As it is May, the traditional month of racing because of the still-venerable Indianapolis 500, and as we have coverage of racing in this issue, it brings to mind that there are some machine tool companies that are seriously involved in racing, one of which is Haas Automation (www.haascnc.com; Oxnard, CA), which operates Haas CNC Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Of course, the company is one that makes a variety of machining technology, which brings us to some of the new products that can, well, conceivably make your operations go faster.
Consider the EC-550, a horizontal machining center (HMC) for high production. It has a 30 x 34 x 32-in. work envelope and 550-mm pallets that are capable of handling a 2,205-lb. load. The HMC is equipped with a 50-taper geared-head spindle that is mated to a two-speed gearbox that offers 450 ft-lb of torque for heavy material removal...but speeds up to 6,000 rpm for finishing operations. There is an optional 10,000-rpm spindle that provides 170 ft-lb of torque @ 1,400 rpm and has a peak power rating of 60 hp @ 7,000 rpm. The machine has a 50-pocket side-mount tool changer, a large-volume coolant tank, and high-capacity belt conveyor for chip removal, all of which contribute to the possibility of long runs without pit stops (OK, we couldn't resist).
For those needing something bigger, there is the EC-630PP HMC, which has a 40 x 33 x 35-in. work envelope, a 50-taper geared-head spindle, 72-pocket side-mount tool changer, six-station pallet pool for the 630-mm pallets that provide a 2,640-lb. capacity. The rapid traverse rate is 710 ipm. There is a pallet indexer that has 1° indexes. Parts that are up to 39.4 in. in diameter and height can be accommodated by the machining center.
But not all operations need pallet-changing capability. Sometimes there is more of a sprint in the tasks—i.e., shorter runs. Which can be addressed by the ES-5-T HMC, a compact machine. It has an 8,000-rpm 40-taper spindle that has an inline direct-drive system: the 20-hp vector dual-drive system is said to have not only lots of low-end torque, but a wide constant-power band, as well. The machine has travels of 40 x 18 x 22 in.; the high-lead ballscrews and high-torque servomotors provide rapids of 1,000 ipm. The machining center has a 24+1 tool side-mount tool changer and a 52 x 18-in. T-slot table that can handle workpieces up to 52 x 18 x 23 in. The machine is capable of being equipped with a 4th- and/or 5th-axis rotary table; the machine's enclosure is sufficiently large to provide 40-in. of swing.
If you're looking for something very small, there is the Mini Mill 2 machining center, which has travels of 20 x 16 x 14 in. This vertical-spindle machining center has a 40-taper, 6,000-rpm spindle powered by a 7.5-hp vector drive system. Cutting feeds are up to 500 ipm. The rapid rate is 600 ipm. The machine has a 40 x 14-in. T-slot table and a 10-pocket carousel-style toolchanger. For those who have a real need for Speed there is the forthcoming Super Mini Mill 2, which has a 10,000-rpm 40-taper spindle, 15-hp vector drive, and 1,200 ipm rapids.