Article From: 6/12/2013 Production Machining, Chris Felix , Senior Editor
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It is widely accepted that the concept of vertical turning originated with the idea of capitalizing on the effects of gravity in holding large workpieces. Further developments in the technology through time, though, have added other capabilities, such as multitasking functionality, that have further increased the machines’ relevance.
Methods Machine Tools Inc. (Sudbury, Mass.) has introduced the high-performance Feeler FVT-600 vertical turning lathe (VTL), designed for machining large, heavy, challenging parts including those used in aerospace and power generation industries. This machine demonstrates the growing capabilities of VTLs through automation of processes for high-volume production applications. It is available in left-side and right-side versions, allowing automation to be strategically stationed between the lathes.
“Increasingly, manufacturers are relying on vertical turning lathes to accommodate their larger and heavier parts,” says Dale Hedberg, Feeler product manager at Methods. “This machine is equipped with heavy-duty roller-type linear guideways, resulting in high rigidity when making heavy cuts.”
To minimize thermal deformation and vibration, and increase positioning accuracy, the VTL features rugged construction and precision ballscrews that are directly coupled with highly responsive AC servomotors. It offers a high-precision and high-rigidity spindle that is supported by two double-row cylindrical roller bearings and duplex angular thrust bearings.
This design enables the lathe to endure heavy cutting in both radial and axial directions, resulting in high accuracy during long cutting cycles. The VTL design permits coolant to flush chips to an extra wide conveyor where the chips are immediately evacuated.
The FVT-600 features a 12-position turret and offers an X-axis travel of 12 inches (305 mm) and a 25.6-inch (650-mm) Z-axis travel. Spindle speeds range from 50 to 2,000 rpm on a standard chuck size of 15 inches (381 mm) and optional chuck sizes including 18 inches (457.2 mm), 21 inches (533.4 mm) and 24 inches (609.6 mm), providing a high metal removal rate of 24 m/min. Maximum turning diameter is 23.6 inches (600 mm) and maximum turning length is 25.6 inches (650 mm). Maximum workpiece weight is 2,205 lbs (1,000 kg).
A Fanuc 0i-TD control is standard and available in a swiveling control box for ergonomics and convenience. The machine has a compact footprint at 134-inch length by 71-inch width (3,400-mm length by 1,800-mm width) and weighs 19,842 lbs (9,000 kg).
All Feeler machines include extensive design and engineering by Methods and are backed by Methods’ support and a network of technology centers. Other Methods-Feeler CNC lathes and turning centers include the HT-Series, FTC-Series and FT-Series. The range of Feeler machines encompasses vertical machining centers, turning centers, bridge mills and boring mills.