For small batches of parts, medium-sized manufacturers might need a universal machine that is easy to use, while larger batches call for an automated, high-efficiency production tool, according to manufacturer Emag. The company says each of its VL series of vertical turning centers provides both in one machine, with short setup times for small batches and an automated manufacturing cell for mass production. The series consists of the VL5, the VSC 7 and the VL 3, which have chuck diameters of 250 mm, 400 mm and 160 mm, respectively.
The machines are equipped with chip conveyors, fume extractors and fluid-cooling systems for their spindle motors and turrets. The workhandling automation system consists of carrier prisms mounted on a recirculating chain conveyor. The prisms carry workpieces to and from the pickup station so that a wide range of parts can be machined without resetting. This can provide a fixed production cycle because a new part is available as soon as the previous one has been machined. The prisms accept various workpiece receptors and pallets for different parts.
According to the company, short traveling distances between the loading and machining positions enable quick workpiece changeovers and short chip-to-chip times. To allow multiple-machine operation, the turning centers have small footprints. All guideways are located above and outside the machining area to protect against chips and dirt. The company says this helps to both reduce maintenance and increase accuracy.