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Multitasking Gantry Ideal for Machining Large Workpieces Weighing Hundreds of Tons

SORALUCE recently introduced the PXG-W gantry-type multitasking milling machine.

The machine meets versatility requirements, maximizes productivity and minimizes set-up time. It reduces the number of clamps required and minimizes cycle times and potential errors. It can also work with centesimal tolerances on large-sized workpieces, even those that weigh hundreds of tons.

The SORALUCE PXG-W is characterized by its high capabilities. It has a working volume of 1000 m3 and weighs 500 t. The dimensions of the model presented are as follows: 19m in length, 7.25m clearance between columns and 7.3m in height. Height is also configurable thanks to the 5m vertical travel of the crossbeam. The SORALUCE PXG-W belongs to the range of large-sized gantry milling machines and completes the top end of the company's PM, PMG and PRG gantry-type machine range.

This highly versatile model is designed to meet the machining requirements for a range of highly demanding parts used in the construction of machinery for the energy industry, the machining of marine and CHP motors and general machining of large workpieces.

The SORALUCE PXG-W is a completely versatile multitasking solution designed to handle different machining processes including turning, milling, boring, drilling and threading with efficiency and precision. To that end, it has several milling and turning heads with automatic tool changing.

The work area is split into two sub-areas. The surface of the main sub-area is for machining prismatic parts. It is equipped with 12x6m floor plates, and has a load capacity of 25 t/m2. The second sub-area comprises a turning table with a hydrostatic mounting, featuring a 6m diameter table with a load capacity of 150 t. The turning head has a power rating of 200 kW and a maximum speed of 50 rpm. This enables it to handle large-scale roughing out operations on large-sized parts from various sectors.

The SORALUCE PXG is fitted with a latest-generation Siemens 840D SL CNC which enables both milling and turning operations to be handled on the same machine, thus reducing the number of setups and avoiding difficult transportation and relocation operations when large components are to be machined. It has two operator's platforms, each with its own control panel, thus enabling the operator to take up the best position for each operation.

It has been provided with linear guides on the X, Y and Z axes, which provide certain advantages over conventional solutions such as hydrostatic guides. Linear guiding system avoids the thermal gradients caused by the flow of oil through the structure of the machine, ensuring better geometrical stability and substantially reducing the maintenance required.

SORALUCE has created and applied a number of devices that largely offset the deformations caused by the weight of moving parts. One of these devices is the innovative Vertical Ram Balance system (VRB), patent pending. The system, which consists of a CNC controlled electromechanical system, offsets the rolling caused by the torsion of the cross beam and the differential bending of the columns when the ram travels along the cross (Y) axis of the machine. The system ensures maximum precision in terms of the perpendicularity of the X & Y axes, whatever the working position.

The machine also has a new thermal monitoring system that checks for changes over time in all its structural components via a function built into the CNC. It also has the latest thermal compensation algorithms developed by SORALUCE.

The turning table is fitted with sensors so that a function built into the CNC can be used to help the operator to re-balance the weight of parts with asymmetric geometries.

The machine includes a DAS (Dynamic Active Stabilizer), developed exclusively by SORALUCE, which enables a damping effect to be actively incorporated into the structure of the machine, thus increasing its cutting capability by up to 300 percent and reducing the risk of chatter or instability during machining.

Smart Machine 4.0

The SORALUCE PXG-W machine also includes technological features that fall within the concept of Industry 4.0, specifically a full monitoring package based on cloud computing.

It incorporates utilities such as a real-time machine status display with relevant information on the status of the ongoing machining program, e-mail messaging in case of problems, the production of reports on sensitive issues for users such as production and processes, energy consumption and performance during machining cycles, and diagnostics for key signals for the maintenance of the equipment. This is all done via secure connections routed through a PC or mobile device (smartphone or tablet) by accessing a single website online.

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