FLORENCE, Ky., September 20, 2022 – Mazak demonstrated the combined benefits of HYBRID Multi-Tasking and Hot Wire Deposition (HWD) part processing with the VC-500A/5X AM HWD at IMTS 2022. With capabilities beyond subtractive Multi-Tasking, the VC-500A/5X AM HWD reduces lead times and part costs, increases machining accuracy and part quality and provides even higher levels of productivity, flexibility and profitability.
The VC-500A/5X AM HWD performs all or most of a part’s machining in one cycle. This reduces inaccuracies that can occur when parts move across multiple workstations and eliminates work-in-process inventory among standalone machine tools. The machine incorporates innovative Hot Wire Deposition additive manufacturing technology developed through a collaboration between Mazak and Lincoln Electric, the designer, developer and manufacturer of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems and plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. With Hot Wire Deposition laser technology, the VC-500A/5X AM HWD offers a high-speed additive solution and programmable welding automation with full 5-axis machining center capabilities.
As in conventional welding, an HWD process melts metal wire directly onto a base material and/or part that can be made of dissimilar material. This technology allows shops to generate exceptionally precise sealing coatings and near-net-shape part features, or to repair costly, complex components such as impellers, turbine blades and tool-and-die parts. The HWD laser cladding head feeds wire automatically to an argon gas nozzle. Depending on processing variables, the head can deliver a deposition rate of three to five pounds (1.36 to 2.27 kg) per hour, with a 98% material utilization rate.
Because the machine’s HWD head offers the same 5-axis capability as its milling spindle, it provides the maneuverability to build new part features or weldments on all of a workpiece’s surfaces. It is well-suited for high-volume additive manufacturing and helps minimize equipment and material costs.
The VC-500A/5X AM HWD includes a trunnion-style rotary/tilt table for accurate, cost-effective processing of small complex parts through full 5-axis machining. On its milling side, the VC-500A/5X AM HWD features a robust, high-performance CAT-40 12,000 rpm spindle that delivers exceptional metal removal capabilities in all common materials, including steel, aluminum and cast iron. As options, 15,000 rpm and 20,000 rpm spindles address a variety of part production requirements, while a 30-tool storage magazine ensures continuous uninterrupted part machining, as does the machine’s compact chip conveyor and mist collector with smoke filter.
The VC-500A/5X AM HWD’s MAZATROL SmoothX CNC control makes it easy to generate programs in G-code or MAZATROL conversational language to process complex parts through off-centerline machining, angled drilling, milling and tapping, with effortless programming for faster part cycle times. The control incorporates a wide variety of advanced functions for complete ease of use and high-speed, high-accuracy machining performance.