Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Years ago, if you wanted to teach 5-axis machining, your choices were few, primarily big vertical machines with dual-axis, trunnion-style rotaries. Not only were they just too big for the classroom, but they were prohibitively expensive.
That all changed when Haas Automation introduced the UMC-750 Universal Machining Center, a machine that combines 5-axes of motion into a relatively compact package, at a much more affordable price – 5-axis machining is no longer out of reach!
Today, there are even more choices for the 5-axis classroom, and prices are more within reach of educational institutions. Topping the list is the new Haas UMC-500 – a smaller, lighter, lower-cost version of the venerable UMC-750.
For training in a limited space and on a limited budget, the UMC-500 is the perfect solution. Roughly the same footprint as a Haas VF-2, the UMC-500 is 26% smaller than the UMC-750, and more than 37% lighter. It’s also less expensive, starting at $119,995, before the educational discount – $30,000 less than the UMC-750. A super-speed version, the UMC-500SS, is also available, providing higher spindle speeds, faster rapids, and faster rotary speeds – all in the same small footprint.
Like all Haas UMCs, the UMC-500 comes packed with a lot of standard features, including ethernet and WiFi connectivity, wireless probing, a remote jog handle, power-failure detection, HaasConnect mobile monitoring, and 1 GB of program memory. (Interesting story, here: In the old days of CNC program storage, some folks measured capacity in “feet” of paper tape. That would translate 1 GB of memory into 1578 “miles” of paper tape. Since you can also plug in 1 TB of storage at the USB port, that would translate to 1.5 million miles of paper tape!)
Probably the most important feature of the UMC series machines, however, is how easy they are to use, thanks to two powerful 5-axis functions that come standard – DWO and TCPC:
Dynamic Work Offset (DWO) corrects the three-dimensional offset of your part from the center of rotation, so that any shift in your fixture does not require a program change. The part you make, however, stays un-rotated within the work envelope.
Tool Center Point Control (TCPC, or RTCP in some books) allows rotation of a part that does not change the effective geometry at the tool tip.
On other manufacturers’ machines and controls, these two features require some very complicated and long processes to be calibrated. On the Haas UMC series, we already know where the centers of rotary motion are, and the machine setup is much simpler, using a macro-based rotary calibration process that uses probing and a fixture to automate the entire process.
With the simplicity of the UMC design and automated setup, your classroom can concentrate on teaching the key aspects of 5-axis machining.
There’s more . . .
What if you aren’t using or teaching 5-axis today? No problem! All Haas UMCs can be operated as 3-axis vertical machines, if that’s all you want to use. When you’re ready, you can easily transition to full 5-axis operation.
And if you ever outgrow the UMC-500, remember, there is still the UMC-750, and the even larger capacity UMC-1000 is now available. And all these machines come with options for higher spindle speeds and faster rotary speeds.
What if you’re just starting out, and you don’t have the budget for a UMC? Haas has a solution for that, too. All Haas vertical machining centers can be equipped with 5-axis drives, and a variety of tilting rotary tables and trunnions are available, allowing you to switch between 3-axis training and 5-axis training, simply by adding or removing the rotary/trunnion. Pricing for these 5-axis solutions starts at about $50,000.
No matter what your machining needs are, Haas is sure to have a solution for your classroom, from the simplest 3-axis machine to more sophisticated 4- and 5-axis machining. Contact Haas or your local HFO representative for more information about various 5-axis training solutions.