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The company says it has re-engineered its flagship Alpha U range of CNC/manual lathes with the incorporation of touchscreen speed and user-friendliness. The two-axis, slant bed lathe now features a Fanuc 21i-T-based touchscreen to provide simplicity, cutting performance and production flexibility, the company says.
The new '1000 series' control features a 10.4" wide color touchscreen, keypad and system selection key said to provide simple and effortless mode selection and cycle input, while the company says the high response vector control technology ensures an instantaneous response to program/cycle demands.
It is said to offer enhanced production flexibility, with four modes of operation, including HPG handwheel/DRO (manual) control, Alpha System, ISO programming and the new Manual Guidance System. The Manual Guidance System is a touchscreen-accessible cutting program enabling the full generation of simple cutting profiles and complex automatic programs directly at the machine. A teach facility is available, allowing hand wheel initiated moves to be recorded as a program and re-run automatically after completion of the first component, while all programs generated can be stored to memory for later use or saved to AlphaLink software. Additionally, all programs generated in the comprehensive "cycle cutting" mode may be converted to a full CNC program if required.
The lathe is constructed with a composite base assembly, which is matched to a 30-degree box section slant-bed to form a single unit. The company says this configuration offers outstanding thermal, kinematic and dynamic damping characteristics that relate directly to the quality of component surface finish and accuracy of cut.
According to the company, the lathe also features a powerful spindle motor, efficient digital drives, smooth two-speed automatic gearbox and Fanuc digital electronics which combine to provide cutting performance and accuracy.
The Alpha U with 1000 series control is available in four models: the Alpha 1330U (330 mm swing over 0.76 m bed); Alpha 1400U (400 mm swing over 1.25m bed); Alpha 1460U (460 mm swing, with choice of 1m, 1.5m or 2m bed); and Alpha 1550U (550 mm swing over 1m, 1.5m, 2m or 3m bed).
The 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.