IMTS 2018: Index Corporation
Index (Booth S-338136) will introduce its MS40-8 multispindle automatic lathe with 8 CNC spindles, two back-working spindles for rear-end machining, deploying up to 18 CNC slides (X and Z) and additional Y-axes if required. The machine is ideal for high-volume precision work in the automotive, fastener, connector and aerospace industries.
The MS40-8 handles bar stock through a new bar loader also being shown off at IMTS, the Index MBL40-8, or chuck parts. The 110 mm chuck allows machining of pre-formed, forged or extruded parts of up to 80 mm. For simple parts, the machine can be used as a double 4-spindle machine, reducing cycle times in half.
The heart of the Index MS40C-8 multi-spindle automatic lathe is the compact spindle drum with eight fluid-cooled motorized spindles with synchronized technology (max 7,000 rpm, 24 kW, 57 Nm). They are characterized by infinitely variable speed control, high torque, low size and no maintenance requirements.
With the increased number of main spindles and tool carriers, the MS40C-8 is able to completely machine even very complex parts in one operation. Up to two pivoting synchronized spindles are each able to work on up to seven rear end machining tools: four of them can be live. A new feature is that two rear end machining tools can work simultaneously on the workpiece.
A significant highlight of the MS40C-8 is its versatile economic usability, including for simple workpieces. For example, if components need to be cut with only a small number of tools, it can be used as a highly productive double four-spindle machine. If the user makes this choice, he has practically two four-spindle machines available of which each provides a synchronized spindle for rear end machining. Each cycle finally outputs two finish-machined components from the machine.
Since each spindle is independently programmable, it is possible to machine troublesome materials that up to now were hardly suitable for multi-spindle machines. Speed changes are possible also during drum indexing, resulting in no additional downtime.
Because users can set up live tools on the compound slides, multiple machining operations can be accomplished: off-center drilling, thread cutting, inclined drilling, cross drilling, contour milling, hobbing, bevel gear cutting, multi-edge turning and more.
Index has also announced iXworld, a new online portal that expands the company's service offerings and establishes a single interface for a broad spectrum of information and functionality. At launch, iXworld will include four distinct areas: iX4.0, iXplore, iXshop and iXservices. This suite of services will provide customers with fast, secure connectivity, production data, remote diagnostics, spare parts ordering from the machine and more, all designed to minimize downtime and further boost machine utilization rates. Scheduled for an official launch in early 2019, the portal will make its North American debut at IMTS 2018, where attendees can visit Index Corporation for a firsthand experience.
iX4.0 enables remote and automated monitoring and reporting of machines that have been equipped with a genubox, a dedicated piece of hardware that provides highly secure remote access via an encrypted online connection. All Index machines sold since 2016 have included a genubox and all machines sold since 2007 can be upgraded with one. Through iX4.0, users can conduct usage analysis, set automatic notifications for specific conditions that occur, monitor machine data such as vibrations and temperature and incorporate predictive maintenance to maximize machine uptime.
iXplore provides easy and intuitive access to a variety of relevant information from INDEX, including technical information and training schedules. This area also includes tools to enable collaboration between customers and INDEX's applications engineers and will also offer user group forums for networking and discussion with peers.
iXservices encompasses a wide range of functions related to identifying spare parts, tracking fault reports, calculating cycle times and receiving real-time support from Index engineers. iXservices provides a comprehensive overview of the machine and its components, simplifying problem solving in the event of an issue. This can include the use of data glasses and teleservice for an Index engineer to virtually engage with a machine operator and provide assistance with troubleshooting or maintenance.
iXshop replaces Infoshop, Index's longstanding online shop for ordering spare parts and requesting services, as well as tracking the status and history of orders. iXshop can also be configured to connect with a customer's ERP, allowing for simplified procurement and logistics management.
"iXworld represents Index's ongoing commitment to ensuring that our customers are equipped for future success," says Tom Clark, president and CEO of Index Corporation. "Today's manufacturers need more than just the ability to collect data. They need to be able to efficiently sort, access and analyze it. With iXworld, we are streamlining that process and we will continue to add to and build upon the platform."
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