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‘Infinity’ is the designation for the latest range of HSA double-column, high accuracy and large capacity vertical machining centres from Hartford. Available from exclusive UK distributor ‘Ward CNC’ the Infinity range extends to machines with table sizes up to 6,150 mm by 2,040 mm and can handle parts weighing 18 tonnes.

The machine's column and cross beam are manufactured as a single unit using ‘step' design, a strategically ribbed alloy frame casting with the cantilever beam carried on high quality Meehanite base castings. THK extra heavy duty, three-face contact preloaded linear guideways ensure not only maximum stability under cutting conditions but also exact positioning to a repeatability within ±0.003 mm.

Also critical in the rigidity of the machine design is the adoption of a single casting for the spindle head that allows the Z axis drive and spindle head to be mounted on the same centre line. Due to the shape of the spindle head, there is greater access to the workpiece giving improved operational flexibility and the ability to make use of shorter tools when machining up to the likes of shoulders or steps.

Standard spindle speeds are 6,000 revs/min across the range via a gear drive able to transmit 98 per cent of the power developed by the motor. The smallest machine in the range, the HSA-2215, has an 18 kW drive rising to 22 kW for the rest of the series. Two versions, the HSA-4260 and 5210, have higher speed capabilities of 10,000 revs/min from direct drive systems that also incorporate ceramic bearings in the spindle.

Each machine in the range has an ISO 50 taper and maximum tool size is 200 mm diameter by 350 mm long across the range with the adjacent pockets being left empty. The normal tool size is 125 mm diameter for the 20-tool magazine; however, as an option, a 32-tool magazine can be specified.

There is a range of optional heads available, some with an automatic changing system using a manual saddle option fixed to the column that enables the spindle to move to a preset change position. There are also two 90° deep boring heads and straight extension heads giving 300 mm and 500 mm additional access to a component.

Among further options are an NC rotary table, automatic tool length and diameter measurement, closed-loop linear scales, through-tool coolant supply, two-step spindle load monitoring and choice of Fanuc, Mitsubishi or Heidenhain controls.

Special programming cycles by the standard ‘Hartrol' advance programming software with full graphic dialogue program creation and editing, and a choice of 10 workpiece calibration methods for reference and calculation of workpiece measurement, are also available.

Hartford has sold more than 30,000 of its machines across the global market, introduces its seven-machine HSA range for the mould and die, aerospace, oil and gas as well as large capacity general machining sectors. The range begins with the HSA 2215 having an X axis travel of 2,200 mm, Y axis of 1,500 mm and Z axis of 780 mm and extends to the HSA 6210 with 6,050 mm travel in X, 2,100 mm in Y and 780 mm (option 1,070 mm) in Z.