Mass production manufacturing requires the seamless integration of machine and automation equipment to achieve maximum productivity.
The Mazak FF-5000/40 machines, for example, can be twinned with a gantry loader for fast, high-production loading and unloading which maximises productivity. The gantry loader brings more versatility and flexibility to manufacturing operations by offering a variety of loading stations and robotic hands. Gantry loader systems are easy to install and operate, providing a turnkey system in a short lead time that results in immediate increases in productivity.
In a typical configuration, two FF-5000/40 horizontal machining centres work in tandem, linked by a gantry robot with separate loading and unloading hands to enable end-users to achieve the fast takt times demanded by mass production.
The FF-5000/40 (A-type) is fitted with an A-axis trunnion table, supported by a B-type fitted with traditional horizontal table. The configuration enables multiple machines to be integrated into a compact production line with the A and B machines completing different machining operations, therefore reducing the need for new set-ups, tooling changes and minimising chip to chip time.
The FF-5000/40 series is ideal for this type of configuration due to its high speed 22kW, 12,000rpm main spindle and ultra-fast traverse rates of 62m/min. In fact, the machine has the fastest spindle and X-, Y- and Z-axes acceleration / deceleration of any machining centre in its class. High productivity is guaranteed by rapid acceleration of 10,000rpm in 1.3 seconds which reduces non-cutting time.
The machine is also equipped with a high rigidity bed and ball-screw cooling on its X-, Y- and Z-axes for stable temperature-controlled machining over extended periods, and an integral spindle motor. The spindle is also fitted with spindle temperature control which circulates cooling oil around the spindle bearings and headstock to minimise thermal changes.
The machines, which measure only 1750mm in width have their automatic tool changer placed at the top of the machine to reduce the machine’s footprint further, enabling multiple machines to be placed in a compact product line even in the smallest machine shops. The automatic tool changer is equipped with storage capacity for 20 tools with options for 30 tools available.
The machine is controlled by SmoothC CNC, the latest version of Mazak’s MAZATROL conversational programmable controller, which has a comprehensive status display on the screen with data including; which machining axes are in operation, through to programming, tool data, set-up and maintenance information.