CNC Machine Tools Success Stories

Southcott expands manufacturing capability with an exceptionally productive Mazak

Southcott Pty Ltd has invested in a Mazak HCR-5000 5-axis, horizontal machining center with a two pallet changer.

Nick Klein, CNC Cell Leader, Southcott Pty Ltd.

Founded in Adelaide in 1886 as a general engineering business by two brothers, James and Albert Southcott, Southcott Pty Ltd is the largest manufacturer of hydraulic couplings and adaptors in Australia.

The company has manufacturing facilities in Taree and Wingham dedicated to manufacturing couplings and adaptors, an Athol Park facility specialising in manifolds, valves, pumps and motors, and a Newcastle based Control Systems Group providing electro-hydraulic systems. The company also boasts an extensive national network comprising of 10 sales and service branches to ensure support at a local level.

Southcott is renowned for precision machining and manufacturing of high quality hydraulic components, achieved through a commitment to excellence and a continued expansion of their manufacturing capabilities.

This commitment to excellence and manufacturing capabilities has led the company to invest in Mazak’s HCR-5000 for very efficient and high-speed 5-axis machining.

Southcott’s Mazak HCR-5000 is specified with an 18,000-rpm spindle option. The spindle features an integral spindle/motor and ballscrew core cooling that minimises vibrations for higher accuracy. The machine is also specified with an 160-tool Auto Tool Changer. Mazak’s Auto Tool Changer further boosts productivity with a chip-to-chip tool change time of only 2.8 seconds.

Linear roller guides allow the Mazak HCR-5000 to achieve 60-m/min rapid traverse rates, 1G acceleration/deceleration rates in the X and Y axes and 0.8G in its Z axis to significantly shorten overall machining cycle times. Also with the guides’ low-friction, high-rigidity designs, the machine delivers aggressive feeds and speeds for everything from heavy-duty to high-speed cutting applications.

The Mazak HCR-5000 achieves unmatched precision with a high-rigidity bed, solid base X-axis construction and roller gear cam systems for the A and C axes. The machine’s extremely accurate tilt/rotary table provides rapid traverse rates of 50 rpm in its C axis and 30 rpm in the A axis. The table positions in 0.0001-degree increments and accommodates parts weighing as much as 500 kg and measuring up to 700 mm in diameter and 644 mm high, depending on the cutting orientation.

In addition to full 5-axis machining capability, the tilt of the table – along with a chip conveyor and flood coolant – ensures efficient chip management and evacuation. To further optimise chip flow, the horizontal spindle orientation also makes it possible to machine a part inverted.

With two-pallet changing, Southcott can load/unload parts on one pallet while the Mazak HCR-5000 continues to work uninterrupted on the other pallet. For extended lights-out operation the Mazak HCR-5000 can in future be integrated with Mazak’s Multi-Pallet Pool (MPP) compact automation solution, or Mazak’s Palletech automation system for high-mix, low-volume production as well as high-volume operations.

Mazak’s MAZATROL SmoothX CNC provides operators with complete control of the Mazak HCR-5000. As the industry’s most capable and powerful CNC control, SmoothX enables 3-D part program visualizations via its touch screen to further improve ease of use in terms of programming and program checking. Cycle times are reduced between 10 percent and 20 percent and surface finishes improved thanks to the control’s SMOOTH Machining Configuration options such as Seamless Corner Control, Active Vibration Control and Variable Acceleration.