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VERTICAL MACHINING CENTERS


developments in cutting tool technology, challenging the other to catch up and move ahead. “From what we’ve seen, our machines have been pushing the envelope of cutting tool capabilities,” said Michael Fecteau, Makino application engineer. “We’ve been able to achieve higher feed rates with tools like the six-flute solid-carbide ballnose end mills from Mitsubishi-Hitachi Tool, and now other cutting tool manufac- turers who are developing multiflute cutting tools. With these new developments in cutting tools we are able to reduce the machining times even more,” said Fecteau. “For finishing and some semifinishing, we recommend shrink-fit toolholding and have been using MST and Haimer systems. MST has released its submicron UNO shrink-fit holder with less than 0.001-mm runout. We have been utilizing these holders for achieving longer tool life and better surface finishes in high-speed and micro cutting with very noticeable results.”


CNC, Motion Control Set Machining Agenda Hurco Companies Inc. (Indianapolis, IN) numbers among its customers those that manufacture parts for the automo- tive, aerospace, medical equipment, energy, injection tool and molding, transportation, and computer equipment industries. Known for conversational programming, Hurco’s NC control features complete compatibility with the most commonly used CAM systems and comprehensive FANUC integration. “Our customers have grown accustomed to the ease of use and versatility of the Hurco control,” said Michael Cope, product technical specialist. “The WinMax software allows the user to benefit from a powerful control that allows them to run G-code, program conversationally at the machine, or combine both programming disciplines for the ultimate in flexibility, for three-axis and five-axis configurations.” Hurco’s VMCs are designed to give customers the ability to eliminate process steps and increase efficiency during the 60% of noncut time that accompanies most jobs, especially helping customers efficiently produce a high mix of parts at lower volumes profitably. According to Cope, “Thermal stabil- ity of the Hurco BX40i three-axis double-column, bridge-style machine, coupled with the faster 18,000-rpm spindle, makes it well suited for the die/mold industry.” Hurco also offers this machine model in a five-axis configuration (BX40Ui) as well. “Our motion control technology, called UltiMotion, is a software-based system that provides better surface finishes, shorter cycle times, and smoother overall motion of


44 AdvancedManufacturing.org | June 2017


The YASDA PX-30i, a five-axis, high-


Photo courtesy Methods Machine Tools


precision, automated vertical machining center.


the machine tool. Some customers are experiencing more than 30% reduction in cycle times over the same processes running on machines without the UltiMotion technology.” “High-speed machining toolpaths are becoming more


and more prevalent in the moldmaking industry all the time,” said Cope. “These high-speed algorithms, coupled with the ever-faster spindle speeds, and better cutting tool technolo- gies, allow molds to be finished in much less time than previously possible.” Hurco has released a set of conversational high-speed


toolpath routines for pocketing, called AdaptiPath. “This new control technology allows our conversational users to also benefit from the same type of roughing algorithms as CAD/CAM software offers, and to rough-out pockets in a fraction of the time that it would take with normal pocketing routines,” said Cope. AdaptiPath is designed to allow the programmer to easily control the amount of material the tool will engage, even in corners. This type of toolpath control allows for deeper cuts and faster speeds when pocketing. AdaptiPath also offers a “rest machining” process prior to finishing the pocket.


Full Five-Axis Contouring Machining Centers The MU-V series of five-axis vertical machining centers


from Okuma America Corp. (Charlotte, NC) is designed for stability, accuracy, and reliability. “The MU-V platform utilizes double-column construction giving it the best possible stabil- ity, with the trunnion turned 90° from previous models which allows for easy automation,” said Wade Anderson, product specialist and Tech Center manager. “All the high-tech bells and whistles really don’t mean any- thing, absolutely nothing, if you have to have a service truck


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