Mazak showcases range of high volume automotive solutions at MACH

Yamazaki Mazak is showcasing a range of machines ideally suited to high volume automotive manufacturing applications at MACH 2018.

All of the machines are highly flexible and capable of machining a range of automotive components whilst offering outstanding productivity and quality.

The stand-out machine on view is the INTEGREX i-400S machining centre, which is equipped with Mazak’s SmoothX CNC. The i-400S is ideally suited to automotive work due to its new function, namely SMOOTH Gear Cutting software, which combines advanced Multi-Tasking machines and Mazak’s latest developments in gear manufacturing processes, including SMOOTH Gear Skiving, SMOOTH Gear Milling and SMOOTH Gear Hobbing. What’s more, the software allows the operator to develop complex gear machining programs easily by entering the gear data via a user-friendly dialogue on the CNC, further reducing set-up times.

The i-400S also features Mazak’s new Smooth Spindle Analytics, which provides instant spindle vibration analysis and feedback that can be quickly accessed via the control panel on the shop floor. This feature increases both accuracy and productivity, facilitating full traceability of component manufacture, while also incorporating preventative maintenance techniques to reduce downtime. The machine can handle workpieces up to 1,519mm in length with a swing capacity of Ø658mm.

Mazak’s MULTIPLEX series of machines have for many years been a highly popular machine option for high volume automotive manufacturers. For MACH 2018, Mazak will bring its latest variant, the MULTIPLEX W-300Y + GL-200, a twin-spindle, two-turret machine equipped with superfast gantry loader for ultimate productivity.

This machine and automation configuration, which is also being shown for the first time at a UK exhibition, is equipped with a new rack and pinion drive system for the gantry. This offers rapid rates in the A/B axis of 75/160 m/min and a potential 25 per cent reduction in load/unload time, thanks also to the simultaneous A and B axis motion. The GL-200 benefits from high speed exchange between the load/unload hand and the machine chucks to minimise handling time. Serviced by a 2-pallet conveyor, accessible from front and rear, raw material can be replenished during automatic operation. The MULTIPLEX W-300Y features a new slant bed for improved chip evacuation and VDI turret design, incorporating a direct drive 5000rpm mill motor for greater accuracy and a faster chip-to-chip time.

The W-300Y is also capable of performing a variety of machining functions, including pocket milling, heavy duty Y-axis milling, tapping, prime turning and OD and ID heavy turning.

For those automotive suppliers that have standardised on Siemens control, the VTC-760C vertical travelling column machining centre will be of great interest on the Mazak stand.

The machine, which is equipped with the new Siemens 828D control, has a travelling column design, providing optimum flexibility, including dual load configuration. The machine benefits from a compact footprint, along with a long X-axis stroke and large 2,300mm fixed table that provides excellent stability.

Most importantly, the VTC-760C is a highly productive machine ideally suited to high volume automotive applications due to its 12,000rpm spindle and rapid traverse rates of 42m/min in the X-, Y- and Z-axes.

The inclusion of the new Siemens control represents an entry into the commodity market, as the 828D control panel is a mid-range CNC for turning and milling machine tools. The 15.6” touch screen display runs on SINUMERIK Operate 4.7 and features a built-in QWERTY keyboard with USB and ethernet access.

The CNC benefits from a number of intelligent features such as ShopMill work-step programming, enabling programs to be written on screen via a simple dialogue. It also features Siemens multiple clamping function that actively reduces the number of tool changes. In addition, a built-in onboard maintenance planner is included, which facilitates easy integration of regular maintenance schedules into production.

As the control is able to provide automatic feedback on a range of machine diagnostics, it can lead to reduced downtime and improved production efficiency; it also ensures that manufacturers adopting Industry 4.0 design principals can still harness the precision cutting and speed of operation synonymous with Mazak.