Milling machines metaltech report

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GF AgieCharmilles
1G acceleration
Designed for the production of tools, moulds and high quality parts, the GF AgieCharmilles Mikron HPM 800U HD five axis high performance machining centre features High Dynamics (HD) technology that delivers 1G machine acceleration rates for fast precision part processing and significantly reduces non-cut time.


A Step-Tec 20,000 rpm HSK-A63 in-line spindle generates 84 Nm (63.7 ft-lb) of torque at 4,450 rpm for high metal removal rates, while also providing the fast spindle speeds necessary for producing superior part surface finishes. 

The spindle is also fitted with oil-lubricated ceramic hybrid bearings and is vector-controlled, enabling thread cutting without the use of a compensating chuck. A fast 30-tool automatic tool changer keeps the spindle supplied with tools and further reduces non-cut times. GF AgieCharmilles offers tool changer capacities up 120 positions.

As a gantry portal-type design machine, it incorporates direct drives in the rotating and swiveling axes of its table, which securely clamps for precise workpiece positioning. The machine’s design also provides a large work envelope and unrestricted workpiece access, even with the fully automated pallet version of the machine that can be equipped with a 2,7,9, or 12-pallet changer.

For maximum manoeuvrability around various part sizes and shapes, the machine provides 800 mm (31.5 in.) of travel in the X and Y axes, as well as 550 mm (21.6 in.) of clearance between its table surface and spindle nose in the Z axis. 

The machine’s table surface measures 800 mm x 599 mm (31.5 in. x 23.6 in.) and accommodates five axis workpieces weighing as much as 500 kg (1,250 lb).

B axis swivel range between -5° and +110°
DMG’s universal milling machine DMU 50 Ecoline is capable of five-side machining and features a NC swivel-mounted rotary table with digital drives, a direct measuring system and an optional air sealing design. 

With a swivel range of the B axis between -5° and +110° and the integrated NC round table, this creates the high precision basis for the machining of complex workpieces.

A 8,000 rpm milling spindle with 83 Nm torque or (optional) a fast spindle with 10,000 min-1 ensures efficient machining in all workpiece positions. In the standard version, the spindle is fed from a pick-up tool magazine with 16 places; flexibility and productivity can be optimized with the optional 30-pocket tool magazine. 

For the first time, Progressline is integrated into the machine housing. The display allows the operator to see the remaining running time of the workpiece and the quantities of the machining job, while a green illuminated Lightline in the shape of a corporate identity bracket emphasizes the brand character of the new generation. Larger safety panes ensure a clear view of the operations in the work area.

New to the entry-level machine is the incorporation of the Siemens 840D solutionline. The user interface includes full functionality of the ShopMill programming system. Users can choose to adapt high-tech controls of Heidenhain including Slimline Panel (TNC 620) or the Mapps IV from Mori Seiki.

Tight tolerances for hard-to-cut materials
The NHM5000 is a new horizontal machining centre designed to achieve tight tolerances in hard-to-cut materials, while machining parts as large as 33.5 in. x 43.3 in. (850.9 mm x 1,100 mm).

The one-piece casting provides a rigid base for the table and column. The bed consists of fine-grain Meehanite to dampen vibration and dissipate heat. Ribs are strategically located to improve rigidity. The integral box ways are induction hardened, precision ground, and coated with a low-friction fluoroplastic resin for longer life, maximum rigidity, and greater precision. 

Powering the spindle is a 25 Hp, two-geared motor that generates speeds up to 6,000 rpm, and produces 704 ft-lbs of low-end torque. A refrigerated spindle cooling system maintains a constant spindle temperature for high accuracy, regardless of ambient temperature or cutting conditions. Coolant circulates through jackets in the spindle head as well as through the gearbox.

