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Kern VMC for the utmost in precision
Kern VMC for the utmost in precision
Kern VMC for the utmost in precision
Kern VMC for the utmost in precision

Kern VMC for the utmost in precision

Added to MTDCNC by Rainford Precision on 26 September 2015

The AMRC is renowned for being a world leading developer of cutting edge technology; so it comes as no surprise that the Sheffield based research centre has a Kern machining centre on the shop floor for those occasions that it demands the utmost in precision. MTD took a closer look at the Kern EVO, to see what is behind this benchmark name in micro machining circles..

To give us the lowdown on the Kern EVO, Arthur Turner from Rainford Precision, the UK agent for Kern told us more. Explaining the EVO machine, Mr Turner says: 'The EVO is the baby of the Kern range, as it has just 300 by 280 in the X and Y axes with 250mm in Z. Designed for small workpieces, the EVO is a workhorse with finesse. It is for the manufacturers looking for tight tolerances and high surface finishes rather than high metal removal, like other machine tool companies.'

'Its a high speed machine that can run up to 50,000rpm  on the spindle with 16m/min rapid traverses and 2G of acceleration. The machine is 3-axis but a 5-axis variant is available. It is also available with pallet changers and also external auto pallet changeover systems using Erowa or System 3R, so it can be a fully automated machine tool. The machine has a HSK25 tool spindle configuration and the standard configuration is supplied with 32 tool stations that can be expanded up to 64 or 96.'

The machine consists of a polymer base that dampens vibration and provides the stability needed to achieve the micron tolerances the Kern brand is renowned for. 'The base configuration combines with the axis drive movement to give the finesse movement. Finesse isn't a word engineers generally band about with machine tools, but the Kern range certainly delivers something different,' continues Mr Turner.

Commenting upon the target market, Mr Turner says: 'Its not a huge target market as we are aiming at the more discerning manufacturers that are driven by the products they want to achieve in terms of tolerances. If you're chasing the 20-30 micron tolerance band, we're not good value for money, but if you are looking for tolerances below 5 microns, you need to speak with us. This reduces the marketplace potential compared to some of the other machine tool vendors. Its undoubtedly a premium brand.'

Being a German company, the Kern range is provided with a Heidenhain control unit. The work envelope is easy to access and is also well lit. The spindle has a 7kW motor and referring to this, Mr Turner concludes: 'We don't necessarily need a lot of power as we are only machining small parts. However, the stability of the EVO makes it ideal for machining hard materials. The philosophy behind this machine is taking small cuts at high speed, so the spindle has high speed and torque levels to achieve this.'

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