Yamazaki Mazak is launching two new series of VARIAXIS multi-tasking machines both offering exceptional productivity and performance.
The new VARIAXIS i-series, which will be available in four different models, offers full simultaneous 5-axis machining and is designed for exceptional productivity and accuracy across a range of sectors from aerospace and automotive, through to medical and power generation.
The full cast structure and gantry design configuration ensures optimum rigidity and outstanding accuracy with no Y-axis overhang.  Accuracy is further improved with the use of roller gear cam technology on the A/C axis, with linear scale feedback and linear roller guides for enhanced positioning and reduced friction.  Cooled ballscrews ensure thermal stability and an Intelligent Thermal Shield (ITS) recognises and adapts to changes in the ambient temperature automatically compensating to maintain accuracy.  The i-series is also equipped with Active Vibration Control (AVC).  Intelligent machine functions, such as ITS (Intelligent Thermal Shield) and AVC (Active Vibration Control), appear throughout the Mazak range of machines.
The i-series has the largest machining envelope for this class of machine, for example VARIAXIS i-600 has a maximum workpiece size of 700mm x 450mm.  Expanded Y- and Z-axis strokes, of 910 mm and 510 mm respectively, reduce the potential for collision interference.
An extended range of compact design rigid spindles provide outstanding milling performance from 12,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm depending on the machine variant, which extends the range of potential applications in which the i-series can be used.  There will also be a choice of C axis table configurations to match application needs, with a roller gear cam, which is fitted as standard, or the option of a direct drive for turning operations.
The VARIAXIS i-series is capable of rapid tool change with a chip to chip time of 3.4 seconds and an ability to select up to 120 tools.
Alongside the VARIAXIS i-series, Mazak is also launching the new VARIAXIS j-series, an entry level machining centre that makes 5-axis machining capability accessible to even the smallest machine shop.
The j-series delivers 5-axis machining with a 4+1 configuration which enables users to reduce set-up times and improve productivity, accuracy and to reduce part cost.
The machine has a compact spindle design to minimise workpiece interference and an A-axis bridge design to maximise support and rigidity during machining.  The j-series also has a large workpiece capacity (500 mm x 350 mm) whilst retaining a compact footprint of only 1,900 mm by 3,060 mm.
The j-series is equipped with a 12,000 rpm spindle, with 18,000 rpm also available as an option, and rapid traverse rates of 30 m/min on the X-,Y- and Z-axes.  High rigidity and improved accuracy are delivered through the use of linear roller guides fitted on the X-,Y- and Z-axes, roller gear cam technology on the A-axis and a double end supported tilting table.  An 18-tool storage capacity is standard with the option of a 30-tool magazine if required.
The new VARIAXIS i-series is equipped as standard with the new Mazatrol MATRIX 2 CNC, which has improved hardware, software and field network capability. The j-series comes with the Mazatrol MATRIX NEXUS CNC.  Both MATRIX controls simplify even the most complex of programming tasks through the use of intuitive Mazatrol conversational programming techniques. When compared to ISO programming, the Mazatrol system typically reduces the number of lines of code by up to 89 per cent. As well as running Mazatrol conversational style programs all MATRIX 2 and MATRIX Nexus controls can also run standard EIA/ISO type programs for complete flexibility.
Furthermore, Mazak’s commitment to ergonomic design is highlighted with improved accessibility to the table, large front windows on both machines offering excellent visibility into the machining area, and an adjustable CNC pendant for ease of operation.
Both the VARIAXIS i-series and the j-series also benefit from the incorporation of a number of environmental technologies including LED lighting, greased roller linear guides and an optional power consumption monitor.