Modern industry demands fast and effective solutions for mass production. The new generation of multi-spindle machining centres responds to this need; they can increase productivity by the simultaneous machining of two to four workpieces. Iscar has correspondingly developed tooling solutions for this type of machine to ensure precision and quality in minimal set-up time

Tool builders must also adapt to developments in the aerospace, aviation and medical industries that have necessitated machining high-temperature or exotic materials with maximum efficiency. In particular, the application of coolant with high (or ultra-high) pressure, directly to the working area to increase efficiency and chip flow, requires a suitable tooling solution.

Vertical pick-up turning machines have wide applications for manufacturing of automotive, hydraulic and general industry parts, and their value in maximising efficiency should not be underestimated.

Tools for multi-spindle machining centres

Multi-spindle machining centres save space at manufacturing facilities and reduce tool inventory by using combined tools for sequential operations, and decrease set-up time by assembly and adjustment of the same tool for each spindle.

The principal aim for using multi-spindle machines without Z-axis compensation is to facilitate the axial adjustment needed to achieve overlength precision. This ensures part repeatability over all spindles and reduces cutting time, due to a more precise cut pass.

There are several existing methods for this purpose:

  • Grinded spacers, commonly applied on face milling cutters to provide a simple technique for length adjustment.
  • Adjustable wedges on inserts for fine turning of overlapping (sometimes in addition to grinded spacers), commonly used for face milling of the finish operation.
  • Tools for drilling or boring operations, with exact hole depth, which can be adjusted by cartridges (there is also an option for radial adjustment). For simple solid carbide drills, the tool can be mounted on an adjustable holder.
  • Complex tools, incorporating different types of instruments, which can be combinedly adjusted by some (or all) aforementioned methods. The image below is an example of a tool that performs drilling, chamfering and slot milling, and is regulated by a spacer, wedges and preset screws.

The adjustment of complicated technical systems to meet customer requirements necessitates additional time and human resources for assembly and fine-tuning procedures.

In general, leading multi-spindle machine tool builders (MTB) prefer to deliver all-inclusive solutions for initial equipment or turnkey projects. These comprehensive schemes save time and cut down on the human resources required for start-up procedures, especially for larger projects. A leading supplier of cutting tools and related accessories, Iscar provides completely assembled, adjusted, balanced and well-packed tools.

MQL applications

Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) technology is widely applied to multi-spindle machine tools, as it circumvents the problem of liquid leakage from machine and does not require additional equipment for coolant return. MQL helps to maintain the machine’s condition during continuous usage, improves chip quality, evacuation and recycling, and represents a “green” technology for a healthier environment.

Tools working with MQL have a different design and accessories compared with tools that work with conventional coolant. Iscar’s vast experience working with MTBs who utilise this coolant concept has enabled Iscar to develop appropriate MQL tooling solutions that achieve high-quality functionality in the metal cutting process.

Tools with high-pressure coolant

Applying high-pressure coolant in grooving and parting operations provides excellent chip breaking results on all materials, reducing or even eliminating built-up edge phenomenon, particularly when machining stainless steel and high-temperature alloys. To harness these capabilities, Iscar designed a wide range of tools for turning, grooving and parting applications with high-pressure coolant, with different sizes, adaptations and machine interface connections.

The Modular-Grip systems for high-pressure coolant were developed to reduce tooling costs and inventories and take into consideration Iscar’s many years of experience in working with leading MTBs. Co-operation with significant players in the machine tool manufacturer market has led to the development of standard lines of dedicated tools for each MTB interface, such as VDI, Dovetail, CAPTO, and a wide range of specific interfaces.

CNC turning machines with disc-type turrets use different interfaces and often require adjustment of the tool’s overhang. Iscar provided an answer to this need with the Multi Connection (MC) JHP line for turning, parting, grooving and threading tools mounted on holders with a bottom-fed coolant system, which allows simple and rigid clamping and is widely used by European, US, Japanese, South Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese MTBs. The multi-connection tools enable clamping on quick-change toolholders and also directly on the turret with different coolant connections. Tools with a jet high-pressure coolant outlet also deliver an advantageous performance when conventional pressure is applied.

UHP Solutions

Ultra-high pressure coolant (UHP) tools facilitate effective machining of titanium and heat-resistant materials utilised by the aerospace industry, in order to achieve high machining rates while maintaining small chip sizes. Iscar provides a variety of special UHP solutions for different types of machine interfaces and various applications.

Tools with CAPTO connections without automatic tool changers

Vertical pick-up turning machine turrets can be equipped with instruments without automatic tool changers, which enables tools to be manufactured with as short an overhang as possible. This in turn increases machining process rigidity and stability, and lowers tool production costs. Iscar has developed dedicated CAPTO blanks without an automatic tool changer flange and with no inner thread, specifically for producing these types of instrument.