5 Face Double Column Machining Centers

In order to increase the scope of applications, many leading machine tool manufacturers have proposed a new 5 face double column machining center design to manufacture large, complex parts while reducing machining time. The basic design of the large 5 face double column machining center uses two columns and a beam on the column to support the spindle head and a shaft to traverse the table, thereby increasing the dimensional capacity for machining large workpieces. This leaves a single shaft to carry the weight of the part. The other traverse axis no longer requires a large motor or mechanical structure to bear the weight of the parts, thereby reducing costs and making the large-scale work cover machine more affordable.

Machining Larger Parts with 5 Face Double Column Design

As parts increase, higher material removal rates are required. Using large tools, such as CAT 50 or HSK 100, if the 5 face double column machining center is strong and stable, it can meet the needs. The weight of the machine increases to support this, the main shaft is large, has multiple gears, and the maximum RPM available is relatively low. Advances in the mechanical design are necessary to maintain light weight and rigidity, and to use higher-speed spindles to increase material removal rates.

Larger parts require greater capacity and higher stiffness from 5 face double column machining centers to support greater table loads. Modern five-sided double-column machining centers are designed for extremely high cutting capabilities, with a robust box structure, high-speed and high-torque spindle options, and a spacious working area. The 5 face double column machining center is ideal for high-precision mold industries that require roughing and finishing of large cavities and cores. They are usually the first choice for processing complex parts in aerospace, automotive, medical, guns, and other industries.


The Industry Before 5 Face Machining

Many mechanical workshops are used to piece together various equipment in order to increase productivity. For example, retrofitting a 4-axis table with a tailstock to a 3-axis mill, or installing a 4-axis or 5-axis trunnion table to a 3-axis mill so that the operator can access more parts surface. It can be traced back to the time when all manual tools required manual operation and the tolerances of parts were larger. The C-shaped machine design is the industry standard. When CNC appeared, dimensional tolerances became stricter and manufacturers required faster spindle speeds to handle difficult-to-machine alloys, and the performance issues inherent in the C-shape design became apparent.

The main problem of C-shape design is the rigid requirements of today's manufacturing industry cannot be maintained. Since the working parts of the machine tool are suspended on a single upright structure, the cutting tool inevitably deforms during high-speed or heavy-duty cutting operations. Not only does this make it more difficult to maintain tolerances, but it also induces vibration, which can lead to premature wear of many machine components.


The 5 Face Double Column Revolution

Advances in technological manufacturing in the 1980s meant that better designs were necessary and possible. By using two columns instead of one, many manufacturers can greatly increase the stiffness and stability of the machine, thereby significantly reducing vibration and tool deflection, maintaining tighter tolerances while allowing the machine to run at the optimum spindle speed. The design of the five-sided double-column machining center can also better control the thermal deformation. Laboratory tests confirmed that the thermal stability of the bridge design is ten times that of the C-shaped design machine because when using the 5 face double column machining center, the heat will only have a linear effect on the bridge structure. This means that the machine only expands in a straight line, so changes can be compensated electronically.

On the other hand, since the X-axis and Y-axis both move on a single-row machine, thermal expansion occurs in the cube. The center of the spindle is where all the power is applied. The closer it is to the mass of the machine, the greater its rigidity. In a 5 face double column machining center design, because you move between columns, you have complete Y-axis coverage. Although the manufacturing cost of the C-shaped column design is lower and can reduce the initial purchase price of the CNC machine tool, the 55 face double column machining center can be rewarded over time in two important ways. First, the double-column design reduces vibration, which reduces wear on key components, so the machine will perform better over a longer life. Secondly, reduced deflection means more precise cutting, faster spindle speed, and more efficient production. Many manufacturers of double column machines have various sizes and configurations.

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