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Asquith Butler to Present Four Ranges of Large Machine Tools
Asquith Butler to Present Four Ranges of Large Machine Tools
Asquith Butler to Present Four Ranges of Large Machine Tools

Asquith Butler to Present Four Ranges of Large Machine Tools

Added to MTDCNC by Asquith Butler Ltd on 24 February 2016

New, large capacity machine tools from Sahos (Czech Republic) and Zayer (Spain) will be launched at MACH 2016 by Asquith Butler. It will also present CNC, high-speed machining and sawing centres from Mubea (Belgium). The firm was appointed sole sales and service agent in the UK and Ireland for all three machine manufacturers shortly before its appearance at the last MACH show in 2014.

The company will also promote its own range of large capacity, travelling-gantry vertical machining centres, which are built at its factory in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, as well as its comprehensive spares, service and machine refurbishment activities.

Managing director Paul Hinchliffe commented, “We have had a lot of success selling Sahos machines over the past couple of years. Eleven machines have been sold to manufacturers specialising in pattern and mould making and F1 modelling, as well as those in the aerospace and automotive supply chains, for machining anything from model board, plastics and resin to carbon composites and aluminium alloys.

'The Zayer range of machines is also proving popular in the UK. A moving-column machining centre with a 10 metre X-axis has been installed at a leading stainless steel sheet and plate fabricator in the north of England and another machine is due to be delivered this year to a Midlands-based automotive manufacturer.'

He went on to say that the company is pleased to be receiving enquiries for its own range of bespoke, 3-axis to 6-axis CNC machining centres, such as the Starcut and the mill-turn version, Starturn. One active enquiry involving a joint venture project with Mubea is from a Chinese manufacturer for machining titanium. Asquith Butler also produces large capacity turning and positioning tables, which are sold for retrofit to its own machines and those of any make.

Submarine manufacture and armoured vehicle refurbishment projects in the UK are ongoing, which are ideal for these large machine tools. The marine and power generation sectors are target markets as well. Mubea machines are particularly well suited to applications in the rail industry, which is showing active interest as major infrastructure projects come on stream.

Sahos BRAM machining centre

On show for the first time in the UK, after its launch at the Milan EMO last October, will be the Sahos BRAM full 5-axis, gantry-type machining centre. It is designed for high-speed milling of complex components from aluminium as well as from plastics reinforced with carbon fibre or glass fibre, plus honeycomb and multi-layer structures. Users for this type of machine are typically found in the aerospace, transportation, patternmaking and mouldmaking industries. A manufacturer could easily machine a complex mould in aluminium and then, on the same platform, trim the composite components produced.

The machine’s construction is extremely rigid, resulting from extensive finite element analysis. It allows elevated axis movements, with linear acceleration at 5 m/s2 up to 80 m/min in X, Y and Z, with the theoretical possibility of raising the speed to 120 m/min, subject to further tests. There is no loss of quality despite these dynamic movements, with industry-leading dimensional accuracy and surface finish reported.

Different sizes of machine can be specified, based on an X-axis of either 3,000 or 4,000 mm, a Y-axis of 1,500 or 2,200 mm and a choice of 800, 1200 and 1600 mm in Z. All these variants are at the lower end of the manufacturer’s size range, as Sahos builds machining centres with linear axis travels up to 50,000 mm x 6,000 mm x 3,000 mm in its BRAXL and BRAL ranges at its factory in Pištín, Czech Republic.

Access to the working area of the BRAM is unrivalled due to the twin folding door design, allowing easy loading of workpieces from the front by lift truck, while overhead loading by crane is equally easy. With cutting of composites in mind, the guarding is comprehensive and includes the option of a roller shutter covering the whole of the ceiling.

Provision has been made for dust extraction from the entire machining area and from the point of cutting. For applications involving extensive machining of aluminium alloys, a swarf conveyor can be supplied integrated into the concrete bed.

The machine can be equipped with two types of liquid-cooled spindle head, with feedback of the A and C axis positions via direct angle encoders. Spindle speed is up to 24,000 rpm, power range is from 12 to 29 kW and torque from 15 to 46 Nm. The linear tool magazine, which has 12 pockets as standard, optionally up to 48, can accommodate HSK A63 or HSK F63 toolholders, depending on spindle type.

Three variants of table can be specified – aluminium with threaded holes, cast iron with T-slots or an aluminium vacuum table for securing composite and plastic workpieces. Control is by either a Heidenhain iTNC530 HSCI or Siemens Sinumerik 840D SL.

Zayer ARION machining centre

New also to the UK will be the ARION bridge-type, moving table machining centre built by Zayer in Vitoria-Gasteiz, northern Spain. The modular machine is aimed primarily at the general subcontracting market and the mould and die sector. A particular benefit of the machine, despite its installed weight of up to 50 tonnes, is ease of installation as foundations do not have to be dug.

Thus for an economical investment, a manufacturer can take delivery of capacity for highly accurate machining of workpieces weighing up to 10 tonnes within a working envelope defined by a longitudinal X-axis of 3,000 or 4,000 mm, a Y-axis cross travel of 2,600 mm (optionally 3,100 mm) and a 1,100 mm Z-axis.

Despite the machine’s large-size, rapid traverse of 30 m/min minimises idle times, while working feed rates up to 15 m/min ensure high productivity when the spindle is in cut. Zayer’s patented, 30-degree, automatic spindle head with continuous rotation is standard, the spindle being rated at 24 kW / 752Nm / 6,000 rpm. A standard head for housing a 4,500 rpm / 940 Nm spindle can be specified, as can automatic head change. Cutters are exchanged from a 20-station (optionally 30- or 40-station) tool magazine.

All structural parts including the table are made from pearlitic cast iron, providing considerable rigidity and vibration resistance. The table is ballscrew-driven and runs on a set of three linear guideways running the length of the bed. There is a choice of two column heights to allow users producing lower profile components to take advantage of enhanced rigidity. The columns and the bridge underwent finite element analysis during their design to minimise weight while at the same time ensure robustness and vibration resistance.

Another design feature is the pair of staggered guideways in the crossbeam that allows direct ballscrew positioning of the ram as well as optimal transmission of the ram weight and machining moments into the columns. The sliding guideways for the double counterbalanced ram movement are made from tempered steel with a hardness of 58 to 62 HRc, with linear roller packs located in the crossbeam. Ballscrew nuts for all axis movements are supplied with refrigerated coolant to ensure top accuracy machining.

Zayer is another machining centre OEM that builds much larger models with X-axis travels up to 30 metres. They are widely used in the aerospace, renewable energy, rail, and mouldmaking industries as well as across manufacturing industry.


A member of the Haco group, the Belgian firm Mubea produces multi-purpose, 4- and 5-axis CNC centres for high-speed machining and sawing-to-length of extruded aluminium and steel profiles up to 60 metres long. Typical applications may be found in rolling stock manufacture.

For programming its single- and twin-head routers, Mubea offers a 3D CAD/CAM system that is easily interfaced with software from other vendors. The scope of its capabilities is extensive, from nesting of multiple components, through 3D simulation of the cutting path and collision detection, to time calculations and patented, automatic, in-cycle clamp repositioning.

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