Overview of the Design Concept
The SOHMAX was originally designed for an automotive components manufacturer who required high volume simultaneous machining of both ends of shafts and components. The machining centre replaced multiple CNC lathes and milling machines, operated and maintained by multiple personnel, with one highly flexible machine capable of performing all operations.
The fundamental principle of the design is based on a precision centre indexing carousel comprising 6 stations which rotate by 60 degrees, allowing sequential machining operations to be performed on the components. Since each of the machining operations, as well as the load and unload operation, is performed simultaneously the cycle time is only limited by the slowest operation plus the indexing time, which is typically 0.8s.
Components would be unloaded and loaded on one station and once the sequence is initiated, and depending on the cycle time required, this station could either include machining operations or be a dedicated load/unload station. An indexing operation starts the machine cycle with all stations starting their respective operations simultaneously. Once all operations have reported successful completion of their programmed task the carousel indexes 60° re-starting the process.
The design is based on the following key objectives:
- Multiple machining operations
- Compact footprint
- Short cycle time
- Flexible load/unload capability
- Excellent repeatability
- Rapid tool replacement
- Low operator involvement with capability for unsupervised operation
- Standard tool holders
- Integrated robotic controller for loading and unloading
- Flexibility of design
- Centre carousel comprising 6 beds
- The carousel indexes by 60° and after each movement allowing up to 12 machining operations to be performed on components simultaneously.
- Cycle time is limited only to the time of the slowest operation