Okuma launches MCR-S machining centre

Okuma, represented in the by NCMT, is releasing its MCR-S (Super) double-column machining centre, which is particularly suited to the machining of press dies. The machine also unites subtractive and additive manufacturing methods, allowing for process-intensive production.

MCR-S possesses a cast-iron double-column structure. Equipped with Okuma’s ‘Thermo-Friendly’ concept, any unnecessary heating-up can be prevented, while thermal deformations are compensated. When manufacturing press dies, this factor is especially important because the machining process can take days or even weeks, making it vulnerable to changes in temperature.
By using a swivel image sensor that rotates relative to the indexing angle of the tool, accurate measurements of cutting edge position can be provided, improving accuracy even further.
Okuma’s ‘Hyper-Surface’ premium solution eliminates the need for hand-finishing by creating die surfaces that are ready for use. Hyper-Surface improves surface quality by automatically detecting disturbances in the CAM-output machining data and correcting them on the CNC while maintaining the required shape accuracy.
The machine possesses a heavy-duty cutting capacity, reaching a chip removal rate of
710 cm3/min when face milling. Average continuous feed rates of 20 m/min for the X and Y axes, and 10 m/min for the Z axis, contribute to the machine’s productivity.
For process-intensive manufacturing, the machining centre is equipped with a laser that allows for additive manufacturing via laser metal deposition (LMD). This way, subtractive and additive manufacturing methods are combined in one machine, enabling manufactures to not only produce complex parts, but repair defective workpieces. The laser can also be used for surface treatments such as laser hardening.
For further information www.ncmt.co.uk

HMC for airframe structures

A six-axis, horizontal-spindle machining centre with a working volume starting from 4100 x 1600 x 650 mm, with options of 2.1 and 2.6 m in the Y axis, and up to 30 m in the X axis, has been introduced by F Zimmermann specifically for producing structural components in the aerospace industry.

Availability in the UK and Ireland is through sole agent Kingsbury, and in the Middle East through subsidiary company, Kingsbury Gulf.
Equipped with an integrated, expandable, patented pallet-change system that automatically loads the component into the vertical plane for machining, the FZH400 is the first horizontal machining centre from F Zimmermann, a long-established manufacturer of gantry-type, vertical-spindle machines.
A horizontal configuration harnesses gravity to allow the removal of copious volumes of aluminium swarf generated from solid billets by the 100 kW spindle. Trials have demonstrated material removal rates of over 13 l/min, due in part to linear axis acceleration at 6 m/s2, with rapid feed rates up to 60 m/min in the X axis, and 40 m/min in Y and Z.
The spindle head has three CNC axes, hence its designation M3 ABC, offering extra versatility compared with two-axis heads for executing complex programs. Movement of ±110° in the A axis, ±225° in the C axis and the addition of ±14° in the B axis eliminates the risk of singularity errors occurring in cutter paths, without the need to use avoidance algorithms.
Another patented feature of the machine is a water-cooled travelling column that does not suffer from the traditional drawback of spindle deviation as the slide extends in the Z axis.
For further information www.kingsburyuk.com

Aerospace specialist relies on Haas

Frank Brown and Son is a Luton-based engineering company specialising in the design and manufacture of ground-support equipment for the aerospace and aircraft industry throughout the world.

The company bought its first Haas machine in 1996: the VF-2D vertical machining centre ran every day until two years ago, when the team decided to part-exchange it for a new Haas VF-2SS Super Speed.
“We certainly got our money’s worth from that original machine,” says machine shop supervisor, Andy Knight. “It was running well until its last day; it was always accurate, we just upgraded to something a bit quicker in the end.
“The machine shop has doubled in the past 20 years and, with 20 Haas machines [six lathes and 14 mills], the majority of our CNC machinery is still supplied by Haas,” he adds. “Our workload has changed dramatically in recent years. Not so long ago we were making stock packs of 10 a year, but now its 40 plus. And everything that needs machining goes on a Haas.”
The latest investment is a VF-4SS with through-spindle coolant and five-axis trunnion. “The five-axis machines are doing some really nice work,” says Knight. “They have cut our operations from six to two, which is a massive reduction. We’re producing a lot of Boeing 737 and Airbus tooling, and it’s really made a difference. It’s knocking the stuffing out of the cycle times, cutting them by a third at least.” In fact, the company has purchased four Haas Super Speed mills in the past four years. “The rapids, tool-change speed and 12,000 rpm spindle are phenomenal on the new machines,” concludes Knight.
For further information www.haas.co.uk

VMCs help machine builder plan for growth

Scottish Robotic Systems, a special purpose machine builder based in Perth, controls all of its design, product development and manufacturing in-house, with the only exception being sheet metalwork. This achievement has been made possible thanks to investment over the years in XYZ machine tools. The company’s first XYZ machine, a ProtoTrak turret mill was made 20 years ago, and was quickly followed by two more.

“These first mills transformed the way we went about our business,” says director Ross Walker. “We used to have to draw the part then put it out to subcontract. Once the XYZ machines arrived, we machined things ourselves, accelerating the prototyping process and spending less time drawing parts. They literally saved us weeks in product development as we could make parts quickly, when we needed them, without relying on external suppliers.”
Those three ProtoTrak mills are still in the workshop at Scottish Robotic Systems, but they have now been joined by two XYZ vertical machining centres, a VMC 710 and a high-speed 1060 HS. As the company’s products developed and pressure on lead times increased, this investment was the next logical step for Walker. Drawings are now done using CAD systems for prototyping, and the files are then post-processed ready for downloading to the machines’ Siemens controls. Such is their speed of operation, the investment has also created opportunities to bring in subcontract work from other suppliers.
“I had no machining experience whatsoever before I came to work for my father but, having used the ProtoTrak machines, the transition to the VMCs and the Siemens control was straightforward,” says Walker. “The speed of set-up is excellent and, although we have CADCAM, we program most jobs at the machine as it’s so easy – we can be cutting metal very quickly.”
For further information www.xyzmachinetools.com

Compact precision machining from Kern

First previewed at MACH 2018 (pictured), the Kern Micro Pro compact five-axis machining centre from Rainford Precision is now officially launched in the UK. The Kern Micro Pro has a novel integrated workpiece and tool-changing facility that means it requires less than 4 sq m of floor space.

Built for 24/7 operation, the machine is characterised by its long-term stability and precision levels; less than 5 µm during five-axis machining. This accuracy is built upon a UHPC (Ultra High Performance Concrete) base that has no disruptive interfaces and is thermo-symmetrically constructed from a single casting.
“Kern has made every effort to creatively integrate all features,” says Rainford’s managing director Arthur Turner. “This includes the tool cabinet for up to 210 HSK40 tools measuring up to 70 mm in diameter. The cabinet also accommodates up to 30 workpieces with a height of 200 mm and a diameter up to 350 mm. Of completely modular design, the cabinet can be easily and safely accessed while the machine is running.”
Giving the modular configuration and space-saving claims further credibility is the integrated chip conveyor, and the options of integrated dust or emulsion mist extraction systems that can be configured into the machine without requiring additional space.
“The Kern Micro Pro also has a 42,000 rpm spindle that increases machining speeds by 60-70% when compared with standard machine tools that have a 15,000 to 20,000 rpm spindle motor,” says Turner.
Inside the work envelope is a rotary/swivel axis with torque motors for simultaneous five-axis
machining. The X, Y and Z axes offer 350, 220 and 250 mm respectively, supported by a 360° rotary axis and 200° swivel axis.
For further information www.rainfordprecision.com