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Traub has introduced a CNC sliding-head mill-turn centre on which it is possible to select whether to turn a component with the support of a guide bush, or without it.

Designated TNL18, the machine has a capacity of 20mm and can be operated with or without a guide bush.

Bar may be gripped conventionally by a collet and fed by up to 205mm through the guide bush, giving all the advantages of Swiss-type turning, including maximum rigidity and accuracy when machining long, thin components.

Alternatively, the bar is clamped by a collet in the spindle and moved 80mm into and out of the cutting zone using the Z-axis motion of the headstock travelling at up to 40m/min.

This setup is best for machining shorter components, as there is no need to bridge the gap between the collet and guide bush, so bar remnants are much shorter and material is saved.

Eliminating the guide bush avoids the need to use expensive ground stock.

The process is also suitable for applications where a guide bush is impracticable, such as when producing plastic workpieces and those machined from profiled stock.

A singular feature of the machine is the absence of gang tooling and the inclusion of two turrets that are rotated as full NC axes, instead of being indexed and clamped.

They may therefore be positioned at any angle through 360deg, so multiple toolholders can be used, allowing up to 54 cutters in the working area.

All stations can carry either a static turning tool or a live cutter.

An eight-station turret is mounted above the spindle centreline, below which is a seven-station turret.

The latter moves in three orthogonal axes, while the top turret has an X-axis plus a simulated Y-axis, whereby its rotation is interpolated with the X-axis and the main spindle’s C-axis.

Turret rotation is faster than that of an indexed turret, matching the linear speed of a gang tool post.

Chip-to-chip time is under 0.3sec for adjacent turret stations, maintaining the same low levels of non-cutting time for which sliding-headstock lathes are renowned.

The three-axis counter spindle is mounted on the same compound slide as the lower turret and swivels independently around the same axis as the turret to offer a parted-off component to seven rear endworking tools, three of which are live, for completion of operations on the reverse.

While work is in progress on the back of a component, front-end turning and prismatic machining with one or two tools can be carried out simultaneously in the main spindle, allowing up to three tools to be in cut simultaneously.

Geo Kingsbury Machine Tools

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