Makino machining center takes on titanium

  • 11-Nov-2010 12:06 EST
NCMT-Makino 1158 - mcm size.jpg

Makino says its new D500 five-axis VMC is ideal for machining tough materials such as titanium.

Designed for complex prismatic metal-cutting applications where component quality is paramount, a new five-axis vertical machining center (VMC) has been introduced by the Japanese manufacturer Makino.

The company says what sets the D500 apart from other five-axis models is the combination of dynamic speed and good accuracy, while its stiffness and rigidity make it ideal for machining tough materials such as titanium.

Potential customers in the aerospace supply industry are manufacturers of jet engine components such as blisks, impellers, and blades. Premium job shops to be targeted include those manufacturing geometrically complex parts and prototypes for a variety of industries. In the die and mould industry, applications will focus on deep cores/cavities and providing fast acceleration and precision in simultaneous five-axis profiling.

Makino says it conducted a study of 216 different structural configurations for five-axis machining centers to identify what it believes to be the ideal design. Linear axis travels are 550, 1000, and 500 mm in X, Y, and Z axes, respectively, with rapids up to 50 m/min and cutting feed rates up to 40 m/min. The machine is equipped with a 14,000-rpm, 201-N·m HSK-A63 spindle, although 20,000-rpm HSK-A63 and 30,000-rpm HSK-F63 core-cooled spindles are available. Roller guides are fitted in all linear axes. X-axis travel is effected by the table/trunnion arrangement, but both Y and Z axes motions are above the work zone.

Direct-drive rotary axes provide 360° table rotation (C) and +30 to -120° in the A-axis, powered by two motors at either end of the trunnion. The ultrahigh-torque motors provide high acceleration, so unlike on many machines the A-C axes are able to keep up with the linear X-Y-Z axes, even with a maximum table load of 350 kg. More importantly, twist and torsion in the trunnion is eliminated, resulting in superior dynamic accuracy.

The D500 includes Makino’s thermal stabilization with core-cooled ballscrews and heat insulation systems, allowing sustained dynamic accuracy in unstable shop environments. Twin internal chip conveyors evacuate chips from the work zone efficiently, removing a further unwanted source of heat.

The D500 can be delivered in a stand-alone configuration or with an automatic pallet changer (APC). A machine can easily be upgraded to an APC configuration at installation or later. Full scale automation can be provided by Makino's MMC2 pallet-storage system.

Different models of machining centers can be placed in the same automation configuration. For example, the D500 and the Makino a51 horizontal machining center have identical pallets, so it is easy to configure machining systems featuring the two models. Efficient production operations can be achieved by selecting the most suitable machine for specific jobs.

The D500 offers easy operator access to the work table for machine setup, and the ceiling opens to allow crane access. The machine is fitted with the Makino Professional 5 Windows-based control system, which provides reliable performance on the NC side while at the same time having a friendly graphical user interface.

This latest-generation control offers color touch-screen, menu-driven functionality. Icons are hot-linked, giving quick access to critical information that may be required by the operator. In addition, the new control provides all of the functions typical of a PC (cut, paste, copy, find, replace, etc.) that are rarely available on a machine tool CNC. Advanced data management and Makino’s proprietary Super Geometric Intelligence (SGI.4) servo control deliver short cycle times, according to the company.

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