Double Column Machining Centers 101 (Planning Guide)
Part of my job involves making sure our double column machining center customers get exactly the right machine for their needs. Sometimes this can be quite a back-and-forth process! But it doesn’t have to be that way. I actually go out and do training on how to specify the right double column machining center where I share tips that are always very popular. So I thought I’d share them with all of you in case this is helpful for your planning purposes.
We’re a Little Different (But It’s Working)
First you should know that Okuma’s approach to double column machining centers is different from what you see from other builders, where typically they offer a handful of standard machine sizes and models, and that’s it. Okuma has three distinct models, but in each group there are many, many different sizes. Each machine is custom-built and ordered to spec. Seems like this must be working because Okuma sells more double column machining centers that any other builder. We have more than 9,000 in the field. On average, Okuma ships 30 more DCMCs out the door each month. And, our double column machining centers are often the tool of choice when building smaller machines.
Building a Double Column Machining Center 101
With all the different functionalities we have available, what are the preliminary criteria you should consider in your planning process? Consider the following information and you’ll get a jump start on selecting the right double column machining center for your needs.
- MCV-AII: This is a large vertical machining center. The MCV-AII is ideal for shops that are doing very simple work like cutting holes in large plates. There are no attachments you can take off or put on for other capabilities. This is for the customer who just doesn’t need 5-sided functionality. The MCV-AII is designed to provide top quality double column machining at an affordable price.
- MCR-A5CII: This is the first place to look when a 5-face machine is required. However it’s not full 5-axis capable. It is limited to 4 attachments. The MCR-A5CII is a high-speed double column machining center with compact auto loading/unloading attachments for true 5-sided machining in a compact footprint.
- MCR-BIII: This is the flagship model that is often chosen for Die/Mold work. The MCR-BIII is our only model that is capable of full 5-axis attachments. It can also house up to 7 attachments in the auto attachment changer (AAC). The MCR series provides a wide selection of work envelopes and spindle motor outputs. Large parts that require high accuracies are a great fit for the MCR series.
- MCR-C: This is our newest and largest double column machining center. The MCR-C is the only 45-size model we have available. The MCR-C was created to meet the demand of heavy industries for high power, high torque and high productivity.
Of course there are lots of variables that will be considered when setting up your particular specs. But this will give you a good running start for studying your double column machining center choices. Recently we did a story about Alliance Innovative Manufacturing and their journey to finding the right DCMC for their needs. Checkout the paragraph “Going BIG (And a Lesson Along the Way)” for some insights that may be helpful to you.
Scott Baldus is Product Specialist Double Column Machining Centers, Okuma America Corporation.
[Photo courtesy of Alliance Innovative Manufacturing]