VARIAXIS i-800 NEO Vertical Machining Center

March 17, 2021
VMC Faster, More Versatile and Easier to Automate

Mazak's new VARIAXIS i-800 NEO Vertical Machining Center offers shops an enhanced version of a popular 5-axis machine, with a powerful CNC, faster machining cycle times, expanded workpiece capacities and more automation options. Mazak showcased the new machine during the company's recent All Axes LIVE event in February 2021.

Among the primary enhancements on the VARIAXIS i-800 NEO is the MAZATROL SmoothAi CNC. It features such functions as SMOOTH Machining Configuration (SMC) for process optimization with real-time operator control of a wide range of cutting parameters and Ai Thermal Shield for stable machining accuracy through smart compensation for heat displacement. Also with the launch of the MAZATROL SmoothAi, Mazak introduced its SMOOTH Project Manager Gateway software as an available option.

Working with external CAM software such as Autodesk’s Fusion 360, SMOOTH Project Manager Gateway allows access to internal machine data, which enables the Fusion 360 programmer to query the machine to download machine models, current tooling configuration, offset data, stroke limits and many other configuration parameters. This information can then be used at the CAM workstation to create more accurate machine programs configured to the limits and capabilities of the actual machine.

Additionally, highly realistic program simulations with current, real-time setup information can be achieved giving even less experienced operators the confidence they need to run highly complex part programs. The machine’s tooling configuration can be modified and updated at the Fusion 360 workstation and sent back to the machine for operators to complete the setup more accurately than ever before.

In terms of speed, the VARIAXIS i-800 NEO now achieves rapid traverse rates of 1,890 ipm (48 m/m) in the X, Y and Z axes that contribute significantly to reduced cycle times. To accommodate larger workpieces, axis strokes increased to 29.52" in X, 35.03" in Y and 23.62" in Z (750 mm/890 mm/600 mm). Maximum workpiece weight capacities are 2,204.62 lbs (1,000 kg) on the single-table version of the VARIAXIS i-800 NEO, and up to 1,543.24 lb (700 kg) with a two-pallet changer.

The machine now handles maximum tool lengths up to 16.33 inches (415 mm) in available magazine capacities of 30, 40, 80 120 tools. A new servo drive shortens tool wait times by up to 58%, and a 4.3 second chip-to-chip tool change time helps further reduce noncut time.

For additional flexibility, automation options include a two-pallet changer, along with the Mazak Multi-Pallet Pool (MPP) compact multiple pallet stocker system and the modular Mazak PALLETECH System. The VARIAXIS i-800 NEO can work within the same PALLETECH cell alongside other popular Mazak machines, including the HCN‑5000 and HCN‑5000/50. To support hydraulic and pneumatic fixturing, the machine provides nine ports with a single table configuration and four ports inside plus eight outside the machine for two-pallet changing.

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.

  • inches per minute ( ipm)

    inches per minute ( ipm)

    Value that refers to how far the workpiece or cutter advances linearly in 1 minute, defined as: ipm = ipt 5 number of effective teeth 5 rpm. Also known as the table feed or machine feed.

  • 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.