Enhanced Vertical Machining Center Efficiently Machines Multiple Workpiece Surfaces
Photo Credit: Mazak Corp.
The Mazak Variaxis i-800 Neo Vertical Machining Center is said to offer shops an enhanced version of a popular five-axis machine, with a powerful CNC, faster machining cycle times, expanded workpiece capacities and more automation options.
Among the primary enhancements on the Variaxis i-800 Neo is the Mazatrol SmoothAi CNC. It features such functions as Smooth Machining Configuration (SMC) for process optimization with real-time operator control of a wide range of cutting parameters and Ai Thermal Shield for stable machining accuracy through smart compensation for heat displacement. Also with the launch of the Mazatrol SmoothAi, Mazak says it has introduced its Smooth Project Manager Gateway software as an available option.
Working with external CAM software such as Autodesk’s Fusion 360, Smooth Project Manager Gateway enables access to internal machine data, which enables the Fusion 360 programmer to query the machine to download machine models, current tooling configuration, offset data, stroke limits and other configuration parameters. Mazak says this information can then be used at the CAM workstation to create more accurate machine programs configured to the limits and capabilities of the actual machine.
Additionally, realistic program simulations with current, real-time setup information can be achieved. The machine’s tooling configuration can also be modified and updated at the Fusion 360 workstation and sent back to the machine for operators to complete more accurate setup.
In terms of speed, the Variaxis i-800 Neo is said to achieve rapid traverse rates of 1,890 ipm (48 m/m) in the X, Y and Z axes for significantly reduced cycle times. To accommodate larger workpieces, axis strokes increased to 29.52", 35.03" and 23.62" (750 mm/890 mm/600 mm) in the X, Y and Z axes respectively. Maximum workpiece weight capacities are 2,204.62 lbs (1,000 kg) on the single-table version of the Variaxis i-800 Neo, and up to 1,543.24 lb (700 kg) with a two-pallet changer.
Further, the machine now handles maximum tool lengths up to 16.33" (415 mm) in available magazine capacities of 30, 40, 80 and 120 tools. A new servo drive shortens tool wait times by up to 58%, and a 4.3-second chip-to-chip tool change time helps further reduce non-cut time.
For additional flexibility, automation options include a two-pallet changer, along with the Mazak Multi-Pallet Pool (MPP) compact multiple pallet stocker system and the modular Mazak Palletech System. Mazak says the Variaxis i-800 Neo can work within the same Palletech cell alongside other Mazak machines, including the HCN‑5000 and HCN‑5000/50. To support hydraulic and pneumatic fixturing, the machine provides nine ports with a single table configuration and four ports inside plus eight outside the machine for two-pallet changing.
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