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A Global Force in Machine Tools

The fact that Hyundai Wia launched nine new machines, including a high-speed machining centre, at the recent EMO (among the 13 machines it displayed there) is one indication of the strength and technology-driven prowess of the South Korean machine tool builder. PES reports.

Further reinforcing the company’s global standing, Hyundai-Wia is part of a global corporate conglomerate and turns over a staggering $6.7 billion (2016), and has 3,400 employees involved in the design, development, production and sales of circa 7,000 machines each year.

Engaged in a range of interests including heavy machinery, defence components, aerospace and automotive, for example, as well as machine tools, factory automation and robotics, the company was established in 1976 and is a member of the Hyundai Motor Group. This has 52 affiliate companies (involved in steel, rail and construction amongst others) and around 277,000 employees worldwide.

Hyundai Wia has been manufacturing machine tools under the Hyundai corporate umbrella since 1976. Formerly known as Kia Machine Tool), it has produced more than 180 different models over the years embracing CNC twin- and multi-axis lathes, including vertical turning/boring machines, vertical and horizontal machining centres, horizontal boring and milling machines, as well as grinders and special-purpose machinery. It supplies machines to over 60 countries.

The latest range of new machines, complemented by this year’s showcase event at its Changwon base where the new XF 5-axis high-speed vertical machining centres were demonstrated, is indicative of a company where progress never stops.

“Hyundai Wia annually invests heavily in its machine and factory automation development strategies,” says Simon Whitworth, managing director of Hyundai Wia’s exclusive UK and Ireland distributor, TW Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC). “And the fruits of that investment can be clearly seen not only by the machines’ high-standard of construction yet cost-competitiveness, but also by their high-technology specifications and the production benefits they bring to machine users in all industry sectors.”

He continues: “UK companies are no exception, with a host of firms across the myriad of industry sectors consistently producing high-quality components in reduced cycle times thanks to Hyundai Wia machining technologies.”

Turning out the success stories

On the turning machine side alone for example: the installation of a KIT450 2-axis lathe not only immediately shaved cycle times by 18% on an existing component at DJT Engineering, but by releasing capacity, the machine has also enabled the Walsall-based company to double its output of components derived from bar.

Additionally, the ability of a 2-axis L300C lathe to produce finished flanges to fine tolerances compared to former methods has fully justified the machine purchase for SA Flanges of Rotherham, which adds that it is using the machine to its full capacity in terms of component size – it can handle bar of 90mm and has a maximum turning length and diameter of 720mm and 560mm, respectively – and has been “a great investment”.

A further example: Cosmopolitan Engineering of Sheffield is using a trio of Hyundai-Wia turning machines – L400LMC lathe with C-axis and driven tools, SKT-300 turning centre and a L300C 2-axis lathe – to consistently meet the demands of customers throughout the UK and in all industry sectors. The company says these machines have never let it down and “as each machine has been installed and put into service, we’ve noted its reliability and, subsequently, each time we needed to expand our CNC portfolio we didn’t have to worry too much about the quality of the machines or the back-up from Ward CNC nor, indeed, the cost-effectiveness of the packages on offer”.

Mr Whitworth again: “Hyundai Wia machines are being regularly installed in the UK for a variety of tasks, from standalone machines for straightforward turning routines through to extensive installations for complex, one-hit processes. For instance, one of our most recent installations involves a 10-machine package, a combination of vertical machining centres and turning centres, for the production of civil nuclear engineering parts.

“Companies in this industry sector, and others including aerospace, don’t take machine investment decisions lightly, so they are obviously very confident in the reliability, consistently and effectiveness of the machines – which is entirely understandable.”

New additions: multiple machines for multiple tasks

This year’s latest additions to the range were three new Y-axis turning centres, two new vertical machining centres – one a 5-axis machine – a new high-speed (60m/minute) horizontal machining centre and the KM2600MTTA multi-tasking turning centre.

Indeed, the new XF2000 5-axis vertical machining centre was awarded the major accolade of ‘Best New Milling Machine’ at EMO from MaschinenMarkt magazine.

The XF series 5-axis VMCs will initially be available in two versions: the 40,000rpm XF2000 with 300mm x 300mm x 200mm in X-, Y- and Z-axes, rapid traverse rate of 50m/minute and 200mm diameter table able to accommodate 15kg loads; and the 15,000-40,000rpm XF6300 with X-, Y- and Z-axes of 650mm x 600mm x 500mm, a rapid traverse rate of 60m/minute and a 630mm diameter table able to accommodate loads of 600kg.

The two new KF Series VMCs are the KF4600 and the KF5600: the former with a table of 1,050mm by 460mm for 600kg loads, and X-, Y- and Z-axes travels of 900mm x 460mm x 520mm, respectively, plus 36m/minute rapids and spindle power options extending from 8kW up to 15kW.

The KF5600 has a table of 1,250mm by 560mm to accommodate loads of 1,000kg, and its X-, Y- and Z-axes travels of 1,100mm x 560mm x 520mm, respectively (there is an option to increase Z to 635mm) are complemented by rapid traverse rates of 40m/minute in X and Y, and 36m/min in Z, while spindle power options are from 8kW to 20kW.

The new XH6300 high-speed (60m/minute) horizontal machining centre has twin 630mm square pallets each able to take 1,500kg workpieces and X-, Y- and Z-axes travels are 1,050mm x 900mm x 1,000 mm, respectively. Automatic toolchange options extend from 40 as standard up to 348.

The three new Y-axis turning centres comprise: the L2000 and 3000LY. While both have a maximum swing of 870mm, the L2000 has a spindle bore of 76mm and a maximum turning length of 760mm, while the L3000LY, with 120mm Y-axis has a spindle bore of 115mm and can turn up to 1,280mm long. Spindle speeds on the former are 5,000rpm (main spindle) and 6,000rpm (sub), while the larger-capacity model has 3,000rpm.

The third model is the heavy-duty KL7000LY. Developed with a 185mm spindle bore and a 220mm Y-axis, the machine has a 1,200mm swing over the bed and can turn to lengths of 3,250mm.

A highlight of Hyundai-Wia’s showcase of new machines at EMO was the multi-tasking KM2600MTTA, a sophisticated twin spindle mill-turn centre with B-axis programmable milling head and 72-station toolchanger.

Providing a turning length of up to 1,550mm and with high powered spindles and many innovative design features, the machine is anticipated to be among the leaders in the field of mill-turn technology.

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