MAG Completes First Giant U6 Portal Mill


One of MAG’s newest product developments, the giant 6-axis U6 bridge-type portal mill, is completing its runoff in Hebron, KY, prior to shipping later this year. The massive machine, which weighs nearly 154 MT (170 tons), is outfitted with five interchangeable cutting heads, including two custom designs to allow five-sided machining on oversized diesel engine blocks and industrial components. Equipped to deliver up to 74.5 kW (100 hp) into the cut, the machine can complete all six sides of a 5,900 kg (13,000 lb), 16- or 20-cylinder diesel engine block in just three setups at a total time of about 30 hours. The turnkey solution from MAG includes the machine, special spindle heads, cutting tools, part programs and workholding fixture.

This particular machine has a working range of 13 m x 2.6 m x 1 m x 1.25 m (X-Y-W-Z), with speeds up to 20 m/min (787 ipm) and linear-axis repeatability of 0.01 mm (0.0004 in). The W+Z axes combined deliver a programmable vertical range of 2.25 m (7.3 ft) for deep reach into or around parts. The machine is configured with a two-table system to transfer workpieces in and out of the cutting zone, enabling it to cut one part, while a second is being setup or unloaded off line. This allows parts to be machined in sets of two, using the five spindle heads and a full complement of operations including milling, facing, boring, drilling, tapping and specialty serration milling. The five spindle heads are changed automatically for maximum efficiency and minimal cycle time.

“This machine is the newest and most advanced design in its class, utilizing linear way technology and all-electric drives for speed, accuracy and energy efficiency,” said MAG Executive Vice President Chip Storie. “It is whisper quiet, and proved its dynamic stiffness during sustained-power qualification tests. It will produce the customer’s parts in less time, at a lower cost, when all the high-efficiency features are applied, giving the customer a competitive advantage.”

The U6 universal machining center is engineered for lean manufacturing of large complex-geometry parts. Its 5-axis machining and contouring capabilities minimize downtime, part reorientations and set-ups. The machine’s robust construction makes it ideal for heavy cuts in large cast iron, steel, Inconel or titanium parts encountered in aerospace, off-road, energy, marine and mining equipment. The U6’s energy-efficient all-electric design eliminates hydraulic noise and maintenance issues, particularly compared to older-style, hydrostatic guideways. Replaceable low-friction linear guideways improve axis responsiveness and help reduce energy consumption.

Available in a bridge or traveling gantry design, the U6 can be configured with a crossrail (Y-axis) up to 9 m (29.5 ft), while the adjustable W-axis (vertical crossrail movement) provides up to 5 m (16.4 ft) additional travel to complement up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) of Z-axis range. The maximum 7.5 m (24.6 ft) programmable vertical range of the machine (W+Z axes) gives it the capacity to machine, or maneuver over, tall or oddly shaped workpieces. The design allows the Y-axis rail to be positioned close to the part for machining with minimal Z-axis extension and maximum stiffness for tight accuracy. As options, the U6 is offered with a choice of 1 m, 1.5 m, 2 m or 2.5 m Z-axis ram travel for best fit to processing needs.

The U6B bridge-type machine can be equipped with an optional X-axis pallet shuttle system for cellular processing with single or multiple machines. It is available with a broad range of table and pallet shuttle systems. The U6R rail-type traveling gantry design offers unlimited X-axis travel, and is expandable to fit the application.

The U6 can be outfitted with a range of high-torque or high-speed spindles, up to 74.5 kW (100 hp) and up to 24,000 rpm, choice of tapers, and vertical, horizontal or 5-axis head configurations to cover the spectrum of machining requirements. Automatic head exchanges are programmable, fully automated and accomplished in about one minute. The C-axis option is built into the Z-axis ram and is offered 360-degree continuous rotation to keep the spindle in-cut without running out of C-axis travel or waiting for unwind. Custom head configurations are also available. For more information, visit