Hardinge Inc. (www.hardinge.com) has re-engineered its Elite Series II turning centers to enhance the machines' flexibility and work envelope.
Hardinge says the machines are designed for small parts machining— 1.65 in. to 2 in. bar—in a single set-up. They feature a sub-spindle, live tooling, C-axis contouring, a robust tailstock, ridged tapping and an array of optional features in a small footprint. And, they have Hardinge's patented jaw chuck/collet-ready spindle as standard equipment.
Jeff Ervay, Hardinge turning product manager, says one of the most important changes made to both models in the Elite II Series is the slightly offset turret orientation that provides 2 in. of increased length on the backside of the turret.
"What this has allowed us to do is provide more clearance for the machine's turret so that when you're working on the sub-spindle you don't have to worry about interference," Ervay said, such as when a machinist works with 1.65 in. or 2 in. bar and tries to get in with small cross drills or has small holes to drill in the end of the part.
He added that Hardinge's patented colleted spindle provides additional clearance. The colleted spindle in the main spindle and sub-spindle allows for additional Z-axis stroke, Ervay said. Hardinge also has a step-chuck— which actually is not a chuck, but a closure unit that can be mounted on either spindle nose to do chucking-style work—that Ervay says provides full 360° circumference gripping power.
Other changes to the machine include: Redesigns of the spindle way cover and the parts catcher to increase chip flow and chip management.
A new design on the turning centers' doors that has them mounted internally so that coolant does not drip outside the machine and to ensure the door does not come off the track if a part should break loose during turning.
- A redesign of the tailstock that allows grease to replace oil as the lubricant so that the risk of contaminating the coolant is reduced and maintenance costs are decreased.
The machines have a Manual Guide i programming function in their controls as a standard feature. Both Elite machines are equipped with Fanuc digital controls, encoders and drives.
Ervay said the Manual Guide i programming function provides both user interface and graphical programming features that allow an operator to build a solid model, then monitor the turning of the model part on the control.