CNC Machine Tools News

Six Multi-Tasking Machine Design Advancements Important for Job Shops

Multi-Tasking machine tool technology continues to evolve and push machine capabilities that make it easier to machine the most complex parts in the world and do so cost-effectively. Here are six recent machine design advancements that are particularly important to your job shop.

1. Integral-motor roller cam-style turrets

Some of our newest Multi-Tasking machines feature integral-motor turrets that use roller gear cam drive systems. This innovative turret design eliminates the need for curvic/index couplings and delivers smooth, high-speed and high-accuracy digital indexing.

Another important benefit of this design is the expandability feature of the turret, which indexes digitally to any position without changes to its housing. This enables you to increase tool capacity from 12-tool positions up to 24 which equals longer uninterrupted run times and the ability to reduce overall tooling inventory through use of more common tooling.

2.  90-degree configured turrets

The integral-motor, roller gear-cam turret technology also enables infinite radial positioning. This means the turret can be positioned 90 degrees and parallel – as opposed to perpendicular – to a Multi-tasking machine’s turning spindle, which provides incredible capabilities, especially when paired with digitally driven Y axis.

This special 90-degree configuration allows the turret to position in the Z and A (turret rotation) axis to perform Y-axis machining and eliminates the need for an actual Y-axis slide mechanism. This makes the machine a cost-effective Y-axis machining alternative to higher priced machines without any performance sacrifices.

3.  Enhanced lower turrets

Lower turrets on our Multi-Tasking machines have also evolved. They are now much more robust and powerful, plus they typically offer up to nine tool positions with options for live milling spindles. In some cases, the lower turrets are even configured on 45-degree slants, which maximizes the turret’s machining load capacities. This configuration also provides ample accessibility to the machine’s spindle and room for part transfers from main to second turning spindles.

Today’s lower turrets are also more versatile. They can work simultaneously with upper turrets on the same workpiece or in combination with a machine’s milling spindle that can be applied to either side of the machine’s headstock to further reduce machining cycle times. This versatility can help you increase productivity and give you new part processing capabilities.

4.  Direct-drive milling spindles

Modern Multi-Tasking machine turrets also feature new direct-drive technology that makes rotary tool spindles faster and more powerful. Direct-drive mill motors deliver up to 24 percent faster spindle rpm and 60 percent higher torque levels which boosts processing versatility, productivity, tool life and surface quality.

5. Servo drilling tailstocks

The latest NC servo-driven tailstocks are fully programmable and run on their own AC servomotors and ball screws to enable you to automate processes. Through part programs, the tailstocks can extend to known positions and with specified approach feed rates and make contact with workpieces at consistent holding pressures. And because of their positive independent drive systems, these tailstocks can drill holes on shaft centerlines, which adds versatility to the jobs a multi-tasking machine can process.

6. Long drill/tool stockers

Another important advancement in Multi-Tasking machine design is the capability to include long drill/tool stockers, which enable shops to produce longer, larger and more complex shaft-type workpieces. Stockers allow machines to handle and store multiple tools – typically as many as three and each about 40" in length. They are located above the machine’s second spindle or, depending on machine version, its tailstock to keep tools well out of the way, yet quickly and easily accessed automatically.

To learn more about these machine design advancements, contact your local John Hart representative to identify which next generation Mazak Multi-Tasking machine is the best fit for your part-processing needs.