The new 6-spindle CNC automatic production lathe, the INDEX MS16C, a compact, innovative machine built on the INDEX multi-spindle modular system, is aimed at the cam-driven multispindle market, and deploys form tool slides as well as full CNC tool slides plus backworking spindle to provide drop times to less than 3 seconds.

It’s a very stable platform for high-precision work from bar to 16 mm yet occupies very little floorspace.  Each spindle offers independent, infinitely variable speeds up to 10000 rpm. With smart NC drives, each driven tool can be synchronized with the C axis of the spindles to permit milling and polygon turning.

Liquid spindle cooling is a significant feature of the machine. It results in a higher power density in the spindle carrier, permitting high loads and high speeds without excessive heat generation. It also contributes to excellent thermal stability. In addition, energy recovered from the heated cooling fluid can be profitably used in the plant.

The X-axis slides provide very high dynamic stiffness with steel-on-steel, matched box type guide ways, resulting in high precision machining. Z-axis slides are quill-type with hydrostatic bushings. The five form tool slides work in the X axis and feature INDEX’s W-grooves which make for easy adjustment of the tools.

Backworking is accomplished with a Z axis synchronized spindle.  Up to three backworking tools may be used plus a cut-off tool, providing even more machining in a single rapid cycle.

Other features of the machine include spindle-integrated bar feeding unit— further support of short cycle times-- and integrated chip conveyor.

As with all INDEX machines, the MS16 is designed for high efficiency operation with the lowest possible energy consumption.

The standard version of the MS16C includes 24 CNC axes, five forming slides in the X axis, two drilling slides, three compound slides with X/Z axis, a cut-off slide with backworking and X/Z Axis, and a Synchron spindle in the Z axis. The machine can also be configured with 26 CNC axes, five forming slides, five compound slides, a cut-off slide and the Synchron spindle for backworking.

INDEX suggests the MS16 has many productive applications, from the auto industry to medical technology. Due to the advantages characteristic of a CNC lathe, in particular short set up times, it also said to produce small batches efficiently and economically.

The new MS16 performs all operations expected of turning centers,  including turning, drilling, milling, polygon turning, hobbing, tooth milling, deep-hole drilling or slotting. All standard tool holders and tool holder system interfaces can be used with the appropriate adapters (Capto, HSK, VDI, INDEX systems).

The cross slides with integrated drive have a low-mass design with hydrostatic bearing support. A low moment of inertia and the resulting high dynamics mean outstanding acceleration and further cycle time savings.

The advantage of the hydrostatic quill-type slide is that it effectively prevents the transfer of the machining vibrations to the adjacent slide via the headstock. This helps to minimize vibration and rattling while workpieces are being machined – even when the most diverse machining processes are being performed concurrently by the spindles. For example, one spindle can be used for heavy-duty roughing while high-precision finishing takes place on another spindle without sacrificing surface quality. In addition, the hydrostatic bearing is wear-free – there is neither friction nor a stick-slip effect.