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Recently made available in the UK, from T W Ward CNC Machinery Ltd, the high-speed AXILE overhead travelling gantry-type, five-axis vertical machining centre will be shown by Buffalo Machinery of Taiwan.

A pair of AXILE machines will be included in the display, which will also highlight Buffalo’s emphasis on Industry 4.0 and its Smart Machining Technology – functions that monitor machine performance and compensate where necessary, to improve machining accuracies and productivity. In tandem, predictive maintenance capabilities further enhance the machines’ long-term reliability, as will be evident at EMO on the AXILE G8.

“The AXILE G8 brings to the UK market a new dimension of high-end, high-speed, five-axis machining at competitive prices,” says Ward CNC Managing Director Simon Whitworth.

“Our customers now have access to a machine with a proven track record in industry sectors that include aerospace - where it is efficiently and effectively machining turbine blades and other complex workpieces, for example. Crucially, the machine’s price-competitiveness will enable UK companies to enjoy similar success but at a price for capability that few will match.”

The G8 model incorporates a Kessler 800 mm diameter table for workpieces weighing 1,300 kgs and X, Y and Z axes capacities of 670 mm by 820 mm by 600 mm.

The machine’s positioning capability of 0.008 mm and repeatability of 0.004 mm are provided via direct servo-driven double roller-type linear guideways and linear measurement feedback scales (0.0001 mm resolution) on the X, Y and Z axes with pre-loaded double nut ballscrews. The Y axis has twin LH and RH linear guideways, drive and measurement system, and the Z axis incorporates a three-guideway design for enhanced rigidity and cutting performance. Available feed rate in X, Y and Z is 60 m/min.

Oil-cooled rotary torque motors drive the rotary C axis with dual torque motor drive on the swivelling A axis (+/- 5 secs of arc rotary scale feedback). The 360 deg C axis positions at 100 rev/min and the A axis (+/- 120 deg) has a positioning speed of 80 rev/min. Hydraulic brakes are incorporated in every element to enhance cutting capability when static. The 800 mm diameter tee-slotted table platen is prepared with three 80-bar hydraulic ports and a 6-bar pneumatic port for fixture and workholding management.

Two Kessler HSK A63 synchronous motor spindles options are available incorporating air/oil lubrication - 39 kW, 15,000 revs/min, 187 Nm and 35 kW, 20,000 revs/min, 130 Nm. The spindle has 20-bar through-spindle coolant as standard, with options up to 70-bar pressure and higher, including stepless programmable pressure, cartridge and paper band filtration plus additional coolant management features.

Twin automatic tool exchange carousels with 32/64, 48/96 or 60/120 tools are mounted in the machine behind the spindle, offering an automatic toolchange capacity up to 120 tools to facilitate sister tools, complex parts machining and unmanned operation.

Two laser toolsetting options are available – U-type table-mounted for high accuracy or wall-to-wall type with auto protection covers for enhanced protection.

Standard control features include Kinematics, Dynamic Collision Monitoring, Tool Centre Point Management, Tilted Working Plane, Collision Avoidance, 5-Axis Transformation and much more. Additional AXILE features include:

  • TPC - Tool-tip Positioning Control – real-time direct displacement measuring/monitoring for enhanced accuracy;
  • SVS – Spindle Vibration Supervision – spindle vibration monitoring and real-time control technology offers three levels of spindle vibration monitoring;
  • MRRO - Metal Removal Rate Optimisation – chatter-free machining via cutting force monitoring;
  • AAC - Axial Accuracy Control – thermal monitoring and compensation provided by 24 strategically-mounted thermal sensors.

The result is a first-class machine tool offering exceptional performance, accuracy, quality and a range of features at a price range that offers exceptional value.