Compound processing of cylindrical parts by B-axis machine tools

Cylindrical parts with milled features on compound corners or multiple faces are very common. Factories that serve large equipment and oil companies and produce parts that require precise five-coordinate contouring and finishing often use B-axis machine tools to manufacture slotted shafts and machine grooves and cuts on compound corners. Such shops also use B-axis machines to machine complex polyhedrons such as tool bodies and tool holders.

The parts processed by B-axis machine tools come in various sizes. It can machine watch gears as small as 0.04 inches in diameter, or metal castings as large as 20 inches in diameter.

In order to meet the different processing needs of customers, Methods Machine Tool Company provides two models of Nakamura Tome machine tools equipped with B-axis. The STW-40 machine with a standard 40-station automatic tool changer is designed to machine large, heavy-duty parts such as castings and forgings, and can machine workpieces up to 17 inches in diameter. However, in response to customer demand, Methods Machine Tools now offers a smaller version of its B-axis machine, the NTJ (B-axis Turret). The weight of this machine tool is only about half of the STW-40. The advantage is that compared with large-size machine tools, it occupies a small area and is easy to maintain and operate. The NTJ is best suited for machining smaller B-axis parts, such as knuckle tools up to 8 inches in diameter.

Both models are equipped with bar feed capabilities so that raw material can be fed into the machine in a continuous flow and B-axis cutting can be performed on part features equipped with compound angles if required. . Shops should consider the size of the stock when evaluating part and bar feed options. Although large B-axis machines equipped with bar feed capabilities can handle larger bars, it is not practical to always load the machine with this size of material. Because the bars tend to be relatively long (up to 12 feet is not uncommon), they may be too heavy for a person or robot to lift. Large stock materials are also difficult to cut, especially when it comes to cutting off bar stock.

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