Cam Multi-spindle Machines?
As every user and people involved in the MULTISPINDLE MACHINE field know, this concept consists on a screw machine containing multiple spindles inside a "drum", that changes its position to make machining operations simultaneously.
Most of multi spindle machine users know that this invention was made almost one century ago and also know that the concept has been developed and improved in capabilities, precision and stability thanks to the new developments in attachments and components in the machine tools industry that occurred during the history. This lead to the "today old" cam MULTISPINDLE MACHINES that can be found in many factories, that nearly 30 years ago were new automatics.
We have to remind that this machines were concepted for the big batches of parts that were needed to be machined at that times. Just to have an idea about the parts that were manufactured, we junt need to remind how that final products were: Auto parts didn't need so be so precise and complex (speed was lower and cars had less components), electronics and electric systems, etc.
From the competitive point of view, cam multispindle users had to compete also with other cam type turning machines, since the CNC technlogy was not "invented" yet. It firstly arrived to the most simple machines, like CNC single Spindle Automatic lathes. Many of you already use CNC Multispindle machines, and know perfectly the advantages of using them.
Next to this, you'll find a comparison between CNC MULTI-SPINDLE MACHINES and CAM MULTISPINDLE AUTOMATIC LATHES:
1) Parts to be machined: This is the most important point speaking about capabilites. Easily explained, CAM MULTISPINDLES work only in one axis. There are 6 positions to make front operations (drilling, threading, tapping, etc) and 6 positions for cross operations (simple millings, turnings, etc).What happens if you have more complex operations? Users that don't have in mind CNC MULTISPINDLES need to leave the project or make secondary operations in other machines, loosing competitiveness if the solution is not correclty automated.
2) Set up times in the cam multi spindle: Most of who are reading this will realize how long can it take this, depending on which brand do they use. Due to this, many multispindle machine users are giving up medium series of parts to be machined. With CNC Multispindle Machines, this is much more simpler. The user needs to equip the machine with the correct tooling, load the part program and optimize the machining process. Obviously there are no cams to be changed, so the set up times are reduced drastically.
3) Standard tooling: Thanks to the freedom that gives this equipments, the user has the choice of using standard tools, which will reduce the cost per machined part. The advantage is obvious.
4) Operators training: Many companies that have been using cam multispindle automatic lathes during decades are afraid of this jump to the CNC. We say that the most complex work is already done, which is having this huge experience in the multispindle machining field. Many companies are turning their business from single spindles to Multispindles and they quickly decide to go directly to CNC Multispindle Machines, instead of cams. They see how with a good training and the correct partner, the return of these efforts is coming quicker! If you are using cam type multis for decades, it becomes much simpler for all!