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Hurco To Launch Four 5-Axis Machining Centres And New Control Software
Hurco To Launch Four 5-Axis Machining Centres And New Control Software
Hurco To Launch Four 5-Axis Machining Centres And New Control Software
Hurco To Launch Four 5-Axis Machining Centres And New Control Software

Hurco To Launch Four 5-Axis Machining Centres And New Control Software

Added to MTDCNC by Hurco Europe Ltd on 10 February 2016

Having made its world debut at EMO in Milan last October, the new Hurco VCX600i vertical-spindle, 5-axis machining centre will be exhibited for the first time in the UK at MACH 2016. Built in Italy for the European market, the highly productive, travelling-column model is another example of the manufacturer’s policy of providing maximum metalcutting capacity in a compact footprint.

The machine has a 600 mm diameter rotary table mounted on a swivelling trunnion, a configuration popular amongst users as it allows components to be machined on 5 sides in a single set-up. An octagonal support for the table means that clamps can be positioned clear of the surface, ensuring that the full area is available to accommodate workpieces weighing up to 350 kg. 

The integral, ± 110 degree B-axis trunnion offers generous Z-axis clearance and unrivalled undercutting capability. Together with a 16 kW / 12,000 rpm / 109 Nm direct-drive spindle, 30 m/min rapids and a 40-station magazine for 40 taper tools, the machine is suited to applications across manufacturing industry but is especially applicable to motorsport and aerospace. 

The manufacturer’s proprietary WinMAX control includes patented Ultimotion software, which ensures smooth, high-speed contouring of 3D surfaces. Machining accuracy and effective vibration damping are promoted by wide linear roller guideways and a base frame made from the concrete and steel composite, Hyol.

Axis travels are X: 750 mm, Y: 550 mm, Z: 500 mm, glass scales ensuring high precision positional feedback to the control. Similarly, absolute encoders provide feedback from the rotary axes. The table is of robust construction and is supported on the non-driven side by a counter bearing, the load on which can be transmitted through to the floor. This provides greater rigidity than that offered by other cantilever designs. The doors, which open on two sides of the working area, simplify access for automation systems.

New, large capacity 5-axis machining centre in two versions

At the other end of the size range, a 3-axis DCX22i twin-column, bridge-type machining centre will occupy a large area on the stand, as it did at the show in 2014. With 2,200 mm x 1,700 mm x 750 mm travels and six tonnes table load capacity, it suits machining of large, awkwardly shaped components. 

Compared with other dual column machines on the market, it has the advantage of being fully enclosed and has a 40-station magazine with swing-arm toolchangers for ISO/BT40 or ISO/BT50 toolholders. David Waghorn, managing director of Hurco Europe in High Wycombe, advises that the DCX range is the fastest growing in the company’s machine portfolio.

He hopes that this trend will be reinforced by the UK launch at MACH 2016 of two new 5-axis models, designated DCX32-5Si and -5SCi. The suffixes denote the addition of a 2-axis CNC spindle head with ± 180-degree or continuous 360-degree rotation respectively. The 60 kW / 18,000 rpm HSK63A spindle head is mounted on a vertical ram of box construction for maximum cutting capability and rigidity. Specification of the machine includes a working area of 3,200 mm x 2,100 mm x 920 mm and 11 tonnes maximum table load.

Automated cell features another new 5-axis machine

The VMX30UHSi 5-axis, high speed machining centre on show will also be new to the UK. It will be connected to an Erowa robotic pallet change system and will be of particular interest to aerospace manufacturers, according to Hurco, whose latest MAX 5 control has new features to exploit unattended running (see below).

The machine’s 18,000 rpm spindle provides the high surface speeds needed for rapid metal removal and the 40-station tool changer supports complex operations typically needed for machining aerospace components. Additionally, Hurco’s latest control offers fast processing speed for fulfilling 5-axis machining of complex 3D geometries. In all cases, the VMX30UHSi provides a high level of accuracy and fewer set-ups, components often being completed in one operation. 

Furthermore, due to its advanced look-ahead algorithm applicable to both NC and conversational programs, Hurco’s UltiMotion software is highly beneficial for the production of freeform parts. It is able to generate motion that is smoother and faster than any hardware-only solution on the market, according to the company. Benefits include a reduction in cycle times of up to 30 per cent and improved surface quality.

MAX 5 control system software

All of the above machines feature Hurco’s new MAX 5 control system, which will be premiered for the first time in the UK at a national exhibition. Running the latest WinMAX 10 software, it is ideal for 5-sided and 4th axis rotary conversational programming, but also handles all of the latest ISNC codes required to run simultaneous 5-axis programmes.

Unlike previously, a customer can take delivery of a single-screen control, which comes as standard with entry-level VM-series machining centres, and upgrade it later to a twin-screen version with a hinged auxiliary screen, as supplied with all VMX- and DCX-series machines. The operator can then view an image of the part as it is being programmed. 

Alternatively, the extra screen to the right can be used to monitor the machining process while the next job is being programmed via the other screen. This functionality is enhanced by large, 19-inch LCD screens and the use of high-definition graphics. These are now user-definable in that the display can be altered to show digital readout information, or a split screen showing DRO and graphics, to suit the task at hand. Additionally, a new Quick Menu minimises multiple button presses so that the machinist can quickly access the information needed.

A further innovation is a display on the handwheel, which is standard on VMX and DCX machines and an option on the VM series. It allows the operator to jog the machine axes, set up tools, check part position and perform other functions without the inconvenience of having to repeatedly stand back and look at the control. A flashlight is incorporated to assist viewing. Audio and a webcam is built-in, which in the near future will allow an operator to communicate with colleagues via Skype for troubleshooting.

Benefits accrue from the control now being an integral part of the machine, coupled with the ability to retract the QWERTY keyboard, the keypad from horizontal to vertical, close the auxiliary screen if fitted and swing the whole control assembly flush to the front of the machine. First, it is no longer necessary to ship the machine and control system separately. Secondly, a user can save space on the shop floor by positioning machines closer together, as the screens can be folded back to allow access for a lift truck to load and unload workpieces.

The MAX 5 control can further benefit NC shops with features such as Job List, which allows users to call up a series of different programs from the hard drive, one by one, and execute them sequentially without operator intervention. This is beneficial when automatically feeding pallets for unattended production of one-offs and small batches and can be used in conjunction with a barcode reader. It also enables program stitching, file bundling and adaptive processes.

Data Stream Loading is another new feature that allows very large programs to be streamed from the hard drive to the RAM, which consequently is never full. It boosts machine performance and allows programs to run for days, if required.

Other machines on show

The 14-model Hurco CNC lathe range including models with driven tools will be in evidence at MACH, where representative models will be demonstrated on the stand. On show also will be a high-speed machining centre manufactured by Roeders, Germany, whose products Hurco has sold and serviced in the UK and Ireland for over a decade under a sole agency agreement.

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