Double-End Multi-Spindle CNC Lathe

Sept. 1, 2011
INDEX introduces flexible MS40P for complex parts, batch production
The MS40P has six fluid-cooled, variable hollow-shaft motors that drive bar stock up to 40 mm, independent of each other. The machine concept is based on the added “A” side (drum side) and an opposite quillstock on the “B” side.
INDEX Group stated that the MS40P extends its multi-spindle machine series by another CNC multi-spindle automatic lathe, with particular emphasis on flexibility and simple re-tooling.

The INDEX Group, one of the world’s largest turning machine designers and manufacturers, is offering a new multi-spindle automatic lathe that includes a quillstock with six tool carriers and one counter spindle opposite the main 6-spindle drum, making it possible to machine complex workpieces requiring many tools, with highest precision in a single process. The INDEX MS40P CNC is a new concept that, according to the developer, affords contract manufacturers “the ability to out-produce — by up to 85% or more — six or more twin-turret CNC lathes with a single, flexible, high-speed, high precision machine that can work unattended over three shifts.

According to INDEX, the MS40P extends its multi-spindle machine series by another CNC multi-spindle automatic lathe that in particular, it plays to its strengths with its flexibility and ease of re-tooling.

The flexibility and capability of the machine make it well suited to batch production, and for machining families of parts. Front and rear end machining options permit efficient, complete machining of production parts with complex geometry and/or extensive operations on the cutoff end.

The core of the design is the machine’s compact spindle drum. Six fluid-cooled, infinitely variable hollow-shaft motors are able to drive up to 40-mm bar stock independently from each other. Other characteristics of the spindle drum are high torque, small frame size, maintenance-free operation, and an advanced synchronous design. The machine concept is based on the added “A” side (drum side) and an opposite quillstock on the “B” side.

Besides the tool carriers in the spindle drum side of the machine, six more tool carriers and a counter spindle are located in the rigid monoblock quillstock. The tool carrier arrangement in the working area without a longitudinal slide block means that it’s possible to use more than one tool on each spindle.

The generously dimensioned working area is easy to access through sliding doors on both sides of the machine. This is convenient for the user, and it reduces setup time significantly. Chips drop directly into the base of the machine.

Permits innovative machining processes
On the “A” side, the INDEX modular system allows customer-specific configuration of up to 12 hydrostatic bearing-supported, CNC cross-slides; several Y-axes; and numerous stationary and live tools (for front-end machining) permitting a wide range of machining in a single setup: off-center drilling, deep-hole, drilling, thread cutting, inclined drilling, cross drilling, contour milling, hobbing, and multi-edge turning are only a few of the many possibilities.

The characteristic INDEX V-shaped arrangement of the tool carriers means that the optimal machining sequence is the only factor determining the process. For example, external and internal machining operations using stationary or live tools can be performed in every station.

During machining, users may program the optimal speed for each independent spindle, which can be varied during cutting. The result is excellent surface quality, short production times per piece, and extended tool life. It is also possible to make speed changes during drum indexing, thus avoiding any additional secondary processing times. This capability means that it’s possible to machine difficult materials that otherwise may not be suitable for multi-spindle machines.

Should the machining options on the “A” side (spindle drum) not be sufficient, the extensions on the “B” side – the quill version – come into play. Positions 1 to 5 each have a slide that can be used to machine the workpieces on the “A” side.

In position 6, there is a counter spindle traversing in the Z direction, so users can machine workpieces in positions 6.2 and 6.4. Also, the slide 6.2 can be used to machine the “A” side or for rear-end machining on the counter spindle with up to three tools.

Tool position 6.4 also features a back-boring slide that can be equipped with three boring or turning tools, or with live tools. In total, up to three tools can be used on the “A” side simultaneously, and another six tools are available for rear end machining.

Another advantage is the large Z-travel distance of the counter spindle. It allows longitudinal and transverse machining of longer workpieces (shaft parts). A swivel unit places the parts on a conveyor belt that carries them away. The gripper can already move across the part during rear end machining to save time. Instead of placing the finished parts onto the integrated conveyor belt, they can also transferred to a handling system.

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