12/22/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

A Look at High Precision

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Here's an overview of the new features available on a series of multi-process machining centers designed for both bar-fed work and blanks.


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The coverage from the EMO show in September continues. Such an immense show is impossible to do justice, particularly in a single Production Machining issue, but new features available with Willemin-Macodel’s 408MT and 508MT multi-process machining centers deserve at least a quick overview.

First introduced at the end of the 1990s (408MT) and mid-2000s (508MT) respectively, these machines have seen continuous modifications, including new modules, functions and peripherals. The latest revisions bring features aimed at increased stability and flexibility that the manufacturer hopes will make them more attractive to subcontractors. “We have optimized machining of small production runs of workpieces, making these machines even simpler and quicker,” says Denis Jeannerat, technical director, Willemin-Macodel.

The 508MTLinear features full direct drive on a five-axis machine. Allowing bar milling and turning, the machine combines three linear motors and two torque motors on the rotary axes. This design offers highly dynamic control and provides equal performance on all axes, avoiding the presence of weak elements in the drive chain.

Thermal stabilization (control of all heat sources) assists in machining of parts in small production runs, including individual parts. The vertical axis is completely controlled by compensating for its own weight and by a combined electrical/mechanical braking system in case of emergency shutdown.

With all of its machines assembled on a common platform, Willemin-Macodel matches these new highlights with the features already on machines, including the 408MT. The spindle features an integrated motor running at 42,000 rpm. Also included are a large capacity tool magazine, a tool change-over time of 0.8 second, and flexible and modular automation functions.

The 408MT is designed to push the machining boundary between milling and turning. The compact five-axis bar machining center is equipped with an eight-position turning turret, allowing it to machine simultaneously on the main spindle. It can perform interior turning concurrently with turning or milling around the external diameter. The turning turret is designed to allow the removal of the large volume of chips generated during turning and frontal drilling. This efficient, simultaneous machining can help to significantly reduce cycle time.

Typical Willemin-Macodel customers produce very high-tech, specialized parts, often in small volumes or single units. According to Mr. Jeannerat, the machines are designed to help these customers produce their parts within the desired tolerances at a competitive price with the ability to move from one setup to another, on a single machine, safely and quickly.

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