A combination of a live spindle and integrated contouring head (ICH) expands the processing options available to operators of Fives Group’s Cincinnati MEGA and Giddings & Lewis HMC Series horizontal machining centers. At the same time, it reduces production times significantly by cutting down workpiece transfers and set-ups, and at the same time improves the accuracy of such operations.
The ICH's 220-mm (8.7-in) U-axis slide stroke gives machine shop operators an ability to produce small- or large-diameter features without changing the cutting head, nor any manual intervention, which makes it possible to machine complex features in one set-up, with notable reductions in both cycle time and labor.
The contouring head can produce features such as bottle bores, valve seats, seal faces, phonographic sealing surfaces, O-ring grooves, straight/tapered threads, chamfers, and external profiles. The developer calls it an “ideal” design feature for single set-up, rough and finish machining of any large parts that combine bored, milled, and turned features.
The ICH is positioned directly above the main spindle of a horizontal machine, but offset slightly in the Y and W/Z axes to avoid tool interference.
The 45-kW/60-hp (S6-40%) contouring spindle for HMCs handles parts up to 540 mm (21.3 in) ID and 340 mm (13.4 in) OD. It is available with standard Kennametal KM80™ or Sandvik Coromant® Capto C8 tool interfaces, and accommodates tools as long as 600 mm (23.6 in), weighing up to 18 kg (39.6 lb).
Tools loading is accelerated thanks to an automatic toolchanger, and again requires no operator involvement.
The W/Z-axis live boring spindles can use 50-taper tools. With an auto coupler, the Giddings & Lewis HMC Series handles programmable boring bars up to 750 mm (29.5 in) long and 50 kg (110 lb).
Live spindle travel is 800 mm (31.5 in) for all machining center models.
"The combination of the U-axis head and main W/Z-axis milling/boring spindle provides boring and turning capabilities in a single multi-tasking machine," explained Ken Wichman, Fives Cincinnati product manager. "The range, power, accuracy, and tool-handling capability of the ICH provide a much wider range of processing capabilities than possible with contouring attachments or other options.
“The integrated head is much more rigid than attachments bolted on or held by the spindle taper, resulting in superior part quality, surface finish and dimensional accuracy,” he continued.
A touch probe can be used in the boring spindle or, on the HMC Series, an optional auxiliary probe is available for in-process or post-process measurement of part features. Standard services, such as coolant supply, are plumbed through the contouring head to eliminate manual intervention and ensure maximum tool life.