The ProtoTRAK control system available from XYZ Machine Tools has been the market-leader since its inception, proving straightforward conversational programming and ease of use, allowing users from complete novices to experienced programmers the ability to create complex parts quickly. 2019 sees the arrival of the next generation of ProtoTRAK systems, which will be exhibited for the first time at Southern Manufacturing, stand J210.

Three new ProtoTRAK controls have been developed with the KMX specifically for company’s range of turret mills, with the RMX and RLX superseding the existing ProtoTRAK controls on the company’s bed mills and lathes respectively. The ProtoTRAK KMX is available as either two or three axis CNC. The KMX control is able to create programs without any requirement for G-codes and, the AGE® (Auto Geometry Engine) gives it the ability to calculate missing print data while you program. At Southern Manufacturing the KMX will be shown on the brand new XYZ KMX 2000 turret mill.

XYZ’s bed mills benefit from the brand new RMX ProtoTRAK control with its 15.6” touchscreen control, which extends ProtoTRAK’s advantage by further simplifying programming and machine utilisation, with everything literally at your fingertips. The RMX ProtoTRAK also adds additional programming help with the Enhanced ProtoTRAK Assistance (EPA) feature providing instant access to in-depth on-screen assistance for users at any point in the programming/operating procedure. This can take the form of step-by-step instructions to guide users through elements such as cutting parameters or, a series of video tutorials, all accessed as part of the flyout menu system.

Southern Manufacturing will see the exhibition debut of the new ProtoTRAK controls including the RMX system for bed mills

In addition, a number of new machining strategies are included within the control to deliver advanced performance benefits, such as the innovative Tap to Guess feature. With the graphic of the part shown on-screen, simply tapping the screen in a location where the intersection or tangent point is unknown, the AGE software calculates the unknown dimension data. Pocket machining is also enhanced with the capability to program irregular shaped pockets with an unlimited number of islands located inside its boundary. Aligned with pocket machining, a range of machining strategies can also be called on such as Adaptive Toolpath, which can drastically reduce cycle times on complex milling cycles and is a feature more commonly found on high-end CAD/CAM systems. At Southern Manufacturing the RMX ProtoTRAK can be seen in action on an XYZ RMX 3500 bed mill.

XYZ’s ProTURN lathes now feature the RLX ProtoTRAK control. As with the RMX system, the RLX also has a large touchscreen for improved user interface. The makeover to the ProtoTRAK controls sees a range of benefits added to both RMX and RLX systems with gesture technology allowing flyout windows to be integrated into the interface, which can be accessed with a single swipe of the finger on the screen. These flyout menus include relevant information such as tool tables, machine status, calculators, and default setting values. Simple things like machine spindle speed and feedrate overrides are now depicted graphically and can be controlled by touch, all designed to make machine operation straightforward and more efficient. An XYZ RLX 425 ProTURN lathe will highlight the features and benefits of the new RLX control.

Other machines on show at Southern Manufacturing include the flagship XYZ UMC-5X simultaneous five-axis machining centre, which combines high-end capability at a highly competitive price point. Key features of the UMC-5X are the direct drive 90 revs/min table, which when tilted 90 degrees towards the rear (component facing forward), there remains 500 mm of Y axis travel forward of the table surface, much greater than many competitor machines, allowing larger workpieces to be machined. The Gantry-type design adds greater rigidity and performance; C-axis rotation via direct drive, low maintenance, high torque motor, giving 90 revs/min rotational speed; +/- 120 degrees on the tilting A-axis, with 2.5 sec for full movement; 36 m/min feedrates in X, Y and Z axes and 600 mm axis travel in X and Y (500 mm in Z) to maximise use of the 600 mm diameter table. Standard spindles are in-line direct drives with 35 kW of power and either 12,000/15,000 revs/min, an option to go to a 25 kW, 18,000/24,000 revs/min motorised spindle is also available. Machine accuracy is also high on the list of customer demands and here the UMC-5X excels with Traori/Kinematic functions available during five-axis simultaneous machining for improved accuracy, high accuracy Heidenhain linear scales on the X, Y and Z axes and similar super high specification rotary scales on rotating B and C axes.

XYZ’s turning centre range will be represented by the Compact Turn 65 that provides exceptional capacity and capability from a small footprint and a similarly small price. Key features are its 23 hp (17 kW) 4500 revs/min spindle, 65 mm bar capacity and a maximum swing of 400 mm. Constructed around a solid cast base with hardened and ground box slideways the CT65 takes up just 2620 x 1450 x 1740 mm of floorspace, including the standard swarf conveyor. Control is provided by the popular and easy-to-use Siemens 828D Shopturn control.

The vertical machining centre range from XYZ will be highlighted by the XYZ LR 750 part of its recently introduced linear rail technology machines. The linear rail technology provides price-competitive performance with feedrates of 20m/min and their introduction comes after significant design advances in this technology that allows them to conform with XYZ’s quality/performance criteria. This highly capable range of VMCs provides an ideal step up from manual machining to VMC ownership.