On Mfg - July 2013

Columns From: 6/26/2013 Automotive Design & Production

Vertical grinder for small parts; Machining center for high production, Milling machine for complex parts.

Vertical Grinder for Small Parts


What: Vertical grinding center for small part (up to 100 mm in diameter) production, the VLC 100 G.

Who: EMAG (emag.com)

Important to note: Gear wheels, planetary gears, chain gears, and other components need to be made in high volumes and with high levels of precision. Thus, the VLC 100 G. Enhancing the throughput is a pickup system that allows automatic loading of workpieces. Vertical orientation of the spindles means that grinding sludge falls away from the parts being machined. The machine is designed to work with two spindles. “For the removal of large amounts, two wheels offer a shorter cycle time than one, with the first wheel designed to do the rough-grinding and the second one in charge of finish-grinding work,” said Dr. Guido Hegener, managing director of EMAG Salach Maschinenfabrik. The roughing can be performed with a CBN wheel. The second wheel, which performs finishing, provides the required surface finish.
Pertinent data: The VLC 100 G has a chuck diameter of 160 mm. It provides 650 mm of X-axis travel and 400 mm in Z. The maximum machining diameter is 100 mm and the maximum grinding length is 150 mm. The machine is designed for integration into production operations via its comparatively small footprint: approximately 4.5 m.

Machining Center for High Production

What: The HCN 4000-III horizontal machining center.

Who: Mazak Corp. (mazakusa.com)
Important to note: The HCN 4000-III is designed to handle workpiece materials ranging from steel to nonferrous metals. It is offered with four integral motor spindles—standard, high torque, semi-high speed, and high speed—to machining requirements that can be readily matched with spindle performance.
Pertinent data: The HCN 4000-III has X, Y, Z travels of 22.05, 25.2, 25.2 in. The rapid traverse rate is 2,362 ipm and the acceleration rate is 1G. The standard spindle is a 40 taper, 12,000 rpm (it accelerates to top speed in just 1.3 seconds); there are 14,000, 18,000 and 30,000 rpm spindles available as options. The standard spindle drive is 20-hp, continuous. The 14,000-rpm spindle is the high-torque version; it generates a continuous 88 lb-ft and a maximum 223 lb-ft. The chip-to-chip tool change time is just 2.4 seconds. The maximum tool size capacity is 6.7 in. in diameter. The standard tool storage magazine has 40 positions. There are options ranging all the way up to 330 positions. Control is via the Mazatrol Matrix 2 CNC; programming can be performed at the machine (even while another part is being cut) or offline.



Milling Machine for Complex Parts

What: The MIKRON HEM 500U milling machine

Who: GF AgieCharmilles (gfac.com)
Important to note: While “AgieCharmilles” 
may ring a bell vis-à-vis electrical discharge machining (EDM) technology—as well it should—the company also designs and engineers more conventional chip removal equipment, like the MIKRON HEM 500U milling machine—which may be conventional in that it uses cutting tools to remove chips, but that’s about the extent of it. This five-axis machine is built to handle aluminum, alloy and steel parts with high accuracy and overall performance.
Pertinent data: The machine features a 12,000-rpm spindle as standard (20,000 rpm is available as an option). There is a standard 30-tool magazine. The tool change time is two seconds, chip-to-chip. The machine has a trunnion table that is 19.7-in. in diameter; it can handle workpieces weighing up to 440 lb. It tilts +50 mm/- 110 mm in the B-axis. It also rotates 360° in C. This facilitates access to various faces of the workpieces. The X, Y and Z axis travels are 19.7, 17.7 and 15.7 in., respectively. The machine uses a Heidenhain iTNC 530 control that features integrated digital drive control with an integrated inverter for accurate, high-velocity contouring.