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Brother’s TC-R2B vertical machining centre, available in the UK from Whitehouse, is designed for the high-speed production of prismatic components falling within a nominal third-metre cube.

Compared with its predecessor, the new model is said to be 25 per cent more productive and has an increased table load capacity of 120kg.

A key feature of the moving-column machine is its entry-level price, which is less than two-thirds that of the established twin-pallet TC-32B.

This price is intended to give start-up companies a realistic option of moving productivity up to the next level by acquiring an automatic pallet change (APC) machining centre.

Lower batch sizes are as viable as higher volumes, because resetting for the next job is rapid.

Compared with the TC-32BN-QT, the new machine’s 50m/min linear rapids and 420 x 320 x 305mm machining envelope are only slightly lower.

Some specifications are higher, such as the chip-to-chip time of 1.7 seconds at maximum revolutions per minute.

This includes not only automatic tool change (ATC) from the 14-station, AC, servo-motor-driven turret, but also spindle deceleration from the maximum 10,000rev/min and acceleration to the same speed.

High-speed (16,000rev/min) and high-torque (26kW) spindles are optional to optimise production in particular materials.

The TC-R2B is a 30-taper, three-axis machine on which a variety of fourth- and fifth-axis options can be added by Whitehouse.

The seven-axis CNC-B00 control with 12in (30cm) colour display can simultaneously position five axes and fully interpolate the movements of four.

Both conversational and G-code programming are possible.

The machine offers thermal expansion compensation in X, Y and Z and face-and-taper-contact tool holding (Big-Plus), both of which promote high machining accuracy, according to the company.

Features such as simultaneous tool change, pallet change (2.9 seconds) and rotary table movement accelerate the start of metal removal from the next workpiece.

The system also offers the ability to rotate the table manually on the pallet that is outside the machining area, allowing all faces of a cube fixture, for example, to be loaded ready for APC.

Power usage is reduced using a high-efficiency drive to the low-inertia, 30-taper spindle, compared with which the movements of a 40-taper machine are far more power hungry.

Similarly, compressed-air consumption is claimed to be six-fold lower and is even 30 per cent less than that of the 30-taper model (TC-R2A).

By reducing power and air consumption, Brother said that using a TC-R2B emits four times less CO2 than a typical 40-taper machine.

Other eco-friendly measures include the use of grease lubrication, which at two litres per year represents a 90 per cent reduction over oil; automatic standby modes for pumps, motors and light; lead-free solder on printed circuit boards; and an absence of PVC materials.

Whitehouse Machine Tools

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