models can be supplied with a number of options – including integral ports in the faceplate to enable hydraulic fixture operation – allowing workpieces to be secured automatically.

The most popular tables can be configured for use in conjunction with the Kitagawa Quinte controller. Using a simple M code, a table can be operated from any CNC system, providing the versatility to swap work between three-axis VMCs with different controls. Another option is to operate the Quinte controller through an RS232 connection, which allows the rotary table to be controlled via the machine CNC, eliminating the need for two separate programs.
Through 1st Machine Tool Accessories, Kitagawa offers various options to complement its rotary tables, such as manual, pneumatic or hydraulic tailstocks, tail spindles with built-in clamping system, trunnion assemblies, rotary joints, air/hydraulic intensifiers, and manual, pneumatic and hydraulic
chuck systems.
For further information www.1mta.com