Entry-level five-axis vertical-spindle machine

Posted on 08 Jan 2019 and read 652 times
Entry-level five-axis vertical-spindle machineManufacturers looking to progress from three- or four-axis CNC prismatic metal cutting and invest in a five-axis facility now have the option of a new vertical-spindle machining centre from Taiwan-based WELE.

This company’s machine tools have been offered in the UK and Ireland since mid-2018, under a sole agency agreement with Kenilworth-based Whitehouse Machine Tools Ltd (www.wmtcnc.com).

Managing director Tim Whitehouse says that neither performance nor machine life have been compromised in the manufacture of the UQ400, despite the machine’s competitive price, as WELE’s high level of build quality reflects the fact that the company is part-owned by the Japanese machine tool producer Toyoda.

The machine, which has an installed weight of 6.5 tonnes and a compact footprint of 2.95 x 2.35m, can interpolate four of its five axes simultaneously, allowing it to undertake the five-face machining of workpieces weighing up to 200kg (including fixture). Control is via a Fanuc 0iMF CNC system.

The working envelope is 400 x 650 x 485mm (the linear axes feature ballscrew drives), while the two rotary axes (hydraulically clamped) are provided by a 360deg C-axis table and a +30/-120deg A-axis swivelling trunnion.

The BT40 direct-drive spindle offers 11kW of continuous power (15kW for 30min) and speeds up to 12,000rev/min; 15,000 or 20,000rev/min (HSK-A63) spindles are options.

The maximum cutting feed rate is 10m/min, while rapids are 36m/min in X, 24m/min in Y and 10m/min in Z.

Standard equipment includes a 24-station tool magazine and a chip wash-down for the table, along with twin augers in the Y axis and one in the X axis to evacuate the swarf.

A bed wash-down and different styles of chip conveyor are also available, as are an interface on the table for a hydraulic fixture, 32- or 40-pocket chain-type tool magazines, through-spindle coolant, roller bearing guideways, linear-encoder position feedback, and automatic tool length and workpiece measuring using either Blum or Renishaw sensors.

Furthermore, a Mitsubishi M830 control can be specified instead of Fanuc.

Whitehouse Machine Tools has a WELE UQ400 in stock for inspection and cutting trials at its showroom/technical centre.

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