The modular approach to machining is being emphasized in a new line of machines and associated equipment from Toyoda Cutting Machine Div. (Arlington Heights, IL). The machines, modules actually, are:
•TOP-M5. A machine for steel and cast iron parts that provides high accuracy and high rigidity. Particularly well suited for high-accuracy boring. Fitted with a 6,000-rpm spindle with a 50-spindle nose taper. Its X, Y, Z strokes: 500 × 500 × 630 mm (standard). Provides rapid feedrates as high as 30 m/min.
•TOP-S. Available in types with either 50- or 40-taper spindles. The TOP-S5, which is recommended for iron and aluminum machining, is equipped with the 50-taper spindle. It rotates at 6,000 rpm and, like the TOP-M5, provides spindle torque of 350 N•m. Applications that are ideally suited for both versions of the TOP-S are milling, boring and reaming. The TOP-S4 has the 40-taper spindle. It is more well suited for cast iron and aluminum machining operations. Its spindle, which provides 120 N•m of torque, can rotate at 12,000 rpm. The standard TOP-S machines have an X, Y, Z stroke envelope of 500 × 500 × 630 mm. This machine series is quick: feeds of 40 m/min. can be attained.
•TOP-E4. This is a machine based on 3-axis horizontal column travel. It is fitted with a 40-taper spindle. Top end rotation: 10,000 rpm. According to the Toyoda engineers, the TOP-E4 is best suited for light-duty cutting, drilling and tapping, as well as some milling, boring, and reaming. In one installation, three TOP-E machines were lined up and used for machining an aluminum transmission case. These units can be fitted with indexing heads, head exchangers, and various tool-magazine and tool-changing options.
Toyoda has developed the means to integrate these machines with a flexible high-speed transfer device called "QuickPON," which can be used along with a flexible jig called the "CassettePON." The former, which is servo-driven, provides an S-shaped acceleration/deceleration curve so that there is no jarring of the workpiece. Importantly, the QuickPON does, indeed, provide quick transfers: at 60 m/min. The CassettePON is designed to handle different types of workpieces through the implementation of adapter plates. One of the benefits of this unit is faster loading/unloading time compared to conventional jigs: a change can be effected in 5 seconds vs. 9 seconds for a traditional device.
What types of components can be machined by the TOP modules? Here's a sampling: