INDEX Corp.'s six-spindle CNC automatic production lathe, the MS16C, is a compact, machine built on the INDEX multi-spindle modular system, and aimed at the cam-driven multi-spindle market, and deploys form tool slides as well as full CNC tool slides plus a backworking spindle to provide drop times to less than 3 seconds.
It’s a stable platform for high-precision work from bar to 16 mm, yet occupies very little floorspace. Each spindle offers independent, infinitely variable speeds up to 10,000 rpm. With smart NC drives, each driven tool can be synchronized with the C axis of the spindles to permit milling and polygon turning.
Liquid spindle cooling is a significant feature of the machine. It results in a higher power density in the spindle carrier, permitting high loads and high speeds without excessive heat generation. It also contributes to excellent thermal stability. In addition, energy recovered from the heated cooling fluid can be profitably used in the plant.
The X-axis slides provide high dynamic stiffness with steel-on-steel, matched box-type guideways, resulting in high precision machining. Z-axis slides are quill-type with hydrostatic bushings. The five form tool slides work in the X axis and feature INDEX’s W-grooves, which make for easy adjustment of the tools.
Backworking is accomplished with a Z axis synchronized spindle. Up to three backworking tools may be used plus a cut-off tool, providing even more machining in a single rapid cycle.
Other features of the machine include spindle-integrated bar feeding unit—further support of short cycle times--and integrated chip conveyor.
The standard version of the MS16C includes 24 CNC axes, five forming slides in the X axis, two drilling slides, three compound slides with X/Z axis, a cut-off slide with backworking and X/Z axis, and a Synchron spindle in the Z axis. The machine can also be configured with 26 CNC axes, five forming slides, five compound slides, a cut-off slide and the Synchron spindle for backworking.
Due to the advantages characteristic of a CNC lathe, in particular short set up times, it is said to produce small batches efficiently and economically.
As usual with INDEX multi-spindle machines, the MS16 performs all operations expected of turning centers, including turning, drilling, milling, polygon turning, hobbing, tooth milling, deep-hole drilling or slotting. All standard toolholders and toolholder system interfaces can be used with the appropriate adapters (Capto, HSK, VDI, INDEX systems).
The cross slides with integrated drive have a low-mass design with hydrostatic bearing support. A low moment of inertia and the resulting high dynamics mean outstanding acceleration and further cycle time savings.