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MULTITASKING


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 re- moval rates that are on par with typical machining centers. In addition, technologies such as Okuma’s Turn-cut Function that were only available on machining centers in the past are now migrating to the Multus. “There are several key features that make multitask- ing machines attractive to manufacturers,” Fischer said. “Producing a part conventionally requires an operator


also loads and unloads diff erent 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


simplifi es the automation of multitasking machines. With vision systems, the robot can fi nd the part without special- ized and expensive in-feed conveyors. Low-cost fl at con- veyors 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.


In an Okuma cell, a FANUC robot loads and unloads a Multus B300 multitasking machine, as well as loading and unloading diff erent pallets onto the face of the chuck. Changeover is com- pleted automatically in about a minute.


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 fi nished part unloaded. Everything else is handled by the machine, eliminating the intermediate steps where mistakes can happen. The ability to change from one job to another in a matter of minutes makes it relatively painless to respond to rapidly changing produc- tion 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.” Flexible workholding systems that make this possible


are critical, Fischer said: “Customers need to be able to change over quickly, moving between parts that diff er sig- nifi cantly in size and shape. In the past, these systems were cumbersome with large overhangs that resulted in restrict- ed working ranges and loss of rigidity. The latest systems are a big improvement being much more compact and extremely rigid. For example, we have a cell in our show- room that uses a Multus B300 multitasking machine that is tended by a FANUC robot that loads and unloads parts but


32


Productivity centers feature ATCs “The idea of the ICON fl exible series of mill-turn ma-


chines is to off er a cost-competitive precision machining solution with easier changeovers on the lower volume type products 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 sta- tions 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-posi- tion toolchanger for a possible total of 96 tools available on a fully equipped 6-250/8 station model. Target workpieces for the ICON 6-150 and 8-150 mill-turn


are parts that are typically produced on single-spindle Swiss machines, VMCs and HMCs. The ICON 6-250 is designed for larger workpieces like those for automotive manifolds and ABS parts. One signifi cant diff erence between the


Summer 2016 Photo courtesy Okuma America


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