Haas Automation, Inc.’s large-frame VM-6 is a vertical machining center used for high-precision work. With travels of 64" × 32" × 30", it features a 12,000-rpm spindle driven by a 30-hp vector dual-drive system, a 24-pocket side-mounted toolchanger and a high speed control with look-ahead capability. Made of cast iron, the product features internal ribbing on the castings and linear guides on all axes to increase rigidity and dampen vibrations. For higher precision and repeatability, the product is equipped with high speed brushless servos, fine-pitch ballscrews and high resolution encoders.
Designed to reduce heat, vibration and noise, the product’s 40-taper spindle uses an inline direct-drive system that couples the motor directly to the spindle. On-the-fly wye-delta switching is said to provide low-end torque and high rpm for high speed machining. Coolant circulates through the machine’s head casting to remove heat generated by the spindle. In addition, the headstock is insulated, and cool air circulates throughout the entire assembly to prevent radiated heat from affecting the casting. An electronic thermal-compensation algorithm in the control models ballscrew heating and automatically corrects any expansion that could cause positioning errors.
Also featured is a 64" × 28" cast iron table with standard T slots in both the X and Y directions, as well as dowel-pin bores and a series of drilled and tapped holes. The table’s weight capacity is 4,000 lbs. Other features include an automatic chip auger, a remote jog handle and an automatic air gun.
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A small shop describes the efficiency gains it is seeing now that it has a horizontal machining center instead of solely verticals. One of the shop’s leaders talks through processing of parts then and now.