The Makino F9 vertical machine like its companion the F8 have dual sliding doors to simplify loading and unloading of large workpieces The opencorner openceiling design allows wide access for setups and changeovers which supports WIP productivity and overall leadtimes

Versatile VMCs for Large-Part Machining

Oct. 18, 2012
Standard core-cooled ballscrews and scale feedback Multiple spindle configurations Balanced control functions

Makino is expanding its F-Series of vertical machining centers with two new models for oversized parts that present challenges due to the size and range of the part. Big die and mold components may test the work-weight capacity of a machine center, and also may pose a particular dilemma for high-speed machining techniques and the accuracy capability.

Designed to achieve machining power, speed, precision and versatility, Makino’s F8 and F9 VMCs are built to meet those divergent manufacturing needs — both large-part production and die and mold markets.

“The F8 and F9 offer hours of continuous, tight-tolerance machining at an outstanding value,” stated William Howard, who manages Makino’s vertical product line. “Their robust design provides a versatile cutting platform that is ideal for both mold making and production machining.”

Both new machines are equipped with core-cooled ballscrews and scale feedback as a standard. They provide “a rare blend of precision, speed, capacity, and flexibility to meet and exceed customer demand,” Howard continued.

The smaller F8 features X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 51.2 inches, 31.5 inches and 25.6 inches, respectively, a 61-inch-by-31.5-inch table and a maximum workpiece size of 61 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 21.7 inches tall. By contrast, the larger F9 features X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 63 inches, 31.5 inches and 25.6 inches, respectively, a 72.8-inch-by-31.5-inch table and a maximum workpiece size of 72.8 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 21.7 inches tall. Both machines offer a payload capacity of 5,510 pounds and feature a 30-tool capacity automatic tool changer.

Changing full-size workpieces can have a significant effect on large-machine utilization, productivity and part costs. Therefore, the F8 and F9 incorporate a unique, dual sliding door, chip- and splash-guard design for simplified loading and unloading of large workpieces. The open-corner, open-ceiling design affords unparalleled access for setups and changeovers, improving work in progress (WIP), and overall lead-times.

Multiple spindle configurations

The F8 and F9 vertical machining centers offer a number of spindle configurations that allow operators to tailor their machine to specific die/mold or production applications. The standard spindle configuration is a 49.6-hp, 10,000-rpm, CAT 50 spindle. As an option, the spindle can be provided with an HSK-A100 spindle interface, too. With 315 ft-lbs of torque, this combination provides stiffness and rigidity for lower-speed roughing operations and an excellent mix of spindle speed, power and torque.

As another option, the F8 and F9 can be equipped with a 40.2-hp, 20,000-rpm, HSK-A63 spindle. This configuration provides the vibration-free, chatter-free, high-ranging spindle speeds needed for efficient high-speed hard milling of small details and fine surface finishes typical of the die/mold market.

The standard coolant system provides a combination of nozzle flood coolant, flush coolant, through-spindle air, and an external air-blow nozzle. Dual internal spiral chip conveyors quickly and efficiently move chips and coolant to the rear of the machine, discharging them into a scraper-drum lift-up chip conveyor.

Various, optional through-spindle coolant systems can be provided to further enhance the capability and performance of the machine.

The F8 and F9 vertical machining centers employ the Makino Professional 5 Control, which affords a balance of a Windows CE graphical user interface (GUI); touch-screen selection for instant access to information; user-friendly, efficient PC-like capability for data management and editing; and the networking and storage capability of a data center.

As an option, the machine can be arranged with Makino’s proprietary, next-generation Super Geometric Intelligence (SGI.4) software developed specifically for high-feedrate, tight-tolerance machining of complex, 3-D contoured shapes involving continuous, tiny blocks of NC data that ensure production rates faster than standard CNC systems, while maintaining high accuracy. SGI.4 helps provide the lowest cycle times and costs achievable by reducing machining cycle times by as much as 40% compared to most other control technologies.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)