MAG3.EX 5-axis Horizontal Machining Center

June 20, 2017
MAG3.EX 5-axis Horizontal Machining Center

Makino offers the next-generation MAG3.EX 5-axis horizontal machining center, a machine platform updated with expanded capabilities for the processing of complex aluminum structural parts for the aerospace industry. With its speed, power and motion control enhancements, the new MAG3.EX provides aerospace manufacturers with the productivity necessary to exceed customer demands for costs, quality and lead-times, according to the company.

“The original MAG3.EX has been a staple in the aerospace industry for more than a decade. However, to continuously innovate and position manufacturers for the future, we pushed to increase both cutting and control capabilities,” said Dave Ward, product marketing manager at Makino. “When updating the machine, we focused on three main design objectives: higher productivity, enhanced features and reliability, and interchangeability. The new design delivers on all three with exceptional results, establishing a new standard for aluminum structural aircraft component production.”

The MAG3.EX is equipped to take on aluminum structural parts up to 4 meters in length (approximately 13 feet), including wing ribs, bulk heads and beam-type components. Its X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 4,000mm, 1,500mm, and 1,000mm (157.5 inches, 59.1 inches, 39.4 inches), respectively, accommodate part sizes up to 4,000mm by 1,500mm by 750mm (157.5 inches by 59.1 inches by 29.5 inches, respectively). The machine’s A and C axes are located within the spindle housing and provide ±110-degree tilting and 360-degree rotation.

Many key components, including the spindle, coolant system and automatic tool changer, have been updated with enhanced technologies to achieve next-generation productivity.

By increasing the spindle power from 120kW to 130kW in the updated model, maximum power can be achieved at 26,000 rpm rather than 33,000 rpm with the previous spindle. Cutting feedrates and acceleration rates have also been improved with cutting feedrates increasing from 25.4 M/minute to 50 M/minute and acceleration rates reaching 1G. Together, these enhanced features dramatically improve processing speeds for all aluminum structural type components.

In addition to added power and feedrates, rapid traverse rates have been improved across all axes: 25 revolutions per minute on the A/C, 62.7m/minute (2,440 IPM) on the X-axis, and 58 m/minute (2,283 IPM) on the Y- and Z-axis. These faster axial movements, combined with an improved automatic tool changer and automatic pallet changer, reduce non-cutting times in operation for the highest degree of machine utilization. In some test parts, cycle times have been reduced by up to 23 percent compared to the previous model.

To keep up with the larger volume of chips removed by the improved spindle capabilities, coolant and chip management systems have also been updated for improved maintainability.

The MAG3.EX is built with a large-capacity automatic toolchanger, capable of holding up to 120 tools and reducing the time it takes to change tools by 30 percent, and an automatic pallet changer, eliminating the need to stop machining for work setup. Furthermore, the platform features a horizontally oriented work-setting station that lets operators quickly and easily set workpieces on the pallet, similar to how they would a vertical machining center.

Three key features of the next-generation MAG3.EX include Makino’s new Pro6 control, MPmax real-time process monitoring and Collision Safe Guard technologies. A dedicated monitor screen for MPmax is located next to the Pro6 control. Here, the operator can watch uptime rates, view images captured by the monitoring camera and monitor the condition of the spindle in real time. Moreover, operators can access the recorded data and check details afterward.

Makino’s proprietary Collision Safe Guard technology is a function that runs real-time interference checks to avoid spindle crashes. By combining on-board machine geometry models with workpiece, fixture and tooling data input by the user, Collision Safe Guard can predict and stop the machine prior to collision, protecting investments in the machine, fixture, tooling and workpiece. This state-of-the-art sensing technology protects the spindle from damage caused by overload.

The original MAG3 has been a leading machine platform for the aerospace industry for more than a decade, and features one of the broadest install bases in the industry. As such, maintaining compatibility and interchangeability with these existing systems was a critical consideration in the development of the next-generation MAG3.EX.

The updated MAG3.EX can be used with existing pallets, work-setting stations and even pallet changers, making it fully compatible with Makino’s highly flexible MMC2 systems. This design enables manufacturers to expand existing MAG3.EX cells or replace older machines from their MMC2 with no changes to the foundation.

Related Glossary Terms

  • automatic toolchanger

    automatic toolchanger

    Mechanism typically included in a machining center that, on the appropriate command, removes one cutting tool from the spindle nose and replaces it with another. The changer restores the used tool to the magazine and selects and withdraws the next desired tool from the storage magazine. The changer is controlled by a set of prerecorded/predetermined instructions associated with the part(s) to be produced.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • toolchanger


    Carriage or drum attached to a machining center that holds tools until needed; when a tool is needed, the toolchanger inserts the tool into the machine spindle. See automatic toolchanger.