We’ve upgraded many sub-systems on the HYBRID to meet our customer expectations of what a modern machine should be. For instance, the first thing people notice when they walk up to the HYBRID is that they can actually hear and see what is going on inside. A number of changes to the drivetrain design, gear quality, and the enclosure have cut the background volume of the machine in half. It’s roughly the equivalent of going from standing next to a lawnmower, to eating inside a casual restaurant. To aid visibility, we replaced the single tube light by 4 banks of powerful LED’s, with twice the illumination, and directed in a way that there are no more shadows in the work zone. Coolant levels and pressures are all monitored digitally, and all lube tanks, air filters, and fire suppression triggers have been relocated on a central “PM” panel near the operator.
This article will delve into some of the more specific machine upgrades we’ve implemented on the new Davenport HYBRID machine, on shave tools, chips, conveyors, and casting.
“Do we have too many skilled set-up people?” This is a question you probably never hear at your shop. It’s a fact of life in this industry: highly-skilled set-up people are in short supply, and their time is too valuable to waste.
Shave-tool related skills represent one of the most challenging skills to master. Adjusting one of these tools properly is all about feel, and we figure 30% or more of set-up skills and set-up time is dedicated to shave tools, and fixing their problems. Not having to put a shave tool in the machine just makes your set-ups easier and faster. It also makes your set-ups and your machines more productive in the long run. Opening the “shave” position allows the HYBRID to manufacture what may have been traditionally considered 6-spindle parts on a 5-spindle machine.
With the new HYBRID, our Davenport team put a lot of effort into improving the chip evacuation. A lot of the newer alloys that our customers struggle with tend to be stringy: they tend to have difficulties breaking a chip. To combat this problem, we took a look at all the different ways we could make sure chips ended up in the chip barrel, and not wrapped around your tools.
We eliminated the center drive and the tool post stops. You don’t need them anymore. You essentially have a digital version of the tool post stop in the offset page. We tried to let the chips fall down through the machine unimpeded. You’ll notice there is no chip funnel under the machine, because we are not trying to get those chips to ride up a 4” wide auger anymore.
The HYBRID boasts a 22” wide chip conveyor belt built into the base pan. The conveyor and pan have been designed as a 360° wash-down system. As chips fall onto the sloped pan surfaces, everything is washed down into the chip load zone of the conveyer by the oil. You’ll get more chips out of your machine without manual intervention, and those chips will be drier. This way, you don’t have to spin all that oil back out, and keep replenishing your sump.
Speaking of the sump, the entire HYBRID machine base has been redesigned from the ground up. It has roughly three times the oil capacity of previous platforms, to help maintain thermal stability over long running jobs. The massive steel tubular bracing provides a super stable, vibration-dampening platform for the machine bed. The conveyor load area is capable of flowing 50 gallons of oil per minute, so you can run both low- and high-pressure coolant pumps flat out, and be assured you will not swamp the machine. The machine base is equipped with two huge cartridge-style pickups at the bottom of the sump, to make sure your tools never run dry.
Even with all this extra capability, the HYBRID base and enclosure has a similar footprint to our HP or Model-B platforms, and it takes up less than half the floor-space of most competitive multi-spindle machines.
We’ve strategically reinforced several areas of the main casting to allow us to hold those tighter tolerances. We’ve added significant amounts of material, in particular, around the 1st position slide. From a layout perspective, you’d like to do the most aggressive machining in the 1st-position. But on previous platforms, the cam bank mechanics really hindered our ability to provide a rock-solid casting in that area. On the HYBRID however, the side cam bank is gone, and it’s allowed us to gusset the entire 1st position slide mount. We’ve also been able to obsolete the 2nd position linkage bar. The result is that the 1st position slide is now mounted on one of the heaviest parts of the casting, and can take tremendous cuts without vibration.