Dynamic distribution of machining operations for multi-channel lathes

Since some time now, it is becoming more and more common to see lathes where two turrets perform machining operations simultaneously.

This type of machines can double their productivity by cutting machining time in half. The big drawback is programming the part managing the job of the two turrets separately. The user must bear in mind the positions of both tools at all times in order to prevent a collision between both turrets. The collision is a risk for the integrity of the machine and avoiding it takes considerable programming time.

The operator can forget about the complexity of the program because FAGOR AUTOMATION has developed a number of special functions to make his job easier, reducing program preparation time and making it safer. When programming without using these functions, the operator will have to consider all the no-cutting movements, machining passes, feedrates of the axes, etc. at all times. All this increases the chances of errors that could cause personal injuries or damage the machine. With Fagor, the CNC takes care of all these factors, hence preventing those risks at the machine.

The feature developed by FAGOR AUTOMATION is called “Dynamic distribution of machining operations” DINDIST. The operation is programmed in a single program (as if it were a simple lathe) and the CNC will be in charge of distributing or synchronizing the machining passes with the other channel in one of the following ways:

Distributing the passes between channels.

The operation is programmed in a channel and the CNC distributes the machining passes between the channels involved. The CNC synchronizes the channels in such way that when a pass begins, the other channel starts the next pass, hence executing the machining operation in half the time.

Synchronized identical passes.

The channel where the operation has been programmed controls all the movements. The CNC synchronizes the necessary axes of the other channels with the channel that executes the cycle so all the channels run the same pass, but with an angular spindle offset. This makes it possible to increase the feedrate because the CNC distributes the section to be machined between the tools.

For example, with two tools shifted 180º at the spindle, the feedrate could be double because each tool machines half the section.

As seen earlier, the CNC manages the machining operation avoiding all risks; but how is it programmed? Is it complicated to enter the data?

Here are some examples of how to execute a part using each one of the methods mentioned earlier.

Distributing the passes between channels

Synchronized identical passes.

The CNC delays the machining for both tools a particular number of spindle turns between two consecutive passes.

The movements of the second turret are synchronized with the first one in order to work simultaneously.

This feature will be applied to all the operations programmed between instructions #DINDIST ON and #DINDIST OFF. Programs edited on a single-turret lathe may be used on a dual-turret lathe using only these two program lines.

Combining this type of machine with the potential of Fagor CNC’s will help achieve maximum efficiency in production of parts by cutting programming time in half and making parts in half the time while keeping the required part finish quality.