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Turn to Eliminate 2nd-op Machines

Jan. 25, 2008
Todays turning machines do more than just turn.
Mazak’s work-handling station.
Mazak’s multifunctional lower turret adds hobbing capability.

Lathes are no longer thought of as lathes but as turn-mill or multitasking machines that are capable of completing parts in single setups to eliminate secondary operations on other pieces of equipment. And thanks to advanced features, the list of operations these machines are capable of continues to grow.

For example, work-handling stations and lower turrets with increased versatility give Mazak’s new Integrex i-150 and Integrex e-420H-ST II multitasking machines the capability to process more parts that would typically be done on machining centers and other specialty equipment. The i-150’s workhandling station indexes 90 degrees to present either a vise or NC tailstock to a workpiece. The vise holds parts for milling and back face work, while the tailstock provides support for milling and turning long parts. The work-handling system clamps maximum diameters of 2.56 in.

The e-420H-ST II’s 9-postion multifunction lower turret sports 2.36-in. Y-axis travel capability, and because it’s centered, the turret can run the same tool both left and right. The turret also accommodates a steadyrest and live center. With the steadyrest bolted onto the lower turret, shops can automatically reposition workpieces using the steadyrest under CNC control when the steadyrest isn’t providing cutting support. With a live center in the turret, shops gain end support for secondary operations such as hobbing with extended hobbing cutters.

To eliminate secondary finishing operations and dedicated threading/tapping equipment, Tornos’s Sigma 20 BioPak sliding-headstock turning center can high-speed thread whirl, which is especially useful to those shops doing medical work. The machine executes thread whirling on either its main or counter spindle at speeds of 30,000 rpm, and according to Tornos, the operation is 60 percent faster than conventional methods. In addition, shops can cut threads to depths more than three times the diameter of the threads, making it possible to machine down to the bottom of extremely small threads or blind holes.

The MLK 125 Linear Automatic Swiss-style turning center from Maier puts three tools in the cut simultaneously. This advanced function allows the machine to do more operations to quickly complete parts and eliminate the need for secondary equipment. For even more functionality, the machine’s guide bushing is removable, so the machine operates as a standard lathe to eliminate the need to centerless grind stock.

Shops achieve high productivity with the MLK 125’s 19 tools (4 driven) and two independent slides that move in X and Y directions. Machine accelerations run as fast as 2 G with rapid traverse speeds of 1,600 ipm in all axes.

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