Owners of contract machinists Progress NC are keen on their first 5-axis machining centre. The sometime mould maker selected a German-built Spinner U5-620, which is said to be the first in operation in the UK.
Comments like “marvellous value” and “all jobbing shop machines should be built this way” are said to indicate that Andrew Russell and Stephen Boocock like their first 5-axis machining centre. The owners of subcontracting shop Progress NC received the Spinner U5-620 in January 2013 through the German company’s recently appointed sales and service agent, Whitehouse Machine Tools.
Set-up of the 3+2 unit provides advantages
The configuration of the 12,000 rpm vertical spindle machine places all the linear slideways above the working area. Rotary axes are provided by a 360-degree, 650 mm diameter table mounted on a -90/+110 degree swivelling trunnion. Unusually, this axis runs from front to back, rather than adopting the more typical side-to-side arrangement. The non-driven side of the trunnion is supported at the front of the machine by a counter bearing to allow heavy milling and to promote accuracy.
The design allows for a footprint of 2,600 x 2,350 mm, which is small for a machine capable of milling and drilling a half-tonne workpiece in a nominal half-metre-cube working volume, according to the dealer. (Linear travels are actually 620 x 520 x 460 mm.)
If Progress NC had installed a traditionally designed 5-axis machine of equivalent capacity, the subcontractor would have needed to uninstall one of its other machines, as space at the Preston facility is limited.
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