Reducing Cycle Times with Vertical Turning

Here's a look at Emag's 250 platform, the company's latest lineup of inverted vertical turning lathes.

Columns From: 6/17/2010 Production Machining, ,

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Chris Felix

I recently attended Emag USA’s Technology Day at the company’s Farmington Hills, Mich., facility. At the event I got a first-hand look at the company’s newest technology—the 250 platform of vertical turning machines.

Emag proudly lays claim to having developed the first vertical turning lathe (VTL) to incorporate a pick-up work spindle that travels the main axes while the tooling systems remain stationary. This innovation allows the spindle to perform double duty—as a load/unload robot and as the machine’s main turning spindle. Every machine in the company’s VSC series is a manufacturing cell, with the pick-up spindle allowing efficient automated machine loading. Today, the machines can be used as multi-functional production centers for drilling, milling, grinding, gear hobbing and other associated processes.

The 250 platform, defined by its chuck size of 250 mm, is designed to provide a standardized modular building block system to adapt to changing machining requirements. Production machines can be more effectively tailored to individual jobs. Many of the components and technology modules are the same across each of the VL 5i, VSC 350 and VLC 250 machines of the platform.

The modular concept allows the user to choose from four different spindles—a standard universal spindle, one for heavy-duty work, one for high-precision applications, and one with more C-axis precision for multi-technology applications. Options are also available for linear motion or hydrostatic guideways, multiple turret locations, and automation equipment components.

As an example of the platform’s versatility, a shop might start with a VLC 250 that includes only a turret. For a new application, the company might then add a grinding unit, and then later, a multi-technology module that includes a milling spindle with a B axis and a 48-station tool magazine. Suddenly the machine has been transformed into a five-axis turning and milling center. Read more about the 250 platform here.

In the right applications, vertical turning with a pick-up spindle can provide significant production benefits through higher capacity, rigidity, versatility, and ease of automation. Here is a broader look at a few different vertical turning applications, or you can check out the July issue of Production Machining.

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