Four-Axis Machining Center Reduces Positioning Delays

A new configuration of the Fanuc RoboDrill, the RoboDrill T-21EL DDR 700 vertical machining center is available from Methods Machine Tools. With a choice of 10,000- or 24,000-rpm spindles, the machine uses a direct-drive indexing system designed to achieve high positioning and cutting speeds in the fourth axis.  Useful for volume production and trunion applications, the fourth-axis indexer has a built-in synchronous servomotor with an aiCZ sensor.


The fourth axis is designed to reduce part cycle times by eliminating the positioning delays of traditional rotary tables and enabling the machine to use the high speeds of the other three axes. Its gear-free linear motors are capable of unclamping, rotating 180 degrees and re-clamping in about 0.4 seconds at a table-rotation speed of 150 rpm. With a clamping force of as many as 220 foot-pounds, the machine has feed rates as high as 2,362 ipm, rapid traverses to 2,125 ipm, 0.9-second tool-to-tool tool changes and accelerations to 1.5 G or more. It uses a Fanuc 31i-A5 Nano CNC with control resolution of 1 nanometer and an optional 1,000-block look-ahead.