Mazak Variaxis C-600 shows easy 5-axis machining, automation

Mazak’s Variaxis C-600 is a user-friendly, compact, and highly capable machine, (Courtesy: Mazak Corporation)

At the Mazak Canada Cambridge open house, Mazak presented the Variaxis C-600 vertical machining center that reduces the intimidation factor of full simultaneous 5-axis machining and makes automation integration extremely easy. The cost-effective, innovative, compact RoboJob Mill Assist automation solution fitted on the machine at the event is supplied and supported directly by Mazak, easily integrates with Mazak vertical machining centers to boost machine use and profitability while it enhances worker safety and ergonomics.

Considered a solid “first step” into 5-axis machining for some shops, the user-friendly and compact Variaxis C-600 is a highly capable machine. It fulfills all of a shop’s demands for increased speed, stability and power, in addition to offering a range of options for maximum tool capacity and flexible automation.

With a unique workpiece stacking principle, interchangeable workpiece support pillars, and a wide range of gripper and stocker configurations, the RoboJob Mill Assist adapts to any shop’s needs and reduces typical job automation setup time to under five minutes, all without cumbersome programming. Operators without prior robotics experience can master the automation setup process in two hours.

For safety, as well as easy machine access, adjustable steel and acrylic fencing provides minimal guarding on two sides, while a safety laser protects the remainder of the work area. The lack of conventional guarding and the angled robot mounting base create three safety zones.

The Variaxis C-600’s highly versatile sheet-metal enclosure makes it suitable for a comprehensive range of automation solutions. Its innovative design provides easy, seamless automation integration for production facilities of any size, from job shops to large manufacturing plants. As an initial automation option, shops can add a two-pallet changer to the Variaxis C-600 for a simple solution that virtually eliminates non-cut time associated with part loading and unloading.

To enhance automation integration further, the Variaxis C-600 provides both front and side automatic door operation. The full front door spans from top to bottom of the machine for exceptional user access and superior ergonomics. An automatic side door allows shops to load and unload parts with a robot at the side of the machine, which frees up the machine’s front work area and eliminates any interference between automation and operators at the front door.

Side loading also enables shops to add standard, pre-engineered robotic part-loading systems to single-pallet/table machine configurations. In those instances, the Variaxis C-600 can be equipped with through-pallet hydraulics and pneumatics. Shops can mount fixtures to the machine’s table, and upon part loading, the workholding sends a signal to trigger automatic part clamping.

Because even tool-changing time is money, the Variaxis C-600 offers 30-, 60-, 90-, and 120-tool magazines as well as “random access” tool magazines that eliminate the wait time typically involved with other types of fixed-address tool systems. This flexibility makes the machine ideal for shops with short workpieces machining cycle times, quickly gaining back wait times.

Mazak offers four spindle options for the Variaxis C-600 to help shops find the ideal balance of speed and power. In addition to the standard 12,000 rpm CAT 40 spindle, 15,000 rpm, 18,000 rpm and 20,000 rpm options are available in CAT 40, Big Plus or HSK A-63 types. The 12,000 rpm spindle with a motor output of 11/11 kW (15/15 hp) (40% ED/cont.) and torque of 70/57.3 Nm (51.63/42.26 hp) (40% ED/cont.), standard on the Variaxis C-600, delivers a high cost-to-performance ratio and is well-suited for machining steel, cast iron and aluminum.

On the control side, the Variaxis C-600 sports a new, highly capable Mazatrol SmoothAi CNC specifically designed to maximize full 5-axis machining performance while running peripheral functions. The control incorporates a wide variety of advanced programming functions to offer complete ease of use and ensure high-speed, high-accuracy machining performance.

On the user side, the Variaxis C-600 features a convenient 914.4 mm (36”) pallet height, which puts the center of the machine’s table only 990.6 mm (39”) away, well within comfortable reach of the average operator. The machine’s control pendant is mounted in close proximity to the front door and swings/pivots to accommodate users.