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MULTITASKING


don’t want to give up any milling capabilities on their mul- titasking lathes and they don’t want to give up any turning capabilities on the multitasking machining centers.” Okuma’s Multus series of multitasking lathes are equipped with milling spindles capable of performance equal to its large machining centers. Spindles range from 6000 to 12,000 rpm and even 20,000 rpm and achieve metal removal rates that are on par with typical machining centers. In addition, technologies such as Okuma’s Turn-cut Function that were only available on ma- chining centers in the past are now migrating to the Multus. “There are several key features that make multitasking machines attractive to manufacturers,” Fischer said. “Produc- ing a part conventionally requires an operator or robot to move the part from one machine to another. In each case, a misload is possible resulting in scrap or rework. With a multitasking machine the raw material must be loaded and a finished part unloaded. Everything else is handled by the machine, eliminat- ing the intermediate steps where mistakes can happen. The ability to change from one job to another in a matter of min-


When We Say “LIVE TOOLING” We Mean It!


utes makes it relatively painless to respond to rapidly changing production demands. For example, interruptions for that hot job no longer result in multiple machine setups to make it. Just change out the jaws, select the program and run the part.”


“One of the primary goals of multitasking machine development is to minimize any tradeoffs.”


Flexible workholding systems that enable this quick changeover are critical, according to Fischer: “Customers need to be able to change over quickly, moving between parts that differ significantly in size and shape. In the past, these systems were cumbersome with large overhangs that resulted in restricted working ranges and loss of rigidity. The latest systems are a big improvement over the older systems being much more compact and extremely rigid. For example, we have a cell in our showroom that uses a Multus B300 multitasking machine that is tended by a FANUC robot that loads and unloads parts but also loads and unloads differ- ent pallets onto the face of the chuck. This allows the cell to change over completely automatically in about a minute. With this type of system a customer can move from one part to another without any operator intervention. Vision systems on robots are another technology that simplifies the automation of multitasking machines. With vision systems, the robot can find the part without specialized and expensive in-feed conveyors. Low-cost flat conveyors can be used and the operator can place the parts on the conveyor at random and the robot will locate and if required orientate to the part,” said Fischer.


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NEW…LITERATURE DOWN- LOADS ON LIVE TOOLING FOR BRAND-SPECIFIC MACHINES… OKUMA, MAZAK, HAAS, NAKAMURA AND MORE!


Productivity Centers Feature Integrated Pallet Transfer, ATCs “The idea of the ICON flexible series of mill-turn machines


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is to offer a cost-competitive precision machining solution with easier changeovers on the lower volume type prod- ucts compared with traditional special-purpose rotary dial machines,” said Rodger Boswell, vice president-sales, ICON Technologies Division, Hydromat Inc. (St. Louis). Available in three versions, the ICON 6-150 and 8-150 for workpieces with 6" (150-mm or smaller) cube and the ICON 6-250 for workpieces 10" (250-mm or smaller) cube, ICON turn-mill machines feature machining stations equipped with four-axis machining modules with cartridge-style motor spindles from 10,000 to 60,000 rpm. Each machining module is equipped with its own 12-position toolchanger for a possible total of 96 tools available on a fully equipped 6-250/8 station model.


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