Feeding the spindle is a servo-driven ATC that accommodates 60 tools (up to 376 optional) 50-taper, with maximum diameters of 12.6 in. (320 mm) and lengths of 20.9 in. (531 mm). The Big Plus dual contact system allows contact between the machine spindle face and the toolholder flange face, and at the same time, between the machine spindle taper and the tool holder taper shank. Tool-to-tool time is a quick 2.0 seconds.

The machine has a rotary-type, high speed servo motor with reducing gear, for faster, 9.6 second pallet changes. The table measures 19.7 in. x 19.7 in. (500 mm x 500 mm), supports a load of 1,764 lb (800 kg), and indexes to 4° x 90°.

1.9 second tool change time
The Feeler line of vertical machining centres, available in North America from Methods Machines Tools Inc., includes the HV-Series, VB-Series and VMP-Series.  

The HV-Series VMCs, including HV-800 and HV-1000 models, offer high performance machining featuring 1G X axis acceleration and 1.9 second tool change time in 800 mm or 1,000 mm X axis travels. Roller guideways are on the X and Y axes. A 15,000 rpm, 30 hp direct drive, 40 taper spindle, Fanuc 18i-MB Control with fourth axis prep. and 30-tool automatic tool changer are standard.   

The VB-Series VMCs are heavy duty boxway machines featuring a high torque two stage gearbox and spindles from 15 hp to 30 hp, available in 40 or 50 taper. Models include VB-900, VB-1100, VB-1300, VB-1400, VB-1650, VB-1900 and VB-2200.  X axis travels range from 900 mm – 2,200 mm (35 in. – 87 in.), Y axis travels range from 610 mm – 1,000 mm (24 in. – 39 in.) and Z axis travels are from 600 mm – 800 mm (24 in. – 31.5 in.). A 30-tool automatic tool changer and Fanuc 0i-MD control are standard.

The VMP-Series includes the VMP-580, VMP-800 and VMP-1100 models with 10,000 rpm spindles ranging from 15 hp – 25 hp. The VMP-580 machine is available in an APC pallet changer version. Machines feature linear guideways on X and Y axes and boxways on the Z axis.  X axis travels range from 580 mm – 1,100 mm (23 in. – 43 in.), Y axis travels range from 420 mm – 610 mm (16.5 in. – 24 in.) and Z axis travels are from 510 mm – 600 mm (20 in. – 23.6 in.). The VMP-580 features a 24-tool automatic tool changer and the VMP-800 and VMP-1100 use a 30-tool automatic tool changer. A Fanuc 0i-MD control is standard on the VMP-Series machines.

The rigid machines range in weight from 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) – 22,000 kg (48,400 lb) and include a two year warranty. 

FEELER machines are manufactured by Fair Friend Group (FFG).

High speed machining
The First V700 high speed machining centre, available in Canada from Heinman Machinery, is a robust machine designed with three axis high rigidity precision roller guideways and a direct drive rigid 10,000 rpm spindle for low noise/low vibration machining.

It features a rapid traverse speed of X, Y and Z of 48 m/min. A wide door opening makes it easy for operators to access workpieces.

The machine is constructed using Meehanite cast iron. A box type headstock construction contributes to the machine’s high cutting capability. The ball screws are directly driven with servo motors, and all axes are designed with C3 grade ball screws. 

The machine is equipped with a 24 tool magazine and automatic tool change with a tool-to-tool time of 2.0 seconds and a chip-to-chip time of 4.8 seconds.

For chip removal, a standard spiral type chip conveyor in the middle of the machine removes chips easily. As well, two independent pumps ensure there is strong chip flushing during machining and efficient cooling on workpieces too.

Conversational programming at the control
The benefits of a five axis vertical machining centre go beyond simultaneous five axis work that requires a CAM system. More shops are realizing greater profit margins on existing parts by converting to a five-sided machining process using a five axis machine instead of using a conventional three axis VMC. 

