Three entry-level, 5-axis machining centres were introduced by the German manufacturer, Spinner, at EMO 2013. Called the U5 Compact series, they are cost-optimised versions the established 620, 1520 and 2520 models that have been sold since the late 2000s.
Available in the UK through sole agent, Whitehouse Machine Tools, the machines lower the 5-axis investment threshold, extending this important technology to a wider variety of manufacturers, subcontractors and job shops.
The smallest model, U5 620 Compact, is priced from under £100,000. It is suitable for workpieces up to 500 x 500 x 500 mm and the specification includes a 9,000 rpm BT40 or HSK spindle and linear rapid traverse of 32 m/min.
Versions are offered with 24, 32 or 54 tools, implying that this is less an ‘economy’ machine and more a fully fledged, high technology production centre.
The Siemens 840DSL control fitted to U5 Compact series machines can interpolate four axes simultaneously (4+1) for carrying out profiling of significant complexity.
This is enabled by the new Combidrive amplifiers and is a key differentiator, as most entry-level machines on the market are restricted by having two positional axes (3+2).
Spinner plans to continue its development of this type of machining centre and establish itself as a major manufacturer. It will soon ship its 1,000th 5-axis machine.