A new, 6-axis, horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC) with a working volume starting from X:4,100mm x Y:1,600mm x Z:650mm, with options of 2.1m and 2.6m in the Y axis and up to 30m in the X axis has been introduced by F Zimmermann, Germany, specifically for efficient production of structural components in the aerospace industry.
Availability in the UK and Ireland is through sole agent Kingsbury and in the Middle East through subsidiary company, Kingsbury Gulf.
Equipped with an integrated, expandable, patented pallet change system that automatically loads the component into the vertical plane for machining, the FZH400 is the first horizontal machining centre from F Zimmermann, a long-established manufacturer of gantry-type, vertical-spindle machines.
The new configuration harnesses gravity to allow efficient removal of copious volumes of aluminium swarf generated from solid billets by the 100kW (cont.) spindle. Trials have demonstrated material removal rates of over 13 litres per minute, due in part to linear axis acceleration at 6m/s2, with rapid feed rates up to 60m/min in the X-axis, 40m/min in Y and Z.
The spindle head has three CNC axes, hence its designation M3 ABC, offering extra versatility compared with 2-axis heads for executing complex programs. Movement of ± 110° in the A-axis, ± 225° in the C-axis and the addition of ± 14° in the B-axis eliminates the risk of singularity errors occurring in cutter paths, without the need to use avoidance algorithms. High productivity is therefore maintained while delivering exceptional surface finish and dimensional accuracy.
Another patented feature of the machine is a robust, water-cooled, travelling column that does not suffer from the traditional drawback of spindle deviation as the slide extends in the Z-axis. Of modular design, the machining centre is both compact and floor-mounted, requiring no special foundation, so is rapid to install and commission.