5-axis machines include automation options

Posted on 18 Mar 2017 and read 654 times
5-axis machines include automation optionsThe U-630 and U-1530 ranges of three-, four- and five-axis vertical machining centres from German manufacturer Spinner have been uprated in response to suggestions from end users.

The new machines are available in the UK from Kenilworth-based Whitehouse Machine Tools Ltd (www.wmtcnc.com).

Called the U-Advanced series, they offer larger magazines (up to 122 pockets) for SK40/BT40 or HSK63 taper tools, higher speed spindles with a maximum of 12,000, 15,000 or 20,000rev/min, longer axis travels, higher coolant pressure (to 70 bar), improved chip flow and a swarf conveyor as standard.

In addition, low-cost automation is offered in the form of a five- or nine-pallet pool with automatic exchange. Alternative automation arrangements can accommodate up to 50 pallets.

The CNC options are Siemens 840D sl 4.x and Heidenhain TNC620/TNC640, both with 15in screens. Digital drives from the same two manufacturers are also used; linear scales provide accurate feedback of axis position.

Despite larger work envelopes — 630 x 530 x 465mm for the U-630 and 1,530 x 530 x 465mm for the U-1530 — the footprints have been reduced to allow the machines to be installed in small workshops — and they are not so tall as previous models.

U3 machine variants are three-axis vertical machining centres with a fixed table. Built into the base of the U4 models is a rotary table that pivots around a horizontal axis to allow workpieces to be clamped on both faces.

The U5 version for five-axis machining has an integrated rotary/tilt table that can (optionally) be equipped with a counter-balancing system to eliminate the influence of workpiece weight. Direct-drive rotary tables are also available.

Whitehouse Machine Tools says that more than 1,000 of the original U-series machines have been installed world-wide, and that U-Advanced series sales in Germany already exceed 50 units.

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