Mazak Corporation
The ergonomic functions of the HCN 4000III have been updated by a new Ken Okuyama design emphasizing ease of access and operation Wider door sizes provide easy access to parts and machine pallets A centralized maintenance area relocated from the magazine side to the operatorrsquos side positions valves and daily inspection items in one location

Redesigned HMC Increases Speed, Power, Versatility

April 4, 2013
Rapid traverse speed Chip-to-chip tool changes Extended X, Y, Z axes Automation options

Mazak Corporation reported its Horizontal Center Nexus (HCN) 4000-III machine design achieves “significantly increased” productivity and cost-effectiveness thanks to a series of performance enhancements. The updates are especially noteworthy for machine shops seeking to adopt horizontal machining for high-volume part processing.

The specific performance enhancements to the HCN 4000-III shorten part cycle times and allow it to process a wider variety of part sizes, with more parts per setup. Faster rapid traverse speeds and acceleration rates, shorter chip-to-chip times, and increased tool size capability contribute to cycle time reductions. Greater part size versatility and parts per fixture result from the HCN 4000-III’s expanded Y-axis travel/stroke, according to the machine builder, as well as a higher allowable thrust in its Z-axis.

Rapid traverse speed on the HCN 4000-III is now 2,362 ipm (60 m/min), and machine acceleration rate increase from 0.8G to a faster 1G. Also, Mazak has shortened the machine’s spindle acceleration speed to only 1.3 seconds for its standard 12,000-rpm spindle and to 1.5 seconds for an optional 18,000-rpm spindle.

A variety of materials, from steels to nonferrous metals can be processed with speed and efficiency because Mazak is offering four integral options for spindles: 14,000-rpm and 30,000-rpm spindles are available in standard, high torque, semi-high speed or high-speed types.  Machine operators can match spindle performance to specific machining requirements with the proper speeds and power.

A standard 40-taper 12,000-rpm spindle provides power and speed for general machining. A high-torque, heavy-duty 40-taper 14,000-rpm version generates 88 ft-lbs of torque at a continuous rating to a maximum of 223 ft-lbs to increase metal removal rates for hard to machine materials.

With maximum speeds of 18,000 rpm and 30,000 rpm, the 40-taper semi high-speed and HSK high-speed versions allow faster machining and achieve superior surface finishes on aluminum or other nonferrous workpieces.

Reduced Part-Cycle Times

To reduce part-cycle times, the HCN 4000-III performs chip-to-chip tool changes in only 2.4 seconds. This is a significant reduction from its original time of almost 3 seconds. The machine’s maximum tool size capacity has increased from 5.9 in. (150 mm) in diameter to 6.7 in. (170 mm) in diameter. This means that larger tools can be used, and metal removal rates are increased, for even shorter part cycle times.

The redesigned HCN 4000-III is equipped with a standard 40-position tool storage magazine. As an option, Mazak offers 60-, 80-, 120- and 160-postion magazines in addition to its Tool Hive magazines, with either 180, 240 or 330 positions. The large tool-storage capacity of the HCN 4000-III means shops can handle a wide range of parts and perform continuous unattended machining over long periods of time.

To expand the HCN 4000-III’s range of part size and capacities, Mazak extended the Y-axis stroke from 24.8 in. (630 mm) to 25.2 in. (640 mm); an allowable thrust level at maximum Z-axis height has been raised from 7,749 ft-lb to 8,487 ft-lb; and a Z-axis thrust restriction height has been increased from 15.74 in. (430 mm) to 19.68 in. (500 mm).

The expanded Y-axis stroke helps to increase productivity because it gives shops the ability to process larger parts and greater amounts of smaller individual parts fixtured in taller-sized tombstones. In conjunction with the Y-axis increase, the higher Z-axis thrust level and restriction height ensure machining forces are equally strong at both the tops and bottoms of large workpieces or tall tombstones.

A standalone robot can be used to load and unload the HCN 4000-IIIm and it’s easy to incorporate the redesigned HMC with Mazak’s Palletech automation system. Available in one or two level configurations for the HCN 4000-III, Palletech provides flexibility for shorter product lifecycles, reduced in-process inventory, and just-in-time production. It’s also configurable for fully completely automated (“lights-out”) production.

The HCN 4000-III is powered by the developer’s Mazatrol Matrix 2 CNC, a control platform for simplified multi-task machining. Conversational part programming of upcoming part is possible as the machine is in operation, or off-line in a CAD/CAM system. Once imported into the control, 3D simulation verifies the machining cycle and checks for interferences, thereby reducing set up time.

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.)