Turn and mill parts twice as fast

Dec. 28, 2009
Index’s C200 turn-mill machine is basically two independent subsystems. Touted as a “new generation” of turn-mill machining centers, the R200 turn-mill center cuts complex parts from tough materials in half the time required by a ...
Index’s C200 turn-mill machine is basically two independent subsystems.

Touted as a “new generation” of turn-mill machining centers, the R200 turn-mill center cuts complex parts from tough materials in half the time required by a conventional type turnmill machine, reported Index Corp., the R200’s builder. To accomplish this, the company equipped the R200 with two powerful motorized milling spindles and two movable work spindles for performing machining operations in two independent subsystems, and each subsystem is capable of full five-axis machining of bar stock to 65 mm in diameter.

The R200’s innovative axis arrangement produces directional kinematics, which, in turn, enable comprehensive and complete machining of two parts simultaneously. Within the machine’s work area, its main spindle moves in the Z axis, the subspindle in the X axis and Z axis, the milling spindle 1 (top) in X, Y and B axes, and the milling spindle 2 (bottom) moves in the Y and B axes.

Because of its design, the R200 does full reverse-side machining as well as parallel machining. And operations include heavy-duty rough machining and highly accurate fine turning, done simultaneously on the machine’s main spindle and subspindle.

Within the vertical, cast machine bed of the R200, the two quillguided motorized milling spindles are centered, a diagonal arrangement that allows Index to omit the usual crossslide. The milling spindles deliver 11 kW of power and 18,000 rpm.

The machine’s B axis swivels in a range from 270 to 230 degrees. This, together with a rapid traverse rate of 45 m per minute, gives the R200 its speed and flexibility. Identically rated work spindles on the machine provide 33 kW of maximum power, 5,000-rpm maximum speed and 150 Nm of peak torque.

To reduce chip-to-chip times, two separate shuttle units independently load the R200’s two motorized milling spindles with the required HSK-A40 tools from a common chain tool magazine. With 80 or 120 places, the machine offers an extensive stock of tools.

Chip-to-chip times of about 4 seconds contribute significantly to minimizing secondary processing times. While machining happens on the main spindle, the machine’s lower milling spindle can be loading a new tool, and the operation is protected from falling chips and coolant.

Two linear tool carriers affixed to the side of each milling spindle allow for fast, precise access to six stationary tools without a tool change. Index’s exclusive W-toothing in the bases of the toolholders lessens the associated set-up effort and ensures a forcelocking and form-locking tool fit that provides conditions for more precise turning operations as compared to those of a turret.

A material guide channel feeds barstock to the R200. This guide channel is mounted in such a way as to allow for movement in the Z-axis direction, and is permanently connected to the machine’s main spindle. Index’s SBL (sliding bar loader) accommodates barstock diameters from 20 to 65 mm and lengths to 3,000 mm, and supports unmanned machine operations.

An Index C200-4D SL control, based on the Siemens Sinumerik S840D Solution Line, provides the R200 with user-friendly functions. Specially developed cycles simplify the most complex machining operations and support multi-axis milling and turning operations.

Software packages within Index’s VirtualLine support economical use of the machine from the initial workpiece to the last. These packages complement each other in terms of their functions and guide programmers and operators to the best way to approach a machining task – both on the PC during the preparation stage and at the machine on the shop floor.

In conjunction with Index’s Virtual Machine 3D simulation software, machining programs are created, checked, and optimized on a PC. In addition, CNC Programming Studio delivers advanced support for programming and operation of the R200.

Energy efficiency is built into the R200. Weight-optimized components not only increase dynamic response, but also reduce energy consumption. Regenerative drives further recover energy, and units that consume large amounts of energy can be set to enter a stand-by mode. Other energy-saving components/practices include low-friction bearings, intelligent cooling of the machine, and economical use of waste heat, or climate-neutral heat discharge.

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