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World’s First Simultaneous Horizontal Multi-axis Machine

A unique partnership between Cambridge Dynamics and FANUC has delivered the world’s first simultaneous horizontal multi-axis machining centre.

The new SOHMAX (Simultaneous Operation, Horizontal Multi-Axis) machine was launched at EMO 2017 and has been specifically designed for machining operations on both ends of shafts, bars, axles and couplings – dramatically reducing set-up and cycle times.

The SOHMAX was designed in partnership with FANUC and uses both FANUC CNC for its programming and a FANUC robot for loading and unloading.

The machine allows up to 12 machining operations to be performed on components simultaneously, from simple turning, drilling and tapping operations, through to profiling, broaching, swaging, spline shaving, pressure testing and assembly operations.

The SOHMAX has a central carousel comprising six beds which can accommodate components from 100mm to one metre in length. The carousel indexes by 60o after each movement – allowing 12 simultaneous machining operations per cycle. Each cycle time is limited only to the time of the slowest machining operation plus 0.8 seconds indexing time.

Workpieces are hydraulically clamped onto work surfaces using swing clamps or hydraulic collets, allowing rapid loading and unloading.

Seven machine variants are available in the SOHMAX range, capable of machining operations on bar from 26mm to 63mm with a range of turning lengths from 100mm to 5000mm. Beds are available in different lengths depending on component size and the BT40 spindles can accept any compatible tooling including those equipped with through-spindle coolant.

Programming is via FANUC 30i CNC control which controls each station independently. The SOHMAX also comes equipped with a FANUC robot for loading and unloading as standard equipment.

John Hawkins, Technical Sales Manager at Cambridge Dynamics, commented: “The SOHMAX has been designed to provide an innovative machining solution to increase competitiveness and profitability, by dramatically reducing machining times for shaft and bar applications. We worked extensively with FANUC to develop this machine and we believe that we have delivered a world first. We had an enormous amount of interest in the machine at EMO, particularly from the Chinese market.”

He continued: “The SOHMAX is ideally suited to high volume parts machining, such as automotive and general industrial work, due to its ability to dramatically reduce set-up times set-up times and improve manufacturing flexibility, particularly with high mix product batches.”

Andy Armstrong, UK Sales and Marketing Manager for FANUC commented: “We have been delighted to support Cambridge Dynamics in the development of the SOHMAX machine which is revolutionary in design and in its ability to deliver outstanding productivity improvements. The partnership demonstrates FANUC’s philosophy to support machine builders of all sizes, both during the development process, with applications work such as motor sizing, and as a solutions partner for both CNC and robotic machine tending.”

Process Industry Informer

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