Heller releases HF 3500 Gen2

German-owned Heller Machine Tools, whose factory in Redditch produces selected four-axis and five-axis horizontal machining centres (HMCs) for world markets, has released its second-generation HF 3500 five-axis horizontal machining centre. The HF 3500 Gen2, with its 710 x 750 x 710 mm working volume, as well as the larger HF 5500, are available with a fixed table or an automatic pallet changer. Both are built in Redditch and incorporate a multitude of improvements over the previous-generation model. The machines are available with either an HSK-A63 or HSK-A100 tool interface in three versions – POWER, SPEED and the new PRO option – the latter intended for long periods of simultaneous five-axis machining.

Designed to raise cutting performance, innovations in the second generation include: an approximate halving of the minimum distance between the spindle nose and the centreline of the 225° swivelling trunnion; the availability of twin motors and ballscrew drives for moving the trunnion/rotary table assembly in the Z axis, with position feedback via linear scales; and the offer of six new spindles produced in an automated facility at Heller’s headquarters in Nürtingen.

Other notable improvements include increased stiffness of key components, shorter chips-to-chip times and faster tool change from a chain-type magazine with up to 240 pockets or a rack-type magazine with up to 405 positions. The high-end PRO package additionally offers 10 m/s2 acceleration in X, Y and Z.

The guideways employ linear roller bearings, enabling high dynamics and rapids up to 90 m/min, while the rotary axes have direct drives and YRT bearings. There is also increased feed force in the Z axis, dynamic motors driving the rotary axes and the option of adding a turning function using a high-speed rotary torque table.

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