The Awesome VMC milling machine

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

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The Awesome VMC milling machine

VMC milling machines or vertical machining centers with advanced features and functions are gaining ground as more productive members of the workshop CNC equipment arsenal. VMC milling machines today challenge the notion that they must be shipped to some rarely visited dark corner of the store or restricted to secondary processing. VMCs have traditionally been less expensive than horizontal machining centers, but with no manufacturing capacity.

To some extent, the latest additions to advanced technologies have enabled VMC to close the productivity gap and provide a competitive advantage in high speed and precision applications as diverse as aerospace, medicine, energy and similar demanding industries. The functionality of the VMC has been greatly enhanced with the addition of a table configuration on a 4th and 5th axis table and tenons, multiple pallet changers, more tools and high speed spindles. VMCs are capable of processing the most complex workpieces, such as bladed rotors for jet engines, turbine blades for power generation, large aerospace components, and precision mold and die work.

Read more : VMC Machinery for production and efficiency

 

Die and Mold VMC Case Study

Some of the world's leading and most successful extrusion blow molders and stretch blow molds manufacturers. In close cooperation with its customers, the company develops new packaging designs for the food, pharmaceutical, chemical, automotive and cosmetic industries, as well as dies and molds.

The production of extrusion blow molds ranges from drilling and milling cooling systems to roughing and finishing with DMC VMC. Close partnerships with customers often start with the development of new packaging designs. The sooner we help the process with our experience, the more economical it is to produce the dies for everyone concerned.

The company carries out large-scale production in its large and modern facilities. Precision machining is performed by a huge fleet of machines, including CNC machines from DMG Mori. In addition to the two CTX lathes, the fleet of machines includes five vertical machining centers from the DMG Mori DMC V series. This includes the DMC 1150 V, the DMC 1450 V and also the new DMC 1850 V.

The machines run at full speed, processing precision extruded blow molds that account for 80 percent of production. Their manufacturing processes range from drilling and milling cooling systems to roughing and finishing. The VMC milling center extends to 1,850 mm travel paths in the X axis and 700 mm and 550 mm respectively in the Y and Z axes. Maximum payload of 3,000 kg.

It perfectly matches the requirements of the mold and die manufacturer. The stability of the machine applies to both 2.5D machining and drilling as well as 3D roughing. Thanks to its accuracy and dynamics, the machine also impresses with precision 3D finishing and is therefore suitable for use in all phases of tool production. After just a few months of field testing, the DMC 1850 V was operated in two shifts and has been operating reliably ever since.

 

VMC with Tilt Table

The advanced features of the VC-500A / 5X allow you to ensure the shortest possible machining cycle times, especially in fine gain programs for simultaneous five-axis operations and freeform machining. These features include high-gain feedback control, high-speed rotary axis, variable acceleration control, and intelligent pocket milling. Special gear design software and a metrology unit can be integrated into the closed-loop gear machining process.

VC-500A / 5X axis travels accommodate part sizes up to 19.88 19 (505 mm) in diameter and 12 ″ (305 mm) in height. Rapid traverse speeds for these three linear axes are 1181 ipm (30 m / min). The VC-500Z / 5X is equipped with a 12,000-rpm high-speed CAT-40 spindle for all common materials including steel, aluminum and cast iron. Optional spindle speeds of 15,000 and 20,000 rpm are available.

The 60-tool ATC helps reduce setup times, allow for redundant tooling and provide increased unmanned, uninterrupted operations. This process gives workshops a highly precise and economical option to machine small and medium-sized gear lots using standard equipment.

 

Automation of individual machines

As production space is at a premium, compact machines are widely appreciated, as is automation, which can optimize the space available. Single machine automation systems for vertical machining centers offer a productive solution for small workshops that are able to meet changing production requirements with expandable, cost-effective systems. They require minimal floor space and provide work without lighting, keeping the machine spindles in the cut, while operators are free to load new parts, perform quality checks, or perform various other workshop tasks.

When it comes to automation, machine tool OEMs such as Mazak are realizing that one size does not fit all and continues to expand scalable automation systems. Such systems are scalable in size, cost, and capability, yet provide the typical benefits of any form of automation—increased output from machines and labor—essentially doing more with less.

Here's how Mazak evaluates the advantages of automating one machine. Compared to more expansive automation systems, single-machine automation systems take up much less space, and in many cases, workshops are all that is needed.

Today's single-machine automation systems are usually standardized but flexible and expandable solutions. For example, Mazak's Multi Pallet Pool (MPP) Automation System gives stores the option of three different configurations to accommodate 6, 12 or 18 pallets. The system operates under a variety of production methods and the operator can set the MPP system to low mix / high volume parts or short run parts with frequent changes.

Initially, the store could start with a six-pallet MPP consisting of two rows of three pallets. This two-tier system can be expanded to six pallets per row for a total pool of 12. In a system with 18 pallets, the MPP would expand to three rows of six pallets. Regardless of configuration, the MPP’s size in terms of footprint remains small, saving valuable shop floor space.

For example, the six-pallet MPP pallet changer in combination with the 5-axis VMC Mazak Variaxis i-600 takes up 29 percent less floor space than a linear system with six pallets, while still providing the same capacity. Compared to a 12-pallet system, MPP reduces floor space by 44 percent. When used with the 5-axis VMC Mazak Variaxis i-700, the six-pallet MPP is 44 percent smaller than the straight-stack six-pallet system, and the 12- and 18-pallet MPP systems take up less than half the space.

Read more : Need a VMC 5 axis Machine?

Unlike other automation systems, MPP uses actual machine pallets instead of additional ones placed on top of the existing machine pallet. The MPP of the Variaxis i-600 includes a 400mm square pallet that can hold a maximum of 300kg of payload with dimensions up to 600mm in diameter and 425mm in height.

The Variaxis i-700 MPP pallet is 500mm square and has a load capacity of 400 kg. The MPP operates with the same pallet clamping system as would a typical two-pallet changer installed on a machine tool. Within the MPP, a servo-driven robot picks and places pallets in and out of the machine.

MPP uses the same Smooth PMC software that controls Mazak's extensive multi-machine Palletech automation system. The machine control system displays software running on a separate cell controller module. Smooth PMC makes it easy to monitor your automated machining system from almost anywhere using your smartphone, computer or tablet. The software also allows stores to change schedules on the fly, manage part program files, track tool life / breakage, and issue instructions to the shop floor.

 

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