New 5-Axis HMC Series from Heller

July 28, 2009
F Series offers high torque, powerful spindle, work-head options

Heller Machine Tools is introducing a new line of 5-axis, horizontal machining centers that offer HSK 63 or #40 spindle taper and three different work-head configurations. The new F Series is targeted at shops supplying medical, aerospace, mold-and-die, and power-generation customers.

The company indicates its new HMCs allow shops to process smaller, lighter parts in difficult-to-machine materials (e.g., titanium, aluminum) that require high-speed machining. The new series is distinguished by their combination of high-torque and a powerful spindle, making them particularly well suited for single-setup processing of parts with complex contours.

“Because we are not a ‘one size fits all’ builder, we work with our customers to be sure we define the right F Series machine based on the type of work to be done, the production requirements, the material to be machined, and the type of CAD/CAM system used by the customer,” Heller Machines Group Sales Manager Tracy Ellis said.

The F Series offers customers the option of two different machine types. For Models FP 2000 and FP 4000, Heller has developed two 5-axis machining centers with a pallet changer designed for 5-sided machining, for shops that require the high machine availability and productivity.

For the other option, on Models FT 2000 and FT 4000, Heller offers two "classic" workshop machines with fixed tables.

Both types feature the same axis arrangement as Heller’s H Series (introduced in 2007), with a rotary table B axis and an optimum balance between rigidity and accessibility. The FT 2000 and FP 2000 offer X/Y/Z strokes of 630x630x830 mm, and the FT 4000 and FP 4000 models provide greater X/Y/Z strokes of 800x800x1,000 mm.

Heller says the F Series’ innovative spindle technology lets customers choose among three designs on all models: a Power Cutting high-torque universal head, PCU 63 for high-performance cutting, a Speed Cutting universal head, SCU 63 and a Speed Cutting Tilt spindle SCT 63 for high-speed speed cutting.

The two swivel-head units offer advantages for complete, single-setup machining of cubic parts, Heller states, and the tilting head is ideal for machining contoured surfaces

“After intensive market research, Heller engineers determined that the most flexible, robust and efficient way to do 5-face and 5-axis machining is to have one of the axes in the work head,” Ellis explained. “Using a B-axis table in combination with a universal or tilting work head allows greater table loads, larger working envelops and greater accessibility than 5-axis machines that have two axes of motion under the workpiece, such as a tilt/rotary table or C-over-B type.”

Each F series is equipped with a standard tool magazine that can be extended optionally to more than 400 storage places.

In terms of automation, the F Series is compatible with the H series, indicating potential for productivity with shops’ current capabilities, including pallet pool, pallet magazines, and robotics. The HMCs are offered with a choice of controls: Siemens Sinumeric 840D or Heidenhain iTNC530.