Much of the new technology aiding the five-axis milling world is being introduced to multi-axis turning, too. For example, Brian Such, vice president, customer support group for Marubeni Citizen-Cincom Inc. (Allendale, NJ) said customers have been connecting their machines to remote monitoring systems for about two years now.
“Customers can easily see when and why production has stopped, and react to the current issue quickly. Many customers state that production seems to have improved simply because their staff knows their machines are being monitored.”
Like five-axis machining centers, users program five-axis lathes with a CAM package on an office PC. And, like five-axis machining centers, today’s multi-axis lathes feature touch screens for a friendlier user interface. But again, as with machining centers, the more important factor is the greater capability of the control.
For example, Citizen simplifies the use of the B axis by providing specific macro commands that make it easy to program features at an angle, using a virtual set of axes as if the feature was not angled. After using the G-Code, the normal X-Y-Z axis commands function and can be offset in that virtual world. “Most other systems make the programmer do many things to try to achieve what Citizen does in one code,” said Such.