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Flexible machine combines four cutting zones

Nov. 1, 2004
Hardinge Inc. Elmira, N.Y.

Hardinge Inc.
Elmira, N.Y.

Hardinge's Quest LMC42 lean manufacturing cell features four cutting zones that tackle a variety of machining operations — from one-offs to high-production work.

Hardinge says its new Quest LMC42 turn-mill machine provides machining flexibility unlike traditional machine tools. That's because the selfcontained manufacturing cell boasts four distinct cutting zones — employing a total of 56 tools — that tackle numerous machining operations. Users can run one-piece lots, high-volume production, and/or transfer bars or slugs for single-setup work.

According to the builder, the LMC42's first zone is for traditional lathe machining. A fixed headstock supports bar work up to 15/8-in. diameter with collets and up to 4-in. diameter with step chucks. The headstock pairs with a 16-station vertical-turret top plate equipped with live tooling on all stations. C axis is standard; Y axis is optional.

Zone 2's chucking spindle handles primary or secondary operations. As a primary spindle, it provides 3-axis (X, Y, Z) movement for a variety of operations (in this case, machining takes place in Zones 3 and 4). When used as a secondary spindle, it finishes parts transferred from the Zone 1 spindle.

Zone 3 gives the user plenty of options: It can be fitted with a turret, a high-density tool plate, or a blank mounting surface for custom applications. The top plate is the same configuration as in Zone 1 and uses turning, milling, and/or drilling tools (live tooling is on all stations).

Zone 4's automatic toolchanger loads KM-40 quick-change modular tooling from the 24-tool carousel into either a static tool station (for turning, drilling, and boring) or an optional live spindle (which adds extensive milling capabilities to the mix).

The cell features a GE Fanuc 31ibased CNC with a PC front-end touchscreen. Its Harcrete polymer composite/cast iron base provides the thermal stability and dynamic stiffness needed for fine surface finishes and exacting part tolerances.

Zone 1 (fixed head bar/chucking spindle) specifications:
Travels (X, Y, Z) - 7.45/3.00/8.75 in. Traverse rates (X, Y, Z) —1,260/787/1,260 ipm Spindle power — 10 hp/7.5 kW Spindle speed — 6,000 rpm

Zone 2 (3-axis spindle) specs:
Travels (X, Y, Z) - 8.00/40.25/17.00 in. Traverse rates (X, Y, Z) — 1,575/2,100/1,260 ipm Spindle power — 10 hp/7.5 kW Spindle speed — 6,000 rpm

Zone 3 (additional tooling) specs:
VDI 25 turret top plate — 16-station live tooling (6,000 rpm) (OR) High-density tool plate — 16 tool positions

Zone 4 (horizontal machining) specs:
Swing-arm automatic toolchanger — 24 positions Tool-to-tool change time — 2.5 sec Live spindle option — 5 hp/3.7 kW delivers 8,000 rpm