Multi-spindle automatic lathe for high volume precision machining
- Published: April 11, 2017
INDEX has developed a new generation of its multi-spindle automatic lathe series, the MS40-8, this time with eight CNC spindles, two back-working spindles for rear-end machining, deploying up to 18 CNC slides (X and Z) and additional Y axes if required.
The machine is ideal for high-volume precision work in the automotive, fastener, connector, and aerospace industries.
The machine handles bar stock through a new bar loader, the INDEX MBL40-8, or chuck parts. The 110 mm chuck allows machining of pre-formed, forged or extruded parts of up to 80 mm. For simple parts, the machine can be used as a double four-spindle machine, reducing cycle times in half.
The heart of the multi-spindle automatic lathe is the compact spindle drum with eight fluid-cooled motorized spindles with synchronized technology (max 7,000 rpm, 24 kW, 57 Nm). They are characterized by infinitely variable speed control, high torque, low size and no maintenance requirements.
With the increased number of main spindles and tool carriers, the MS40C-8 is able to completely machine even very complex parts in one operation. Up to two pivoting synchronized spindles are each able to work on up to seven rear end machining tools: four of them can be live. A new feature is that two rear end machining tools can work simultaneously on the workpiece.
A significant highlight is its versatile economic usability, including for simple workpieces. For example, if components need to be cut with only a small number of tools, it can be used as a highly productive double four-spindle machine. If the user makes this choice, he has practically two four-spindle machines available of which each provides a synchronized spindle for rear end machining. Each cycle finally outputs two finish-machined components from the machine.
A large number of stationary and live tools are available for front and rear-end machining. The INDEX MSLine front-open machine concept–without longitudinal slide block – and the V-shaped arrangement of the tool carriers on the work spindles ensure that the optimal machining sequence alone determines the machining method. For example, external and internal machining operations using stationary or live tools can be carried out in every station.
Independent speeds and optimum cutting data
The advantages of the INDEX CNC multi-spindle machines, such as the use of hollow-shaft motor technology in all work spindles and the possibility to select the optimum cutting data via the CNC program, were carried over into the development of the MS40C-8. The optimum cutting speed can be programmed during machining for each spindle position and cutting tool edge. The results are optimum metal removal rates, maximum surface quality, short production times per piece, and extended tool life, claims INDEX.
This programmability at each spindle makes it possible to machine troublesome materials that up to now were hardly suitable for multi-spindle machines. Speed changes are possible also during drum indexing, resulting in no additional downtimes. The C axes available in all spindle positions also permit complete machining of intricate workpieces in minimum time. Optional Y-axes expand the range of machinable workpieces further.
Because users can set up live tools on the compound slides, multiple machining operations can be accomplished: off-center drilling, thread cutting, inclined drilling, cross drilling, contour milling, hobbing, bevel gear cutting, and multi-edge turning and more.
The MS40C-8 is equally suitable for the machining of bar stock and chuck parts. As bar loader, INDEX's own, newly developed bar loading magazine, INDEX MBL40-8, is available among others.
To machine chuck parts, the MS40C-8 is the ideal choice for automatic loading thanks to its generous work area without an annoying longitudinal slide block. The optional built-in robot with double gripper in the work area handles the loading and unloading of workpieces.