Kissing spindles give T6MS users “one-hit” five-axis mill/turning solution

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 October 2004




(2004), "Kissing spindles give T6MS users “one-hit” five-axis mill/turning solution", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Kissing spindles give T6MS users “one-hit” five-axis mill/turning solution

Kissing spindles give T6MS users “one-hit” five-axis mill/turning solution

Keywords: Turning, Machining, Aerospace technology

“One-hit” five-axis mill/turning centre technology with the advantage of automatic part transfer to a second operation sub-spindle to provide the “one-hit” machining cycle is now available from Colchester Sales of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, at a price that is said to allow lead times to be reduced and highly competitive hourly machining rates to be maintained.

The latest T6MS, 52 mm bar capacity version of the Colchester Tornado is instantly recognised in its new livery and futuristic guard design. Its specification includes a 15 kW main spindle with 5.5 kW, 130 mm capacity A-axis powered sub-spindle having in-phase radial B-axis rotation that enables in-cycle spindle kissing for part exchange. A 12- station, all-driven 3.7 kW, 30 VDI mill/turn turret services both spindles and a totally integrated Fanuc 18i control completes the main specification (Plate 2).

Plate 2 The five axis Colchester Tornado mill/turn centre with sub-spindle

The machine is compact with the same footprint as two- or three-axis Tornado versions. It has a swing over the bed of 440 mm, a maximum turning diameter of 200 mm by 450 mm turning length. The sub-spindle has a spindle bore of 55 mm and a fully synchronised drive with the main spindle to provide “on-the-fly” part exchange which is carried out at a rapid traverse rate of 30m/min.

There is a choice of main spindle speeds of 4,000 or 6,000 revs/min and the sub-spindle speed is 6,000 revs/min. Both main-spindle B-axis and sub-spindle C-axis are fully programmable to 0.0018 increments. Through the Fanuc 18i control, polygon turning can be performed as well as rigid tapping via the all-driven tool turret. Positional accuracy is ±0.005 mm and repeatability within 0.002 mm.

Details available from: Colchester Sales. Tel: 01924415151; Fax: 01924415152; E-mail:; Web site:

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