Sliding-head lathes with LFV

Citizen Machinery has added two sliding-head, twin-spindle turn-mill centres of 32 mm bar capacity to its Cincom programme. Designated L32-X LFV and L32-XII LFV, both feature the firm’s patented low-frequency vibration (LFV) software in the control’s operating system that acts in two axes to convert what would normally be long, stringy swarf into short, more manageable chips. LFV is particularly helpful when machining stainless steels, plastics and copper, and can be applied not only to turning, but to grooving, thread cutting and drilling.

Different to the two other L32 bar autos in the range, the eight-axis L32-X adds a Y2 axis to the Z2 axis on the back tool post. So does the nine-axis L32-XII, which additionally has +90/-45° B-axis swivel on the front gang tool post, where rotary tools can work at either spindle to produce angled holes. Both machines are available in 35 and 38 mm bar diameter versions, and may be used with or without the guide bush.
Citizen’s L32 design is modular, enabling users to streamline their manufacturing costs by selecting functions that achieve the optimum machine configuration, while retaining the option of being able to add extra functionality later. A workpiece conveyor is standard. Control is via the Industry 4.0-ready Mitsubishi 800 CNC, which allows up to three tools to be in-cut at the same time.
As many as 44 tools for front, back and cross machining are available in the L32-X model, while the B-axis L32-XII version accepts four fewer. The speed range of the 3.7/7.5 kW main spindle and 2.2/3.7 kW counter spindle is up to 8000 rpm. Both have a C axis for use in conjunction with driven tool stations in the three tool carriers.
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Versatile coolant system from Floyd

The HEB MiniPlug high-pressure coolant system for sliding-head lathes has been released in the UK by Floyd Automatic Tooling.

The benefits of high-pressure through-coolant are well documented and, in recent years, this type of system has become the norm among users of sliding-head turning centres. However, the issue for machine shops is the complexity and non-productive time taken to set-up high-pressure copper coolant pipes. This job is time consuming and often requires pipe cutting and bending, which is challenging in a work envelope as compact as a sliding-head turning centre. Then, what if the machine shop has to change tools and configurations?
The process starts over. All of this effort can be avoided with HEB MiniPlug.
When a tool change is required on a sliding-head machine, the operator must change the tool or insert, and the respective tool holder has to be detached, often with difficulty, from the through-coolant distribution system. With HEB MiniPlug, a high-pressure quick-connector system eliminates time-consuming tool changeovers and the respective changeover of high-pressure hoses. The HEB MiniPlug system helps to reduce machine downtime by simplifying tool set ups for each individual job and cutter. Instead of changing the connection in an overcrowded and difficult-to-access work envelope, HEB MiniPlug allows end users to simply plug in the flexible braided hoses.
For use with coolant pressure up to 200 bar, the stainless-steel connectors and braided hoses are robust, flexible and corrosion resistant – ensuring coolant hoses will last for the lifetime of the machine tool. The HEB MiniPlug system is available with a coupling and seal plug, manifolds, hose set, MiniPlug Jacks, and adaptors.
HEB MiniPlug is available in three different sizes to suit all modern HPC adaptors and machine configurations.
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Tornos delivers speed and efficiency

Almadec was founded at the end of November 2018 as a newcomer in the bar-turning world by Stefano Buonpane in Brügg, Switzerland. Annexed to the premises of Buonpane’s first company, named Precisteel, Almadec is gradually being built around two Tornos SwissNano 4 turning machines.

Bruegg, 05FEB19 Almadec Precisteel, M. Buonpane et ses Nano de Tornos Moutier – Photo @ Guy Perrenoud. Fabrique d’images, 45 rue E. Schueler, CH-2502 Biel/Bienne +41 79 3531508

Precisteel mainly produces parts for industrial machines used in the connector sector, and for watchmakers. For this target market, Buonpane decided to invest in SwissNano 4 machines. A Tornos Deco 10 machine has also been ordered.
“These machines have an excellent reputation,” says Buonpane. “My customers often request various special parts that we can now manufacture on the Tornos machines.”
Almadec’s spacious premises in Brügg are geared to accommodate an even larger machine inventory; equipment that can cope with upcoming demands.
“We make suggestions and conduct a feasibility study,” says Buonpane. “There is no challenge that frightens us.”
Buonpane makes his know-how available to customers, while his motivated staff can set machines for complex workpieces, from prototypes to large batches.
“I founded this company based on the vision of its future and permanence,” he says. “Precisteel is a family-owned enterprise and the same is true for Almadec. And it’s an important asset I’m intending to invest in.”
Buonpane has every reason to be confident. Some 13 years of experience with Precisteel have enabled him to lay solid foundations for Almadec – the latter being a name that could soon earn a reputation, especially in the watchmaking sector, thanks to machines from Tornos.
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Trained to a turn

A series of seemingly unrelated events came together to create a win-win situation for a Mills CNC machine user and a CNC Training Academy customer.

Earlier this year when Kettering-based hydrant flow meter manufacturing specialist, Langham Industrial Controls, was seeking a new member of staff to operate its recently acquired FANUC-controlled Doosan Lynx 220 LSYC lathe, the company approached Mills CNC, who supplied the machine, as well as members of staff at the CNC Training Academy (a division of Mills CNC), to see if they knew, or had trained, someone who might be interested in taking advantage of such an opportunity.
It just so happened that, just a few weeks earlier, the CNC Training Academy had trained Krzysztof Zasadzki, a man who, for many different reasons, had made a positive and favourable impression on academy staff. Zasadzki was offered the position and started work at Langham Industrial Controls in May 2019.
Says director Nigel Langham: “I contacted the CNC Training Academy to see if they knew anyone who could be suitable for the setter/operator position. Krzysztof was mentioned in glowing terms.”
Since May 2019, Zasadzki has attended further courses (Fanuc Manual Guide i) at the CNC Training Academy. In only a few months he is now setting up, operating and programming the Lynx 220 lathe.
The 8” chuck Lynx 220 lathe at Langham Industrial Control is equipped with a sub-spindle and driven tools, and has Y-axis capability. Since being installed back in 2016 the lathe has been busy machining high accuracy components in small volumes from a range of different materials that include aluminium, steel and plastics.
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Doors set to open at Star event

Star GB will host its most advanced open house event yet on 8-10 October at the company’s Technology Centre in Derby. The open house is an educational event that will welcome visitors from across the UK and Ireland. Guests will gain an insight into Star sliding-head technology with a special focus on automation and Industry 4.0 solutions.

At the event will be the UK premiere of a newly developed 38 mm sliding-head lathe following its unveiling at EMO 2019. In addition, an array of Star’s most popular machines, including the ST-38, SR-38 Type B, SR-32JII Type A, SR-20RIV Type A, SB-20R Type G, SV-20R and SW-12RII, will be on show producing demonstration components.
All machines will be equipped with High Frequency Turning (HFT) swarf-control software, which has been developed by Star to increase machine efficiency on difficult-to-chip materials. HFT works on any linear axis on any channel, and is said to be the only chip-breaking software of its kind which is capable of being fitted to both new and older Star models dating back to 1996.
An Industry 4.0 machine monitoring system from Star will be set up at the event using live data from several machines operating in the showroom. SMOOSS-i is a web-based application which allows the remote monitoring of up to 100 FANUC-controlled CNC machines (with FOCAS software) via PC, tablet or smartphone. The software provides a real-time analysis of machine status, cycle time, part count, production rate, production history and tool life, with the additional benefit of email notifications for any important machine alerts.
NC Assist programming software will also be on display, with the company’s engineers showing how quickly and efficiently CNC programs can be generated via its conversational interface.
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