Next generation 5-axis technology in a compact footprint

Yamazaki Mazak has unveiled a new high-accuracy simultaneous 5-axis vertical machining center, the Variaxis C-600, suitable for a wide range of sectors including the aerospace and automotive markets.

The C-600, which is the successor machine to the highly successful Variaxis j-600/5X, is being marketed at a highly attractive price point to provide a high performance and cost-effective 5-axis solution.

It is characterised by its highly agile performance with no compromise on rigidity. It is a compact machine, capable of machining workpieces up to 730mm diameter, 450mm in height and weighing 500kg.

Designed with a large machining envelope and a high-rigidity structure featuring a 600mm diameter fully supported trunnion table with roller gear cam on the B- and C-axes, the C-600 has excellent high-speed performance, delivered with 42m/minute rapid traverse rates in the XYZ-axes, and a chip-to-chip time of just 4.5 seconds to reduce non-cutting time for faster cycle times.

Importantly, the new Variaxis comes with a wide range of specification options enabling machine users to configure the C-600 to match their specific application.

The machine’s high-rigidity spindle can perform heavy-duty cutting of steel, as well as the high-speed machining of other non-ferrous materials such as aluminium, as it can be configured with four different spindle options.

These range from a 12 000rpm standard spindle up to a 15 000rpm high-torque option, or 18 000rpm high-speed and 20 000rpm high-power spindles. In addition, the new Variaxis features a 30-tool magazine as standard, complete with double arm automatic tool changer which can drastically reduce chip-to-chip times. Alongside this standard specification 60, 90 and 120 tool magazine options are also available.

The C-600 also employs Mazak’s SmoothAi spindle function, featuring AI adaptive control (patent pending) that suppresses milling spindle chatter by intelligently adjusting cutting technology based on feedback from sensors built into the machine.

The modularity of the C-600 also extends to the variety of coolant packages that are available for different applications up to 70 bar pressure. Dedicated iron, aluminium and composite, and casting machining packages are also available as options.

As well as offering excellent operator access and ergonomics, the Variaxis C-600 has been designed to integrate easily with a range of automation solutions, such as MPP and Palletech. Optional extras such as a side loading door and preparation for hydraulic and pneumatic fixture interfaces are also available to support bespoke automation projects with articulated robots.

Integration of automation is further enhanced with the new Smooth RCC (Robot Cell Controller) adding advanced capabilities, such as tool and fixture capability check and tool and fixture setup, while the Robot Setup Assist enables efficient programming of the robot in the same coordinate system as the machine.

The latest Variaxis is equipped with SmoothAi, Mazak’s new artificial intelligence control, which has in-built learning capability to continually improve machine performance. Smooth Machining Configuration Plus allows operators to easily adjust features including cycle time, surface finish and machined shape on the CNC display according to material requirements.

This is especially effective for complex workpieces with contours defined in small programme increments. Specific settings can be saved and stored to allow them to be easily used for future cycles.

The Smooth Project Manager also allows for easy management of data required to execute machining programmes such as tool data, fixtures, coordinates, parameters and workpiece 3D models.

Further machining accuracy is guaranteed by the new Ai Thermal Shield function, which uses algorithms to automatically determine the volume of compensation needed according to changes in temperature.

For more information contact Hi-Tech Machine Tools on TEL: 011 608 0088 or visit