ZPS Unveils Eight-Spindle CNC Production Center

Jan. 6, 2011
Versatile machining thanks to eight independent horizontal spindles, eight compound slides, and multiple tooling options
The new eight-spindle ZPS 867 CNC multi-spindle multifunction production center will accommodate stock up to 72 mm diameter. It’s driven by a double Siemens 840 D CNC, and offers up to 72 CNC axes for precision drilling, tapping, milling and hobbing.

ZPS America has introduced a new eight-spindle machine center it asserts can perform nearly any precision metalcutting operation, from drilling and tapping to milling, spline gears, broaching and hobbing. The ZPS 867 CNC multi-spindle production center is supplied with a double Siemens 840 D CNC control, and presents operators with up to 72 CNC axes.

The European-built 867 has a cast iron base and weighs more than 20 tons, so it’s exceptionally sturdy. Combined with the highest spindle torque available (191 NM), new machine can handle stock up to 72 mm diameter, and difficult, materials with precision.

“This new multi-spindle offers for the first time high-precision CNC production capability with its 16+1 tool carriers to a range of part sizes that until now have been processed on transfer machines,” said Olaf Tessarzyk, managing partner and president of Indianapolis-base ZPS America. It promises the ZPS CNC Multi line offers high processing flexibility and fast changeover, with the ability to operate as either a bar-fed or chucker operation as it produces a range of complex precision parts.

The machine’s versatility is provided through its standard features: eight independent AC-driven CNC horizontal spindles; eight independent compound slides (X and Z); eight independent tool carriers with eight 12,000-rpm driven tools; five backworking tools (of which three are driven); and multiple, standard presettable VDI tooling options for quick changeover, to increase flexibility.

ZPS claims that its patented spindle-drive system sets its machines apart from competing designs: it ensures the machines operate with precision, maintain thermal stability, and achieve high reliability. It cites to independent performance testing as proof that the ZPS spindle-drive system is “superior to other multi-spindle drive systems due to its mechanical precision and genuine simplicity.”

Each of the machine’s eight spindles is linked by a composite shaft to its own motor into the spindle drum, which employs a precise Hirth coupling. As a result, it’s unnecessary to reverse-index the drum at the end of each 360° cycle, connect, and disconnect the motors to the spindles with each indexing, and cool the drum to dissipate the heat generated by the spindle motors. The result is greater precision and reliability across high duty cycles. Spindle indexing takes only one second, saving time, energy, and cost.

The system also provides the strongest and most adjustable clamping power in the industry.

The mechanical rigidity and thermal stability are the reason for the built-in accuracy of the machine, and as a consequence there is no need for refrigerants. Because the spindle drum design eliminates the need for hydraulics and refrigeration, the machine achieves higher uptime and greater thermal stability, and this provides greater precision and efficiency than other CNC multi-spindles.

The innovative, patented ZPS technical solution allows independent control of the speed and C-Axis of each spindle, and the power of each AC spindle motor, according to the requirements of specific machining operations performed by each customer.

A range of optional equipment includes a CNC pick-up spindle with up to five tools (three driven) for backworking; attachments for radial and axial drilling and milling operations.

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