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The Mollart Centeplex provides a five-axis positioning capability for combined deep-hole drilling of compound angle holes from 6-80mm diameter by up to 2000mm deep.

It also carries out conventional machining centre operations in the same set up.

Guy Mollart, managing director of Mollart Engineering, said: ‘Following our development for providing very fine micro-drilled holes as small as 0.5mm diameter by 50mm deep, we have also expanded into off-set hole and extremely close pitch hole drilling technology, enabling very thin wall sections to be produced.’ He also said the installation of the five-face and single-cycle ability of the Mollart Centeplex has added a further capability to the subcontract operations.

With its ability to produce inclined holes up to +15 degrees by 2000mm deep via a programmable tilting axis to the spindle, the automated production of these features is now combined into an integrated machining-centre process.

Normally, to machine inclined-to-centreline features, such as compound angle holes, would require relocation and resetting of the component, with all the problems associated with fixturing, positioning, additional programming, handling, inspection and measurement – all elements compounding the possibility of error.

The Centeplex overcomes these problems and features shorter lead and therefore delivery times.

The Centeplex stands on the shopfloor alongside other specific Mollart machining developments such as the four-axis Mollart Prismabore, a six-axis FMC that incorporates automatic gundrill tool exchange and an Omnisprint three-axis, knee-type deep-hole drilling machine.

The Mollart Centeplex is designed for medium to large workpieces.

It has a 16-tonne load capacity and a full CNC rotary positioning axis.

Its table measures 2,000 x 2,740mm and has axis strokes of 1800mm in X and 1325mm in Y.

It features a combined over and under (shotgun style) spindle axis with a 22kW ISO 50 taper drive to the upper deep hole drilling spindle, which provides a drill penetration depth of 2000mm while the lower milling spindle, with its 60-tool conventional magazine, can carry out normal production processes in the same setting.

Centeplex is already machining components for the oil and gas and mould-plate industries.

Combined milling operations have been carried out with holes of between four and 100mm diameter being drilled.

For instance, Mollart Engineering was able to produce four holes of 9.5mm diameter in a 360mm diameter stainless-steel shaft that was 3750mm long.

The shaft had a counterbore 950mm deep in one end from which the holes, produced on a 110mm PCD (pitch circle diameter), were started.

To guide the deep hole drill, Mollart’s application team developed a special fixture located in the counterbore with two opposed guide bushes to support the 3400mm-long double carbide tipped drill.

Following datuming using a Renishaw probe in the spindle, the Centeplex was able to position and initially part drill each hole true to centreline to a depth of 1080mm.

The table was then indexed 180 degrees, the part reset to its datum and each 9.5mm hole was drilled from the opposite end to breakthrough into each original hole.

The spindle was run at 1,800rev/min and the penetration rate in the stainless steel material was 13mm/min.

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