New Hurco Machining Centres and Software
New machining centres and innovative technology for control, diagnostics and networking have been announced by Hurco Europe, together with a rebranding of the company machine tool livery and logo.
NEW MACHINING CENTRES
Four vertical machining centre announcements underlined the higher level of technology being incorporated into the manufacturer's machines. Two are high-speed models, VMX24HSi and VMX42HSi, with an 18,000 rpm, 35 kW / 120 Nm motorised spindle, 45 m/min rapids and 4 seconds chip-to-chip time. The larger model has travels of 1,060 x 610 x 610 mm.
The new VM10UHSi is the smallest of the new products, with a working area of 760 x 355 mm and travels of 660 x 405 x 510 mm. It is a compact, high-speed, 5-axis machine with 30,000 rpm spindle, 30 m/min rapids and direct encoding on the rotary-tilt table.
VMX42SRTi is a 5-axis machining centre designed with a B-axis swivel head carrying a 12,000 rpm (optionally 18,000 rpm) spindle and a horizontal, direct-drive rotary C-axis table for tackling complex, multi-sided components. The 100 rpm / 1,150 Nm rotary table is embedded so that it is flush with the fixed machine table, providing an additional 90 mm of travel in Z. It also facilitates easy switching between 3- and 5-axis work. There is a generous amount of space at the sides of the rotary table for 4-axis machining of the final side of a part after reclamping if all six sides need to be targetted.
All the latest machining centres from Hurco incorporate high-end features in their construction. Externally sourced components are all of high quality and accuracy, such as Yaskawa Sigma V drives and high intensity LED lighting. A range of reliable spindles is available offering the right balance of power and speed for various applications.
The control hardware fitted to all Hurco machines has also seen enhancements to reduce the number of electrical connections, improve reliability and at the same time simplify service operations in the field. The new Mini-ITX platform boasts a 2 GHz dual-core Intel processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 64 GB solid state hard drive.
Rigorous manufacturing standards are applied to the cast iron elements, which feature hand scraped frame mounting points and wedge-clamped linear rails. The installed weight of Hurco machines tends to be heavier than for competitive machines in the same class, leading to greater stability, lower vibration, higher accuracy and longer tool life.
Comprehensive washdown and chip management includes a dedicated pump, a coolant ring, and adjustable washdown nozzles that are strategically placed for optimum effectiveness. Other efficient design details are extra-large doors at the front and side, and tables that move all the way to the front of the machines.
The new machining centres sport Hurco's proprietary twin-screen control with Version 9 WinMax programming software, featuring solid rendered, rotatable graphics of the programmed part. Cutting cycles are created either via a conversational route using menus on the touch-screen, or conventionally using G-codes, with seamless switching between the two methods if required (Conversational / NC Merge).
Five years after the first integration of the Windows operating system as part of the Hurco control, a number of developments and performance improvements have been added to WinMax. Version 9 includes two major new software developments, UltiMotion for high-speed cutting on 5-axis as well as 3-axis machines, and UltiMonitor for networking and remote diagnostics. These are dealt with separately below.
Other new Version 9 features are as follows. Direct importation of DXF files from CAD systems into WinMax has long been possible, greatly speeding programming. Now it is possible to scale the drawings to actual size, without having to redraw them or go back to the CAD system. Due to technological advancements, the new FastDraw graphics engine that runs the verification graphics is significantly faster than the previous version.
Program Edit Lockout allows full control over setting the level of access for programs and parameters. Repositioning of the spindle between two transform planes is now accomplished automatically with a single G08.2 command. Roughing Stock Allowance allows a user to specify stock allowance with or without a finishing operation. If the Z finish allowance is zero, only the walls will be finished.
Tool Life Management messages appear in red in real time to indicate that a tool has reached its maximum cutting time and should be replaced. There are also increased options for storing tool probing results.
Stick Lettering capability enables letters and numbers to be milled quickly, orientated at any angle and wrapped around a cylinder. TrueType Fonts Along a Contour allows the operator to specify a contour that the lettering blocks will be swept along.
WinMax Desktop Complete has the ability to simulate Hurco's single screen and the dual screen controls. Another novelty is the ability to increase font size on the NC screen to assist readability for machine operators who have difficulty reading small characters.
Hurco's patented UltiMotion software for its machining centres has up to 10,000 blocks dynamic variable look-ahead, allowing the optimal path to be created for moving through corners up to 2.5 times faster and more smoothly, with 50 per cent less machine jerk, negligible deviation and without overshooting or stopping. Introduced on 3-axis mills in 2011, it is now standard on Hurco 5-axis machines with the latest release.
The proprietary, patented, software-based lookahead of UltiMotion is unlike traditional systems that use a hardware-based control board. An advanced algorithm in the Hurco control evaluates the component geometry and motion profile of the cutting cycle and makes sure there is enough lookahead information to make optimised manoeuvres. The result is significantly faster yet smoother motion.
The feature gives 25 to 30 per cent faster cycle times and improved surface finish and works equally well with conversational part programs and NC programs. The reduction in cycle time increases with the complexity of the part and with the addition of repetitive tasks, such as drilling and tapping.
For rigid tapping, UltiMotion deploys a coordinated motion control mechanism that monitors the spindle angle at all times and controls the axes to follow the spindle position. It also has the flexibility to choose higher rpm to retract the tap from the hole.
David Waghorn, managing director of Hurco Europe, commented, “UltiMotion is probably our biggest advance in control technology in the last decade. It is the result of years of research and development and is a combination of Hurco’s proprietary control technologies and advanced modern control theory.
"The primary benefits to customers are the ability to cut higher quality parts in shorter periods of time with greater accuracy and with complete flexibility, ie the ability to adjust the balance between surface finish and feed rates.
"Our customers with 3-axis machining centres experienced such phenomenal results that the Hurco engineering team accelerated the development of UltiMotion for 5-axis."
To view a video of UltiMotion, visit: www.hurco.com/en-us/machine-tools/our-control/Pages/Advanced-Motion-Control.aspx#videodemo
Software enhancements have also been made to UltiMonitor, a web-based networking system that allows remote shop floor monitoring and management. It gives security during light-outs operation but is an equally effective tool during manned shifts, allowing communication with machine operators.
In real time on a browser, the control system screen(s) can be monitored and a video of machining in progress viewed via webcam. Users can transfer part designs electronically, receive event notifications via email or text, and access error logs and machine data for diagnostics. Given permission, Hurco engineers can similarly gain access for remote troubleshooting.
The latest series of Hurco machines carry the suffix 'i' to denote 'intelligent'. According to the manufacturer, justification for this is the significant range of enhancements to machine control and connectivity, but a further reason is the extent of the measures taken to lower power consumption during operation. Compared with earlier Hurco machine models, energy reduction has been achieved in no less than nine areas.
Power from spindle deceleration is regenerated, saving 20 per cent compared with the previous Hurco BMC series machines. Low energy contactors consume 1.9 W rather than 2.9 W. A toroidal transformer with a 95 per cent power factor is nearly one-fifth more efficient than the former core transformer. 2 kW instead of 3 kW servo's require only two-thirds of the power.
Low power, 70 mA coil devices are 30 per cent more efficient, there is 18 per cent less heat generated by the machines, and the latest induction motors are 5.5 per cent more efficient. The new Mini-ITX control power supply uses two-fifths less power, while Yaskawa Sigma 5 servo's with S-curve rather than linear acceleration provide an energy saving of nearly 12 per cent.