Multitasking Represents a Trend for Growth
The need for turning shops to increase their capabilities by incorporating new technologies has allowed us to broaden our scope to include interesting topics such as multitasking machines. Read further for information about a shop that has added bar-fed mill-turn machines to better meet customer needs.
Unlike our sister publication, Modern Machine Shop, which covers the full range of metalworking operations, Production Machining is far more focused. Originally created to serve the screw machine market, addressing high volume precision parts manufacturers, it is vertical in nature with more narrow coverage.
But as lines become further blurred among machining technologies, we find ourselves reaching more often into areas that we’ve avoided in the past. Many of the shops that we write for are involved in more than only turning operations. They may have always had some milling machines for certain work. Perhaps they cut their own form tooling with an EDM. The reality is that while the primary focus of most of our readers is turning, to continue to address the needs of their customers and grow, they often need to incorporate other technologies as well.
Multitasking machines may be viewed as a sort of transitionary technology that can fit well with the shop that is looking to add milling capabilities to its turning operations. In recent years, we’ve delved deeper into the benefits of these machines. Our Turn/Mill & Multitasking Machines Zone provides links to more than 100 articles and videos about the technology, along with quite a few product releases that cover specific machines that offer multitasking capabilities.
Taking it a step further, in our upcoming July issue, we visit a shop that primarily does milling work. The company does have a CNC Swiss-type for certain work, but the majority of the medical components it produces are run on five-axis mills from Willemin-Macodel. What’s cool, though, is that these mills are bar-fed, and two of them are equipped with 6,000-rpm turning capabilities on the A axis. Get a sneak peek at “Applying Multitasking’s Versatility” to see how this shop is maximizing its production time.
Willemin-Macodel also offers its 408MTT model, which includes a nine-position turning turret in addition to the five-axis dedicated milling spindle. The turret can house one rotating tailstock center, three axial tools and five radial tools. This setup allows turning operations to be performed while the milling spindle is doing the backworking on a parted-off workpiece.
An international player in the highly competitive aeronautics, automotive, defense and optical industries makes the most of software for multitasking program verification and optimization.
Advanced mill-turn machines with bar fed material handling can overcome several inherent weaknesses of production machining on vertical machining centers.
This turning process takes advantage of a turn-mill’s B-axis spindle to vary a tool’s approach angle to optimize chip control and feed rates.