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Compact horizontal workhorse for sub-contractors

Posted on 02 Feb 2024 and read 583 times
Compact horizontal workhorse for sub-contractorsThe new Starrag Heckert H95

Launched at EMO 2023 in September, the Starrag Heckert H95 Compact is a new horizontal machining centre that has been developed through comprehensive customer feedback to provide a universal machining platform for both sub-contractors and OEMs alike. Considered a ‘space-saving miracle’, the H95 Compact remains true to the stringent quality standards, and guiding values of accuracy and rigidity that Starrag Heckert has embodied for decades.

Starrag’s Lee Scott said: “This new machine is the largest in the ‘H’ range of machines that have recently been introduced. It signifies horizontal multi-tasking machine and we also have an ’X’ series that is a five-axis variant, as well as a ‘T’, which is a high-speed turning variant.

“Like everything we deliver, this machine is all about ‘lowest cost per component’ manufacturing. So, the H95 Compact is ideal for machining difficult features without compromise, high-performance heavy machining and accurate repeatable cutting.”

Mr Scott added: “On this machine, we can take 2.5 tonnes on the table and it has 1.75m dia swing x 1.6m height, so it is either suitable to put a single large component on the table or it can accommodate a tombstone with multiple components that require different features and operations — this enables the machine to produce multiple components. The machine can be applied to anything, but the main sectors are the transport and industrial markets as well as the aerospace and energy industries. The machine has capabilities on the spindle for machining up to 30,000rev/min for soft materials like aluminium, and it also has some very heavy-duty stiff spindles for cutting more challenging materials.”

Discussing the spindle options, Mr Scott said: “The quill is sometimes referred to as a traversing spindle, like an extendable spindle. Normally, if you want to reach inside a job you would need very long cutting tools that would compromise your rigidity and also add cost, as extra-long cutting tools can be extremely expensive. There is also the impact of chatter and vibration. By having a stiff quill that can reach deep inside the job, customers can still use very short and rigid cutting tools. This maintains the cutting performance and productivity when machining difficult-to-reach surfaces. It is uncommon to see a quill with this reach on a machine of this type, they are usually seen on larger boring type machines.”

Huge advantage

He continued: “This 500mm NC quill travel is a huge advantage of this machine. We can also offer the DBF head that has a U-axis, so the spindle can move with a cross axis. So, if you have a deep bore with multiple diameters, with a single tip you can machine all of those features in a single operation. This is another huge advantage for the oil and gas industry and the type of components manufactured in the transport sector.

“The machine has certainly been built for the mainstream market. Some of our machines are niche for specific products, but the H95 Compact is a machine for everybody. The market came to us with feedback on how we can evolve our product portfolio, and in this machine, we have achieved that by making it more compact with a smaller footprint. We have also made it faster with 80m/min rapids, plus we have a choice of spindles and toolholders — and all at an affordable price. This makes the machine well-positioned for the sub-contract market as well as the OEMs.”

As expected from any Starrag Heckert machine, productivity and precision are at the very core of the machine. To this end, the machine generates X, Y and Z-axis acceleration of 5, 7 and 5.5m/sec2 that rapidly moves the HSK-A100 tool holder around the 1m x 1m pallet.

Discussing the potential for automation, Mr Scott said: “As a standard machine, it has two pallets — so it is automated anyway. Most of our opportunities nowadays include some type of automation whether that is a robot system or a pallet system. It can even be multiple machines on a single system and connectivity between the machines with full traceability — that is what everybody is looking for today.”

Mr Scott concluded: “Typically, these machines are built with the latest Fanuc or Siemens control with full Industry 4.0 connectivity. There is a huge amount of data that can be extracted from the machine and the process to give users a high level of traceability, which is particularly pertinent as everybody is now talking about Industry 4.0 — this machine is crammed with Industry 4.0 technology.”

From a tooling perspective, the new machine has a unique tower carousel configuration. The machine starts with a two-tower option with each tower having six racks with 20 tool positions, so the tooling configuration accommodates 180 tools, but this can be extended to upwards of 450 to 500 tools in just one machining centre.