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Smaller F-Series horizontal machining centre from Heller

Posted on 28 May 2024. Edited: John Hunter. Read 419 times.
Smaller F-Series horizontal machining centre from HellerThe new Heller F 5000 travelling-column five-axis machining centre

Following the launch by Heller of the F 6000 travelling-column, five-axis, horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC) at EMO Hannover last September, the German manufacturer has introduced another new model, the F 5000, with a smaller working volume of 800 x 850 x 1,100mm. As with the larger machine, which has X, Y and Z-axis travels of 1,000 x 1,000 x 1,400mm, it is offered with many different types of in-house developed, integrated motor spindles.

A speed cutting unit in combination with the HSK-A 100 tool shank (HSK-A 63 optional) reaches speeds of 15,000rev/min. As an alternative, a dynamic cutting unit is designed for universal use at up to 400 Nm and 12,000 rpm. For heavy-duty machining, a power cutting unit with a gear spindle and 1,146Nm is available.

The redesigned spindle head is of compact design and high rigidity thanks to the robust, 45-degree, backlash-free kinematics and short distance between the bearing and tool shank. Swivel range is 350 degrees for highly flexible five-sided machining. Either a chain-type magazine for up to 150 cutters or a rack-type magazine with 425 positions for HSK-A 100 tools (489 for HSK-A 63) may be specified by the customer.

With a cast iron structure, modular design and narrow width at 3.7 metres, the high-performance machining centre can be configured to suit a variety of small to medium batch size production applications, ranging from general mechanical engineering through powertrain component machining to aerospace. The production platform is just as efficient for the manufacture of single parts as it is for series runs. Highlights include linear encoders in the orthogonal axes, steep covers for efficient chip evacuation via a wide central chip conveyor to the rear of the machine, and compatibility with Heller H and FP series HMCs.

As with the F 6000, the F 5000’s capabilities can be expanded to include technologies such as turning at up to 700rev/min, interpolation turning, gear cutting, grinding, power skiving and even friction stir welding. Another key element of the machine is the revised linear axis drive system, with twin ballscrews in the Z-axis and a reinforced X-axis, offering significantly increased dynamics. Comprehensive cooling circuits throughout ensure thermal stability.

There is a focus on ease of use, as well as good accessibility to all work areas. Operation is simplified by the Siemens SINUMERIK ONE control, which is fitted as standard, and the convenient control unit in panel design with 24-inch touch screen. Siemens 840D sl programs may be transferred directly, so tools, machine pallets and fixtures from Heller's other four and five-axis platforms are compatible. At the same time, better access to the work area and the optional new SETUP-Assist software make it easier to prepare the next machining process.

A fork-type, lift-swivel pallet changer is included as standard for first-level automation. It enables easy integration later on of a retrofitted rotary or linear pallet storage and retrieval system to feed one or several F 5000s and/or F 6000s, without having to modify the machines.