a40 Horizontal Machining Center

July 01, 2015

Makino introduces the a40 horizontal machining center purpose-built for nonferrous die-cast parts machining. The a40 addresses the unique needs of the die cast market by enhancing machine attributes most critical to improving productivity and per-piece costs in the machining of near net shape die-cast aluminum parts.

"Die cast manufacturers are under intense pricing pressure with mandatory cost reductions from OEMs and increasing global competition. The keys to overcoming these challenges lie in the reduction of machining cycle time and elimination of unplanned down time," said David Ward, horizontal product line manager for Makino. "To address the cycle time issue, Makino has re-evaluated each of the major castings using an Intelligent R.O.I [Reduction of Inertia] design philosophy. The new design provides superior linear and radial agility and acceleration."

With the introduction of the a40, die cast manufacturers have a machine that is designed specifically with their production goals in mind. The machine's ability to reduce part machining cycle time not only cuts down on per-piece cost, but also has far-reaching savings affecting capital investment, labor, floor space, utility consumption and durable tooling, according to the company.

The a40 offers a 400-mm pallet with a workpiece capacity of 630mm (24.8 inches) in diameter by 900mm (35.4 inches) tall, making it an ideal platform for die cast parts commonly machined in the automotive and consumer product industries. Axis travels of the machine are 560mm (22.0 inches), 640mm (25.2 inches) and 640mm (25.2 inches) in the X, Y and Z planes, respectively. Maximum payload is 400 kg (880 lbs). The a40 also offers numerous features and capabilities for improved utilization and reductions in non-cut time, including a 40-position automatic tool changer and an automatic pallet change system to ensure uninterrupted operation.

Makino's Intelligent R.O.I. (Reduction of Inertia) design is a collection of innovative technologies designed to slash un-productive non-cut times from part processes. Through this unique design strategy the a40 is able to provide:

• Responsive CAT40 spindle acceleration to 12,000 rpm in 0.5 seconds.

• Quick completion of common tapping operations with 6,000-rpm rigid tapping synchronization speed.

• An average of 29 percent faster time to full rapid traverse rate, minimizing common feature to feature positioning time.

• Optimal acceleration performance of multiple machine systems with evaluation of fixture and tool weights through Inertia Active Control (IAC) technology.

Unplanned down time is devastating to high-volume die cast production machining. As such, the reliability of the machining system is paramount. The a40 utilizes several of the robust, proven systems from Makino's 1-Series horizontal machining centers. Systems like single-piece X- and Z-axis covers, center trough chip and coolant management and dual supported ATC mechanisms provide exceptional reliability throughout the life of the machine. The a40 leverages these proven technologies, but then advances reliability with a host of new systems:

• Standard Vision type broken tool detection supports unattended operation by quickly validating the condition of the cutting tools after each tool change.

• Dedicated tool taper cleaning nozzles wash the tool taper with 20μ filtered coolant with each tool change, ensuring contamination free tool clamping.

• Three stage coolant filtration with 20μ hydro-cyclone, eliminates coolant tank sludge common with aluminum machining, extending time between coolant system PM or cleaning.

Related Glossary Terms

  • centers


    Cone-shaped pins that support a workpiece by one or two ends during machining. The centers fit into holes drilled in the workpiece ends. Centers that turn with the workpiece are called “live” centers; those that do not are called “dead” centers.

  • coolant


    Fluid that reduces temperature buildup at the tool/workpiece interface during machining. Normally takes the form of a liquid such as soluble or chemical mixtures (semisynthetic, synthetic) but can be pressurized air or other gas. Because of water’s ability to absorb great quantities of heat, it is widely used as a coolant and vehicle for various cutting compounds, with the water-to-compound ratio varying with the machining task. See cutting fluid; semisynthetic cutting fluid; soluble-oil cutting fluid; synthetic cutting fluid.

  • fixture


    Device, often made in-house, that holds a specific workpiece. See jig; modular fixturing.

  • machining center

    machining center

    CNC machine tool capable of drilling, reaming, tapping, milling and boring. Normally comes with an automatic toolchanger. See automatic toolchanger.

  • payload ( workload)

    payload ( workload)

    Maximum load that the robot can handle safely.

  • rapid traverse

    rapid traverse

    Movement on a CNC mill or lathe that is from point to point at full speed but, usually, without linear interpolation.

  • tapping


    Machining operation in which a tap, with teeth on its periphery, cuts internal threads in a predrilled hole having a smaller diameter than the tap diameter. Threads are formed by a combined rotary and axial-relative motion between tap and workpiece. See tap.

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