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Mazak has introduced the Vortex II series of high-speed, simultaneous five-axis, vertical machining centres.

The series is available in bridge or bed-type configuration, with axis travels up to 4,200mm x 1,400mm x 610mm in X, Y and Z and corresponding traverse rates of 20m/min (X), 32m/min (Y) and 20m/min (Z), along with a range of high-performance spindles offering up to 18,000 rev/min and 75kW (10-minute rating).

As a result, the Vortex II series is ideally suited to large aerospace components such as wing spars and mould and die work.

The machine’s five-axis capability is delivered through the use of an A and B axis, on which the spindle is mounted.

The +/-40-degree tilting action of these two axes allows cutting tool access to all available faces of the component, while the control provided by the Mazatrol FX (or Fanuc 31i) CNC system gives the ability to cut complex contours at high feed rates.

Providing even greater versatility is the Variaxis II series of vertical machining centres with simultaneous five-axis machining capability.

The most recent addition to this range is the Variaxis 630-5X II T.

Capable of machining on multiple surfaces of a component by virtue of its trunnion (-120 degrees to +30 degrees of movement) and rotary table configuration (continuous 360 degrees of movement in the C axis in 0.0001 increments), the Variaxis 630-5X II T can also provide a turning solution, thanks to the use of a direct-drive motor for C axis positioning and turning.

This motor provides a turning spindle rotation of up to 1,100rev/min, and turning operations are carried out with the machine’s A-axis rigidly clamped in the 0- or 90-degree position, ensuring highly efficient and accurate machining of components requiring turned features.

Also providing five-axis capability is the UK-designed and built VTC-800/30SR vertical machining centre.

With a 3m X axis, which works in combination with the B axis movement provided by a swivel head (+/-110 degrees), combined with an optional rotary table attachment (providing 360-degree continuous C axis rotation), this fixed-table travelling column machine offers full simultaneous five-axis machining of complex features and contours.

The swivel-head mechanism helps to reduce set-up time and increases the multi-purpose nature of the machine; meanwhile the optional Mazak rotary table can be mounted vertically or horizontally for different applications.

Further versatility is provided by the ability to equip the machine with a removable central partition for pendulum machining, to maximise productivity.

Feed rates of 50m/min and a powerful 35kW spindle with a maximum speed of 18,000rev/min further add to the performance of this machine tool.

Yamazaki Mazak Ltd

Yamazaki Mazak is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer controlled (CNC) metal-cutting machines. With over 260 different models, the Mazak product range includes CNC lathes, machining centres, multi-tasking machines and flexible manufacturing systems as well as laser processing machines.

Machine tools are called “Mother Machine” because they relate to the manufacturing of almost every product around us and are very important in supporting the base of “world manufacturing.” Our mission as a machine tool maker is to enrich people’s lives and contribute to society by developing and providing high performance machine tools that can produce high accuracy work in a short time.

We were among the first to start foreign production as a Japanese machine tool maker. Following the establishment of Mazak Corporation in the USA, we expanded our production base worldwide to include the UK, Singapore and China, as well as further expanding our Japanese manufacturing operations. We are the only machine tool maker to have established a global production system. With these local plants, we have been able to provide high quality service and have built strong relationships based on mutual trust with customers from all over the world.

True to the Yamazaki principle of supporting the customer locally, Mazak’s European Manufacturing plant, in Worcester UK, opened in June 1987 and was immediately recognised as the most advanced machine tool manufacturing plant in Europe. The factory has expanded three times since then and now offers over 29,000m2

This is a complete machine tool manufacturing plant. Mazak machines the components that go to make its spindles, turrets, tool magazines and Mazak even manufactures its own sheet metal covers. As with all Mazak manufacturing plants, the most rigorous practices and Kaizen programmes ensure continuous improvement.

Serving all of Europe’s markets, more than 80% of the machine tools built in Worcester are exported from the UK into Europe. More than 17,000 Mazak machines have been manufactured here so far and this number continues to grow every day.

Mazak European Manufacturing Plant is recognised for its factory automation, technology and overall management practices. Selected as one of the “Top Ten Companies in the World” by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and Technology underscores this worldwide reputation.

As with all Mazak factories, this facility comprises a variety of flexible manufacturing systems, consisting of machining centres, multi-tasking CNC lathes, and a sheet metal FMS – all designed for unmanned operation.

The plant benefits from highly skilled employees who are committed to continuous improvement through the 25 “Kaizen” teams in operation.

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