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Machine Boxes up Speed and Precision

Machine Boxes up Speed and Precision

Boxway machines
Kitamura builds its boxway machines for speed and accuracy.

Mention boxway machines, and the first thought that comes to mind are strong, rigid, high-torque machines effortlessly plowing through heavy cuts in hard steel. High-speed rapid traverse feedrates as fast as 1,969 ipm, 20,000-rpm spindles, thermal compensation systems and ballscrew cooling capability are features not often associated with boxway machining centers. But shops can find all these features on Kitamura’s exclusively boxway machining centers available through Kitamura Machinery of U.S.A. Inc. (

For high rapid-traverse feedrates, Kitamura induction hardens and precision grinds its solid box guideways to a 3-micron mirror finish and adds turcite coating on mating surfaces. The guideway design provides seven times more contact area with the same high speeds as linear-guideway machines and seven times better antivibration capabilities under high-speed rapid rates.

Kitamura’s 18-hp, 4-step geardriven, dual-contact 20,000-rpm spindles generate 116 ft-lb of torque, but they easily handle both heavy and high-speed cutting. Steel and cast iron workpieces are not a problem when shops run the spindles in low gear, neither are aluminum parts when the spindle is run in high gear.

An oil-chiller system minimizes thermal displacement and maximizes spindle life. Plus the company’s special gear interpolation system offers precise synchronized tapping with the spindles.

For machine heat displacement and continuous accurate machining, Kitamura’s Intelligent Advance Control (IAC) system minimizes heat displacement to less than 5 microns. A combination of regulating sensors and machine-efficiency monitors provide data on variable compensation values to the machine offsets. In the case of ballscrew heat, Kitamura machines run chilled oil through the ballscrew shafts of their X, Y and Z axes. The system maintains machine stability, reduces warm-up time and minimizes thermal growth for high accuracy machining. Other components available for Kitamura machines include double-decker-style chip conveyors, field-expandable tool changers, pallet pools for creating full flexible manufacturing cells, and rotary-style pallet changers for the company’s vertical machining centers.

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