Cell control technology makes part changeovers fast and simple



Mason, OH - September 2000 - Makino is demonstrating the latest in productivity and flexibility at IMTS 2000. Its A55E high-speed horizontal machining center is equipped with a Modular Machining Complex (MMC). The A55E brings advanced thermal control technology, an enhanced spindle for faster acc/dec speeds and the Rocket TableTM, a 40 rpm rotary table that is twice as fast as other machining centers on the market. Combined with the MMC’s cell control technology, part quality is enhanced and part changeovers are fast and simple to accomplish.


"Working together, the A55E and MMC dramatically improve high volume applications," says Mark Rentschler, product manager at Makino. "Based on the application, the A55E can realize up to 30 percent more productivity. The MMC can also increase machining center output up to 25 percent in the right applications. The ability to gain nearly 60 percent productivity in part manufacturing has a far reaching impact on and off the shop floor."

The Cell’s Nerve Center

The MMC allows parts to be loaded and unloaded from one centralized location. The flexible system handles a large variety of fixtures to be run in the cell and a PC-based cell controller provides external monitoring capabilities, dynamic scheduling of parts as well as sophisticated tool monitoring and fixture tracking.

"Part changeover on a machining center might take up to three hours if the fixture and tooling is similar," says Rentschler. "Using the MMC, there is no setup time. When a new program is called for, and the pallet and fixture is set in the machine, the program is easily executed for the A55E to begin cutting. This provides a lot of flexibility in machining different parts across one machining center.".


Built for Speed

The A55E’s acceleration and deceleration in rapid traverse now reaches 1.0g. With faster acceleration and deceleration, Makino’s integral cartridge spindle can handle high rpm with low vibration for fast, accurate machining operations. As powerful as it is fast, the A55E provides unmatched start-to-finish processing efficiency.


Makino’s new Rocket Table puts multiple workpieces in range of the spindle immediately, reducing non-cut time. Operating at speeds up to 40 rpm, the Rocket Table has full fourth axis capability and special planetary gear design with large diameter clamping and repeatability. The high-rpm table doesn’t lift before rotating, allowing it to position simultaneously with Z-axis positioning.


The A55E Handles the Heat

The A55E’s thermal control technology delivers enhanced spindle cooling, ballscrew cooling and efficient coolant delivery, improving accuracy and prolonging the lifespan of the machining center. Its patented core cooling system and under race lubrication cool the spindle from the inside out, eliminating the need for a warm-up cycle and keeping the spindle cooler than its housing. That makes heavy bearing preload possible from a cold start, allowing the A55E to cut immediately at lower speeds.


Core cooling of the ballscrew dissipates heat to prolong overall life of the ballscrew and increase accuracy during use. Chilled oil is pumped through the ballscrew to help it stay accurate at high speeds and keep the proper tension on the screws for high performance.


Chip removal is critical, especially during heavy hogging and dry machining operations. The A55E delivers a 12.8" (325 mm)-wide trough positioned in the middle of the machining area and comes with moving way covers and a double belt chip conveyor for maximum chip removal. The large 170.3 gallon (645 L) coolant tank capacity acts as heat sink, removing heat from the workpiece and tool.


Maximum Flexibility

A host of design elements make Makino’s A55E suitable for an array of machining applications.

  • The A55E delivers the largest work envelope in the industry and can handle longer and heavier tools to machine a variety of part features, such as deep boring operations.
  • The A55E casts a smaller footprint, taking up less floor space in the shop. It has a narrower design for more spindle power in less space and has a lighter and shorter column for better feedrate acceleration.
  • The A55E delivers modular capability, specially designed for easy conversion to a machining cell with no major front-end changes.
  • The bed has multiple ribs for better stiffness and rigidity to improve accuracy.
  • Three-point leveling bed makes for easy deployment and redeployment.
  • The A55E’s cam-driven automatic tool changer can change the tool in the spindle in 0.9 seconds, including the opening and closing of the door. It is also capable of handling larger, heavier tools for more flexibility across a wide range of applications.


Makino is a global provider of advanced machining technology and application support for the metalcutting and die/mold industries. Makino manufacturing and service centers are located in every major country, including the United States, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Italy, France, Korea, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Brazil, India and Turkey and are supported by a worldwide distributor network. For more information call 1.800.552.3288, or visit Makino on the Web at www.makino.com.

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