Re: 5 Axis or Horizontal??

Matthew Ensor wrote:
Thanks for your input Joe, the machine that Mazak recommended for the job
was the NEXUS5000 machine, I haventt considered Makino, but theres no
particular reaason. I will have a look on there web site and if theres
something suitable I will contact the local sales guy.
I guess a little more information is required on the parts we envisage
machining on these machines. As I indicated there all aluminium housings
machined on all six faces with various milled and drilled features. Most of
these features do have a geometric relationship to other features on other
faces of the component. Typical tolerance for most features would be 0.1mm
true position. On the large housings there are features at each end of the
component which have to be in true position to each other within 0.05mm.
There are tight limit bores of 0.01/ 0.02mm diameter tolerance.Some dowel
hole pitches are toleranced too 0.01mm, but any descent machine should
easily be capable of all of this.


Matt, for your application, I think the Mazak HCN5000 is the best
possible machine available. As far as I can tell, you will be using it
for EXACTLY what it was designed for.

Makino's A66E is a terrific machine. It's the most accurate, and the
rapids are 3000ipm, but the base price is easily 100K more than the
Mazak, the option pricing is through the ROOF, and it's only got 30hp.
With the type of parts your making, 25% more horsepower equates
directly to 25% faster cycle time.

Toyoda's FH550S seems to be a very good option, although it too is down
on horsepower, and may be a little bit pricey.

Enshu has the new JE80S, with 3500ipm rapids, a 15K spindle,
ridiculously good accuracy, and 31.5x31.5x31.5 travels, but you may not
even have a dealer anywhere around your area.

No matter what you choose, I'd stay away from the 5 axis machines until
you absolutely need one. When compared to an HMC, any 5 axis machine is
compromised in practically every category. You're going to have to grab
the part twice, no matter which machine you're doing it on, so you
might as well do it on the machine that costs less, and can get it done
faster. If one or two specific jobs force you into the 5 axis realm,
you can just add a rotary table to your HMC for $50-70K, rather than
$300K+ for a legit Mazak or Matsuura 5 axis vertical.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of equipment are you using right now
to produce the parts?