Hruco’s VMX30U five axis machining centre features X/Y/Z travels of 762 mm x 508 mm x 520 mm (30 in. x 20 in. x 20.5 in.) and a 24-tool ATC. As with all Hurco machine tools, the true advantage of the VMX30U resides within the control technology. Not only does the integrated Hurco control have both NC and conversational, with full NC support, you can program five sided parts at the control with conversational programming—no CAM system needed. Features, such as Universal Rotary, Transform Plane, Tool Path Linearization, Tool Centre Point Management, and an intuitive graphical user interface are just a few of the control features that increase productivity and usability. 

The VM10U, with X/Y/Z travels of 533 mm x 406 mm x 483 mm (21 in. x 16 in. x 19 in.), is a smaller version of the VMX30U, but just as powerful, claims Hurco. Its small footprint and large work cube make it especially popular when space is at a premium.

14% larger work envelope
Makino’s a51nx and a61nx horizontal machining centres extend the capabilities of the highly successful a-series with technologies for next-generation productivity, accuracy and reliability. It’s designed with larger work envelopes, improved casting designs and spindle and axis guide enhancements, the nx machines offer rigidity, speed and precision far beyond that of typical 40-taper machines. 

The machines boast expanded axis travels to accommodate larger parts or more parts per fixture. The a51nx features a 560 mm (22.0 in.) X axis and extended Y and Z axes of 640 mm (25.2 in.) for a total axis volume of 8.1 cubic feet. Its additional Y stroke yields a 14 per cent larger working envelope.

The standard a61nx features a 730 mm (28.7 in.) X axis, 650 mm (25.6 in.) Y axis and extended Z axis of 800 mm (31.5 in.). An optional tall column on the a61nx expands the Y axis to 730 mm (28.7 in.), making it beneficial for large die-cast or near-net-shape applications. Thanks to the expanded Z axis stroke, maximum tool length on the a51nx and a61nx models is increased to 430 mm (16.9 in.) and 510 mm (20.1 in.), respectively.

The machines offer new, more powerful standard and optional spindles. The standard spindle is a 14,000 rpm design with 240 Nm of duty-rated torque and 22 kW of continuous output, a 19 per cent increase over the previous model. An optional 300-Nm spindle designed for high metal-removal rates in ferrous applications is also available. Along with the two new spindles, the current 20,000 rpm core-cooled spindle remains available as an option on both machines.

The nx machines are designed with a 1G axis acceleration supplemented by high power servo motors and enhanced casting rigidity for faster acceleration.  

Additionally, nx models have a standard Direct Drive (DD) motor B axis table for faster indexing time over the previous worm-gear-driven NC rotary table (NCRT). 

50-taper spindle
Mazak’s Vertical Centre Nexus 700D-II  is equipped with the unique combination of a 50-taper spindle together with a 10,000 rpm maximum speed capability. The 40 hp (30 kW) spindle generates a maximum torque of 223 ft-lb (302 Nm). Additionally, the machine’s spindle and motor housing, as well as its ballscrew cores, are temperature controlled to ensure stable machining accuracy over extended periods of high speed operation.

A large table measures 1,740 mm x 700 mm (68.5 in. x 27.6 in.) with a maximum part weight capacity of 2,000 kg. (4,409 lb). The table, in conjunction with X, Y and Z axis strokes of 1,530 mm (60.2 in.), 700 mm (27.6 in.) and 650 mm (25.6 in.), expands the machining envelope for larger workpieces. For reducing non-cut times, the machine rapid traverses at a rate of 30 m/min (1,181 ipm), features a quick tool-to-tool change time of just 2.0 seconds with a 24-tool standard magazine (40-tool magazine optional).

For vibration control, the machine is equipped with the Active Vibration Control, which reduces vibration for high accuracy motions in all axes while reducing machining time. 

Table access is a short 330.2 mm (13 in.) reach from the front cover and the front door is 1,798.3 mm (70.8 in.) wide for easy set up and loading. The overhead cover retracts for convenient loading of heavier parts by use of a crane. All lubrication inlets, air valves and other maintenance items are located on a single panel for operator convenience.

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