Rotary tables raise productivity and reduce operations

1MTA review edit_tmbRotary tables for four- and five-axis machining were highlighted by 1st Machine Tool Accessories at Southern Manufacturing 2017, demonstrating versatile, adaptable workholding solutions.

Users of three-axis machining centres were able to see a range of Kitagawa rotary table options (pictured). They are capable of raising versatility of production, says the company, reducing the number of separate machining operations and increasing the complexity of parts that can be produced. Among them was the latest TT150 tilting type compound table with 150mm faceplate for adding fourth and fifth CNC axes. It is designed to interface directly with a machining centre control or operated via a MAC mini controller.

Another highlight was the heavy-duty GT series models that deliver extreme rigidity, fast operation and clamping torques up to 2,800Nm. Table variants include multi-spindle versions for machining several components at once. Machining centre users were able to see the numerous workholding options available from the company for prismatic machining, including five-axis clamping solutions. The range has been significantly expanded following the addition of the Italian-manufactured Tecnomagnete programme of magnetic equipment for securing workpieces. Together with the established ranges of clamping equipment from Chick, Abbott and Mitee-Bite in the US, Tecnomors in Italy, the German firm Best and Finnish company, OK-Vise, the company believes it offers one of the most comprehensive and varied workholding equipment portfolio available from one source in the UK. Some of the products, such as Chick’s indexer sub-system, may be used in conjunction with a rotary table to present multiple components to a spindle during a single cutting cycle.

Another theme of the stand was the ability to supply manually and hydraulically actuated clamping arrangements tailored to specific applications, often comprising complex configurations using equipment from several of its principals’ catalogues. Such solutions can solve difficult production problems or, in standard applications, reduce set-up and idle times, increasing efficiency, accuracy and repeatability. Although a large part of the supplier’s business, it is not well known owing to non-disclosure agreements preventing most large projects from being publicised.

In the area of rotational machining, the company offers an extensive range of Kitagawa jaw and collet chucks. The latter apply clamping pressure evenly around the circumference of a part, for tight concentricity during turning. They also open and close rapidly, boosting productivity for both long and short runs. Standard jaw chucks, including a quick-change range, meet a variety of applications, including demand for large power chucks in vertical lathes.

Italian bar magazine manufacturer, Iemca, is another principal, and its latest products in the KID 80 IV short bar magazine are suitable for feeding stock between 5.0 and 80mm in diameter and from 250 to 1,615mm long and integrating with fixed or sliding head CNC turning machines.

A design improvement avoids the need for the bar pusher to move during component transfer between the main and sub spindles, increasing productivity during single-hit machining of components requiring two operations, one at each end. Another innovation is the ability to load a new bar while the last part is being machined, reducing changeover time, and allowing it to be fed into position without a bar stop.

Drill sharpening was a main area of technology on the stand. US-manufactured Darex equipment is exclusively sold in the UK by 1st MTA. A recent introduction is the automatic, benchtop, four-axis CNC sharpener, XPS-16+. It can process two-fluted high-speed-steel, cobalt, carbide and coated bits from 3.0 to 16mm in diameter and can create any point angle from 90 to 150 degrees as standard. The unit also sharpens split point geometries and complex, four-facet point drills and can automatically hone carbide drills for high precision cutting.

Find out more at

Leave a Comment