Horizontal Machining Centers

Oct. 26, 2016
Provides next-generation productivity and reliability in large ferrous-part production.

Equipped with a broad range of new features and technologies, the a71nx horizontal machining platform extends the range of the original a71 to achieve greater productivity and reliability in large ferrous-part production.


The new system features an expanded work envelope, improved ergonomics, increased spindle torque, innovative tool monitoring, advanced motion controls, and the company's new Professional 6 control.


The innovative system is designed with a 19.7-in. pallet and a maximum payload weight of 1,000 kg. It also features extended travel of 31.5, 29.5, and 32.7 in. on the X, Y, and Z axes, which adds 16% more total machining volume than the previous system.


Larger parts frequently require larger tools. As such, the a71nx has been updated to handle longer and heavier tools. The machine’s standard 60-tool-capacity automatic tool changer (ATC) has six reinforced pockets, yielding a maximum tool length of 18.9 / 22.4 inches (Cat / HSK) and maximum weight of 30 kg.


Additionally, the original a71’s standard worm-gear-driven NC rotary table has been replaced with a direct-drive (DD) motor B-axis table for dramatically faster indexing time. The 1-second 90-degree rotation improves production processes with a substantial reduction in non-cutting motion. The DD motor table on the a71nx also reduces B-axis complexity and eliminates backlash and key component wear for improved reliability.

Enhanced Material Removal and Spindle Reliability

  • The a71nx takes spindle reliability and productivity to a new level with an updated high-power spindle design. With options available for CAT-50, BT 50 and HSK-A100 interfaces, the standard 10,000-rpm spindle offers 37kW of power (26kW continuous power) and 512 Nm of torque (305 Nm continuous), delivering the flexibility and speed necessary to efficiently machine a variety of ferrous, hard metal or light alloy workpieces. The large-diameter angular contact bearings and direct-inject air-oil lubrication ensure the highest level of rigidity and longevity. An optional 20,000-rpm core-cooled spindle is also available.


Built for Strength and Rigidity

  • Similar to other Makino nx-Series horizontal machining centers, the a71nx benefits from an innovative casting design and axis construction. The tiered, or stepped, column casting and oversized roller linear guides boost rigidity, eliminate vibration and extend perishable tool life even in the most challenging materials.
  • Chip and coolant management has been improved with the addition of a standard hydro-cyclonic filtration system. This system cleans coolant down to a 20 ?m level, extending the maintenance life of the coolant.


Reducing Non-Cut Times

  • One of the key advantages of the a71nx is its ability to reduce non-cut time from part processes with innovative, patent-pending hardware and control features.
  • A vision-type broken-tool sensor (Vision B.T.S.) comes standard, supporting unattended operation by quickly validating the condition of cutting tools after each tool change. By creating a silhouette of the cutting tools, Vision B.T.S. is also able to evaluate the size and approximate weight of the tool. This information can then be applied to automatically set the tool-change speed to the appropriate setting (fast, medium or slow). The Vision B.T.S. system has fewer moving parts and requires no physical contact with the cutting tool, resulting in enhanced, long-term reliability and no risk of chipping delicate tool materials, such as polycrystalline diamond (PCD).
  • The a71nx is also equipped with the latest inertia active control (IAC) technologies, providing enhanced acceleration and deceleration rates in the B-axis, Z-axis and rotational positioning of the ring-type tool magazine. By quickly evaluating the total weight placed on these axes, IAC technology is able to instantly adjust acceleration to match the total load, reducing non-value-added times from part processes.


Enhanced Operability and Automation

  • The exterior of the a71nx has evolved in an effort to make maintaining the machine easier for the operator. An L-shaped door, when open, allows more light to enter the machine and prevents fluid from dripping onto the operator during inspection and maintenance. The wide opening on the pallet-loading station doors lends easy access for loading of fixtures and large workpieces. This type of accessibility is crucial for part loading and unloading in robot-automated environments.