Pioneers in Machining Technology
The Japanese machine tool manufacturer, Makino, has introduced a new, automatic pallet changer (APC) to its a61nx horizontal machining centre and added a fifth computer controlled axis, boosting productivity by reducing idle times and the number of component set-ups needed. The machine now has a -110 / +180 degree B-axis in addition to the 360 degree C-axis rotary table and is available in the UK is through sole agent, NCMT.
The standard specification of the a61nx-5E is designed for high-accuracy cutting in a range of materials. One spindle option, rated at 14,000 rpm / 240 Nm, is well suited to machining titanium. Alternatively, a 24,000 rpm, 80 kW spindle achieves an impressive metal removal rate of up to 4,900 cm3/min in aluminium, 40 per cent higher than the 4-axis machine. Both spindles will find numerous applications in the aerospace industry.
Accessibility to the 730×730×680 mm working area has been enhanced by a more compact rotary table and a slim spindle, which minimises potential interference. Another advantage of the machine structure is that it allows for larger workpieces and longer tools.
The latest Pro.5 high performance control comes with an improved touch-screen and captioned pictorial icons for rapid input. Other functions facilitate operations, such as a tool data screen for simple tool management; a workpiece setting function for easy 3-axis machining on an angled surface; and simple measuring and setting of the rotary axis centre position. A high-speed tool centre point function reduces cutting time while increasing the quality of the cut surface and ensuring smooth control. A tool tip control function helps to minimise the effort normally involved in 5-axis programming.
Ballscrew core cooling, support bearing cooling and lubrication, coolant nozzles in the upper and lower parts of the C-axis, and cooling oil circulating through the direct drive B- and C-axes guarantee effective heat dissipation and long-term machining accuracy. Moreover, an Inertia Active Control function measures the inertia of a workpiece and adjusts acceleration and deceleration accordingly to optimise control.
When running in the standard Eco mode, the a61nx-5E requires up to 30 per cent less power. Eco mode automatically turns off the hydraulic power unit when it is not machining and adjusts the through-spindle coolant to the optimum pressure for each tool. By monitoring and measuring energy consumption and displaying it on the Pro.5 screen, Eco mode significantly reduces a company's annual electricity bill.