For the New Giddings & Lewis V-Series VTL, the "V" Stands for "Value"

The new V-1600 vertical lathe from Fives Giddings & Lewis supports the company’s reputation for a solid machining platform and operational versatility.The company expects this model to be popular with jet engine manufacturers.


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Fives Giddings & Lewis has long had a sweet spot for vertical turning centers. Its VTC series of vertical machines established the company’s reputation for a solid machining platform and operational versatility, especially with shops that prefer to mount workpieces on a horizontal rotating table, which simplifies clamping and protects ring-shaped parts that might otherwise be distorted in a vertical chuck. For shops producing jet engine components, vertical turning represents an especially advantageous “sweet spot” among machining processes.

This week, Fives is introducing a Giddings & Lewis vertical lathe with a 1,600-mm table for its V series to complement the 800-, 1,000- and 1,250-mm models in this series. The rigidity and flexibility of these models make them popular with shops that must strongly consider value in machine purchases—that is, getting an affordable machine without compromising capability.

“In the last 10 years or so, we saw that the market for a larger turning center was growing, but we didn’t have a V-series model to match this segment,” says Peter Beyer, the company’s sales and application director. The new V-1600 is designed to hit this new “sweet spot” and fill a gap in the company’s vertical turning offerings.

At the booth, Fives has a demo intended to highlight the capabilities and features of the new Giddings & Lewis machine. “We looked hard at the customer base to see what they needed in this size machine. For example, we engineered a 50-hp table but made sure a shop could take advantage of the full power of this table by providing the appropriate features for heavy but highly accurate cutting applications,” Beyer says. These features include heavy-duty table bearings, dual scale feedback, a hydrostatic ram and adjustable crossrail to maximize rigidity for heavy, chatter-free cutting and improved part finish typical in jet engine machining and parts with hard metals such as Inconel. That is why the demo workpiece combines the most common and challenging features found in the typical jet engine component, he says. “None of the power in the table or the rigidity in the machine structure gets wasted or goes unused, because the entire configuration and construction of the machine are matched to this capability. We will put this machine up against any machine in its class.”

In addition, because value is important to job shops, the rigidity of the machine helps prolong the life of cutting tools, reduces tooling costs and minimizes tool changes. And the rigidity for roughing cuts can help them produce accuracies and finishes that eliminate or reduce semi-finishing steps, another important processing economy. In addition, using standard modular tooling such as Kennametal’s KM80 or Sandvik Coromant’s Capto C8 holders and accessories means that tooling up the V-1600 need not break the bank for a job shop.

The Giddings & Lewis V-1600 in Fives’ South Hall booth is the tall-column version, showing that workpieces requiring additional X-axis height have a place on a vertical machine. The show machine also has the milling spindle option, enabling this model to mill, drill and tap turned parts in one setup. Beyer sums it up aptly: “It’s a sweet machine, that’s the most I can say.”