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The Kitako HS4200i CNC lathe features a high speed, automated gantry loader with X-axis loading feed rates of 6,700 ipm. Combined with the machine’s four spindles, this feature enables smooth, unattended operation with no idle time for part loading/unloading, the company says. Additionally, the machine features a carrier indexing time of 1.5 seconds and 0.3-second turret indexing. The company's four-spindle technology is designed to enable seamless cycling of work from the loading zone to the machining zone and back again. The four spindles are mounted in a horizontal, square pattern in a large carrier drum, which features a large-diameter, precision-toothed curvic coupling for positioning accuracy. Spindles are generally partnered as pairs. In this configuration, when the carrier is indexed 180 degrees, two spindles rotate to the machining area as the other two move out for loading and unloading. Along with the respective slides and turrets, spindles work simultaneously and independantly, and parts are transitioned in and out of the machining zone in 0.8 seconds each. Spindles are hardened, ground and supported by double-row cylindrical roller bearings and angular contact bearings. The X and Z axes incorporate box slideways for high chip-removal rates. With an 8" chucks and an 8-station drum turret on each slide, the machine has a maximum spindle speed of 4,500 rpm, with 5,000 rpm available as an option.
Editor PickThe 2016 Capital Spending Survey
The machine tool market bottomed in the summer of 2016, but will continue to rebound in 2017 as shops invest in technology for unattended operation.