Workpieces up to half a tonne can be machined to very high precision in a nominal half-metre cube.
Tried and tested designs and components used by leading global machine tool manufacturers have been selected by Averex Automation, Taichung (www.averexcnc.com), to produce the Akari HS-450i horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC). By selecting only the best constituents and coupling them with a lower cost manufacturing base in Taiwan, the company is able to build a very high precision machine at a competitive price.
The twin-pallet, 4-axis HMC was originally aimed specifically to fulfil a requirement in the American market. Over 100 have been sold in the US as well as in European countries including France, Italy and Germany, but none yet in the UK. To address this, Whitehouse Machine Tools has been appointed sole UK sales and service agent under an agreement signed shortly before MACH 2012.
A novel design feature is the machine’s ability to be expanded retrospectively in the field, easily and affordably, from two to six pallets and from 80 through 120 to 220 tools in about one day.
The result is a highly flexible manufacturing centre that can grow with a user’s business to allow extended periods of high-efficiency, unmanned machining. Large batches, small-lot multiple-part runs, and even ones and twos may all be produced cost effectively. Unusually, both 400 and 500 mm pallets can be used at the same time, offering additional flexibility for oversized parts and fixtures.
Of extremely high quality and precision, the 12-tonne HMC is built to exacting standards and includes thermal control of ballscrew nuts, thrust bearings, Y-axis servo mounting and spindle cartridge by means of recirculating, chilled oil. The machine also boasts hand scraped surfaces for mounting the ballscrew bearing blocks and roller bearing slideways, plus a host of other top end features.
An air/oil mist system delivers precise, pressurised lubrication to the ballscrews, roller guideways and spindle bearings, reducing thermal growth and allowing cutting accuracies of 2.5 microns and repeatability of 2 microns to be maintained. Circularity and roundness are quoted as 3.6 and 2.1 microns respectively if the machine is installed in a temperature controlled environment.
Only top quality components are used, such as the single-piece FCD600 castings for the spindle and pallets, Tsubaki ballscrews, THK heavy duty roller guideways, Tsudakoma rotary table which provides a full fourth axis, BIG Plus 40-taper spindle with face-and-taper contact coupling, Kosmek tapered cones on the automatic pallet changer which also has high pressure air clean, and Fanuc 31i NANO control.
The machine is also fast. It has a 15,000rpm / 22 kW direct drive spindle and one-second servo-driven tool change, extending to three seconds when probes, special boring bars or heavy tools are being exchanged. 1g linear acceleration to 60 m/min cutting feed rate around the 640 x 610 x 680 mm working volume ensure minimal idle times. Maximum workpiece size is 750 mm diameter by one metre high.