Mazak's Integrex "e" series machines have been designed exclusively to accommodate BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling's BIG-PLUS simultaneous-dual-contact toolholder system. The BIG-PLUS dual-contact-spindle system creates higher rigidity by adding contact between the flange face of the toolholder and the spindle face.
The decision was made to standardize the Integrex "e" series machine to BIG-PLUS specification for two reasons.
First, Mazak did not want to offer the spindle with a proprietary design of only Capto or KM, which could potentially limit the number of users. Many customers do not always consider Capto or KM a good fit to their own operations. The BIG-PLUS system allows customers to use industry-standard tooling for applications that do not require dual contact. Because the "e" series is a milling machine with turning capability, it was deter mined that the spindle should also be capable of supporting a dual-contact tooling for the higher rigidity this type of operation requires.
BIG-PLUS is a universal system that addresses the simultaneous taper and-flange contact with the spindle. It allows spindle builders to accept one specification for the interchangeable dual contact of toolholder to spindle.
Second, Mazak identified the need to have dual contact for turning operations. Dual contact greatly enhances rigidity and repeatability, which yields many benefits in higher metal-removal rates, higher accuracy, improved surface finish, and extended tool life.
BIG-PLUS was already accepted as standard in most of the industrialized world, so it made sense to make BIG-PLUS a standard feature for the Integrex "e" series of mill-turn centers. The BIG-PLUS system conforms to current standards for JIS-BT (Japan), DIN69871 (Europe), and ASME B5.50 (America).
Using BIG-PLUS toolholders for turning operations did require a modification to the standard design of the toolholder. If a rotating tool is taken in and out of the spindle, strict maintenance of the tool orientation does not matter. This is because the tool is rotating in the spindle about the centerline, so exact tool-tip orientation is not critical. Therefore, the drive keys that are on the spindle and engage into slots of the toolholder are not made to any degree of precision. For example, a 40-taper spindle has a drive key with a dimension of 0.630". The respective slot of the toolholder as per specification is made to 0.635/0.655. All toolholder suppliers make tools to this same...