Heller F 6000 Sets New Benchmark in Cutting Performance and Precision
With the presentation of the F 6000 5-axis machining centre, HELLER has launched a new generation of the F series. The benefits: increased cutting performance and higher precision, maximum reliability for 24/7 production, optimum ease of operation and a compact machine footprint. Dr. Eng. Manuel Gerst, Head of Development of the HELLER Group, adds: “With the F 6000, we have succeeded in raising the already high standard to a new level, also due to newly developed key components ‘Made by HELLER’ such as spindles, heads and tables whilst consistent standardisation also helps us to ensure full compatibility with previous models.”
Following intensive development work, HELLER’s new F 6000 5-axis machining centre is available for order from September 2023. It can be used for all areas of 5-axis machining, including optional combined mill/turn operations, from heavy-duty cutting through to machining of light metals. The machine is just as efficient for the manufacture of single parts as it is for series production. As a result, the F 6000 offers a compelling solution for companies in a wide range of industries – from general mechanical engineering, powertrain and power engineering through to aerospace.
With its modular design, the F 6000 combines and extends the capabilities of the previous F series and the mill/turn machining centres from the C series. Topology-optimised structural components and the improved machine design guarantee high basic stability. With a wide range of options available, the machine can be optimally tailored to the needs of each customer, ensuring maximum productivity in practical use.
Spindle units with in-house developed motor spindles
The HELLER team, led by Head of Development Manuel Gerst, has made numerous improvements. Highlights of the new generation include the completely redesigned swivel heads with integrated motor spindles specially developed by HELLER. The Speed Cutting Unit (SCU) in combination with the HSK-A 100 tool shank reaches speeds of 15,000 rpm. As an alternative, HELLER offers the Dynamic Cutting Unit (DCU) designed for universal use with 380 Nm and 12,000 rpm. For heavy-duty machining, the Power Cutting Unit (PCU) with a gear spindle and 1,150 Nm is still available.
Equally elementary is the revised drive concept of the linear axes, with two ball screws in the Z-axis and the significantly reinforced X-axis. “The machine offers much higher dynamics in the linear axes. At the same time, the positioning tolerances have been greatly reduced for the PRO package. The new standard is 5 μm, with 4 μm available as an option. Tolerances on the rotary B and C axes have also been reduced and are now 7 arc seconds as standard. Overall, this is reflected in the workpiece, reaching new top marks for accuracy and machining time,” explains Gerst.
High-speed rotary table for complete machining
The F 6000’s Mill-Turn option ensures greater precision and shorter production times for workpieces that also require turning in addition to complex milling operations. This is ensured by the high-speed DDT (Direct Drive Turning) rotary table available for the new machining centre. It offers high torque and can reach speeds of up to 700 rpm. This means that, in addition to conventional milling and drilling operations, external and internal contours can be machined in a single set-up using the turning functionality. The wide range of machining cycles covers virtually all the capabilities of a conventional turning machine.
New hardware and software
Another major strength of the F 6000, according to Manuel Gerst, is the ease of use it offers in every respect. The comfortable main operating unit in console design with a 24-inch touch screen and other features ensures that the operator quickly gets to grips with the machine. In addition, the significantly wider door to the work area provides easier access to the workpiece. Bright work area lighting, an additional LED light in the swivel head and an optional work area camera ensure good visibility when setting up new workpieces. The optional SETUP Assist allows new processes to be set up quickly and safely on the machine.
The new Siemens SINUMERIK ONE control is available as standard. Existing NC programs from F- and C-series machines equipped with SINUMERIK 840D sl can be transferred directly and easily by the user. Head of development Manual Gerst: “Compatibility with our previous machines is very important to us. This means that tools, machine pallets and fixtures from our 4-axis and 5-axis series are compatible and can continue to be used on the F 6000.”
Automation for every requirement
The pallet changer, as the first level of automation, provides a reliable basis for automated series production of small, medium or large batches. The F 6000 is equipped with a pallet changer as standard and can easily be extended with a standardised linear or rotary storage. The new ‘Automation-ready’ option allows the HELLER rotary pallet storage (RSP) and HELLER’s standardised linear storage solutions to be retrofitted easily, cost-effectively and quickly – without having to modify the machine.
Free chip fall below the spindle increases process reliability. To this end, the designers have incorporated a wide chip conveyor, steep covers in the work area and stainless steel cladding of the chip chutes to ensure effective chip evacuation.
The new machine design, and in particular the direct chip disposal to the rear of the machine, has resulted in a significantly smaller footprint of the F 6000. The machine’s narrow width of 3.70 metres is an advantage, especially when automating multiple machining centres and allows for a much better use of the available space.