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Latest Brother VMC significantly boosts productivity

Posted on 22 Dec 2021 and read 1091 times
Latest Brother VMC significantly boosts productivityLaunched in October by Brother at EMO 2021 in Milan, the new Speedio W1000Xd1 30-taper, vertical machining centre has a 1m X-axis, like the S1000X1 model that it supersedes. However that is where the comparison ends as there are profound differences between the two Japanese-built machines, according to Whitehouse Machine Tools, the exclusive sales and service agent in the UK and Ireland.

The new machine has been fitted with low inertia motors and incorporates CAE-optimised castings to minimise the weight of the main machine structure and improve its rigidity. Additionally, the manufacturer’s fourth-generation D00 control increases acceleration, speed and responsiveness. The compact, 3.35-tonne machine sits in a space nominally 2.4m2 on a shopfloor.

The W1000Xd1 is the first machine from Brother to have an LCD touchscreen control. It has a 15in screen that offers enhanced usability, extracting higher productivity from the machine compared with the earlier Brother ISO CNC system, the C00.

Energy-efficient hybrid drive motors have been used and the faster acceleration and deceleration of the low inertia spindle motor, which harnesses interior permanent magnet technology, has cut tool-to-tool time by 25% to 0.6sec. It reduces cut-to-cut time from 1.4 to 1.2sec, shortening cycles by between 3% and 9% depending on workpiece size and complexity.

Efficient operation

Four suites of support apps built into the control — Setup Tools, Adjust Tools, Production Tools and Recovery Tools — group relevant functions according to their purpose, leading to efficient operation.

Meanwhile production and operation status may be visualised more easily on the screen to speed and improve understanding of each machining process. Useful information like workpiece count, remaining tool life and power consumption is displayed during a production run.

BrotherThe machine will appeal to manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace and other industries that need to produce larger parts on the generously proportioned 1,100 x 500mm table. Alternatively, a greater number of smaller components can be fixtured for processing in one cycle, reducing the overall number of tool changes per part and increasing production efficiency.

As their name implies, Speedio machines are quick, their rapid traverse in the X and Y axis is 50 m/min and even faster in the 300mm Z-axis at 56m/min — cutting feed in all axes is up to 30m/min. To reduce idle time, tool change is performed at the same time as X and Y axis movements and rotation of the optional indexing 4th-axis trunnion.

The specification includes a maximum table load of 400kg, a 10,000rev/min spindle, the option to have a 16,000rev/min or 92Nm torque spindle instead, and 14 or 21 tool stations in the turret. The BIG-PLUS face-and-taper interface may be specified as well as 1.5MPa or 7MPa through-spindle coolant.

Lower energy consumption

The latest generation of Speedio machining centres has been redesigned to lower energy consumption as well as cycle times. Reductions have been achieved by specifying a control system CPU that consumes less power, limiting the number of fans in the NC cabinet, using an LCD screen and deploying an automatic power-off function. Further improvements are delivered through the use of latest-technology coolant pumps, servo controls and interior LED lights, all developed specifically to consume less power.

BrotherAdditional significant savings have been accomplished through the use of power regeneration technology during motor deceleration, based on the principles of KERS (kinetic energy recovery systems) used in Formula 1 cars. Environmental savings are not limited to electricity, however, as focus has also been placed on reducing air consumption.

For anyone thinking of buying a 40-taper machine instead, it is noteworthy that a program consisting of mainly drilling and tapping uses 60% less power if it is run on the W1000Xd1. Likewise a program comprising mainly milling draws 30% less power.

In some applications, 40-taper machines have been shown to require four times the energy to produce the same component. Factoring in the increased speed of the 30-taper machine, the Speedio route is a compelling consideration for OEMs and sub-contractors striving to remain competitive.