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Conventionally, the design of machining centers is, at best, conventional. They are fit for purpose. But they're not much to look at. Of course, machining centers are purchased to produce parts. So more attention is paid to spindles, workholding, toolchangers, and the like rather than aesthetics.
Mazak produces machining centers. And many of its machining centers—their high capability, flexibility, and performance notwithstanding—are rather conventional in appearance.
Many, not all.
Consider the HYPER VARIAXIS 630. It has a 18,000-rpm, 40-hp 40-taper integral motor spindle with the power to machine everything from aluminum to alloys. It has a rotary table that can handle workpieces measuring up to 28.7 in. in diameter and 19.7-in. high, weighing as much as 1,102 lb. This is a five-axis machine, so not only are there the X, Y and Z axes, as well as the C-axis of the rotary table, but an A-axis, a 150° tilting trunnion. The rapid on X, Y and Z is 262.5 fpm. A- and C-axes have rapid rotations of 50 and 120 rpm, respectively. It has a tool storage capacity of 30 tools. Its controller is based on a 64-bit, twin-engine CPU that can handle program sizes up to 8 MB and can provide sub-micron resolution in machining.
But Mazak went further with the HYPER VARIAXIS 630. The company hired industrial designer Ken Okuyama (kenokuyamadesign.com/en) to design it. The Art Center grad has also designed such notable products as the Ferrari Enzo and the Maserati Quattroporte.
Imagine. While you can get a machine that can get the job done and then some, you can also get a machine that was designed for optimal ergonomics and an overall attractive appearance by one of the world's fore-most industrial designers.