Production Machining

JUL 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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MACHINING CENTERS production machines have become less cost justifiable in many applications, primarily because re-tooling them for a new job is difficult, expensive and usually not worth the effort. In 2005, Porta introduced its solution to the dedicated machine versus a flexible machine in the form of the Multicenter. e thinking was to bridge the dedicated machining technology designed around a specific part with a machining center platform that could easily be retooled as part mixes changed. Centered on a four-station carousel, the machine, in its most popular configuration, features three HMC modules. e fourth station on the worktable is a load/unload station that can be manned or automated. Each of the HMC modules is capable of three- or four-axis machining at each station. e machining center modules operate progressively, but are controlled independently. With the machine producing one part, one part in multiple operations, or multiple different parts at the same time. All four different parts would be worked on by all three spindles before getting back to the load/unload station finished. With three spindles, the machining operations can be varied as needed, adding to the machine's flexibility. One rotation of the four-station pallet carrier can produce a complete part, four complete parts or a variation of the four. However, Mr. Porta says most of the applications use a progressive machining sequence. Mr. Porta talks about one application where the customer produced three different parts in one cycle of the Multicenter. "ese parts went into an assembly, so each cycle of the machine produced a complete set of parts," Mr. Porta says. "After machining, the parts were assembled and shipped to the customer. It was a very efficient application." Multicenter Compared with HMCs HMCs are beginning to see increased investments in shops that are dealing with high-mix and low-volume work. ey have inherent flexibility and adapt to automa- tion easily using pallet shuttle systems to ferry work in and out of the machine tool. In addition, the cutting tool capacity of the horizontal design is superior to its largest competitor, the VMC. Surveys conducted by Production Machining's in-house market research business, Gardner Intelligence, show a :: Workholding fixtures are attached to a B-axis rotary pallet, which provides four-axis machining capability to each machining center module. Quick-change fixtures can be exchanged in 30 seconds. 34 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: JULY 2018

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