FERMAT’s New 5-Axis Multitask Gantry Center; All machining operations in one setup

January 3, 2017  

FERMAT has whipped together a multifunctional wonder of mechanical engineering, a brand-new, massive multitask gantry center.

The new machine has fixed floor plates (plus a detachable rotary table) and movable columns supporting the frame and superstructure for 5-axis milling, turning, drilling, grinding, and laser hardening all in one.  It manhandles large, heavy and bulky workpieces in one setup.  There’s no need to reset the workpiece or intervene manually between stages.

FERMAT’s multitask gantry center is designed for powerful and precise machining with a high rapid traverse. The milling head is driven by a 60 kW water-chilled motor, while the headstock features a hard-punching 74 kW motor.  For maximum rigidity and resistance to vibration, the gantry’s built in a double-enclosed design, much like a box within a box.

WRF 160 Headstock used in FERMAT Multitask Gantry Center

FERMAT’s Multitask Gantry Center mills, machines and mauls hunks of metal with a hardy and heavy-hitting WRF 160 headstock… like a gargantuan floor-type horizontal boring mill turned on end, machining straight down on top of you.

Utilizing an automatic milling head with a built-in laser hardening tool, and a separate grinding head, FERMAT’s multitask gantry center glides smoothly from one task to another. The heads are changed automatically at the pick-up station, and the cutting tools (a whopping 140 in total) are carried with the column, so they’re always on-hand for the ever-adroit KUKA robot to change quickly as the program dictates.

FERMAT uses its multitask gantry center for milling, annealing and grinding large components that go into its own CNC horizontal boring mills, such as columns and beds.

UHAmi30 FERMAT's own Stepless Universal Automatic Milling Head

FERMAT’s own Stepless Universal Automatic Milling Head, UHAmi 30, made for expert, high precision machining and milling. A axis range + – 360 degrees; C axis + – 180 degrees.

Diagram of FERMAT's Stepless Universal Automatic Milling Head, UHAmi 30

Diagram of FERMAT’s Stepless Universal Automatic Milling Head, UHAmi 30

The procedure is described as follows.

  • First, 5-axis milling is performed using FERMAT’s own stepless universal automatic milling head.
  • Second, the laser, which is located in the milling head, is uncovered and anneals the workpiece. (An obvious benefit is that the annealing takes place within machine, i.e., the part doesn’t need to be carried to a separate location for hardening and cooling, which saves time and money.)
  • Third, the column moves to the pickup station, exchanges the milling head for the special grinding head, and the grinding begins.

When turning is required, a special rotary table is attached enabling the most complicated turning techniques capable by any vertical turning machine.

FERMAT’s multitask gantry center uses Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D sl control system with NCU 720.3. The control system supports safety integrated functions (SI) and it operates 23 axes. It has two numeric control units and three operating places. There is a distribution board with its own active line module source (ALM source) with a group of controlled axes connected through expansion cards NX10.3 or NX15.3 and DRIVE-CLiQ interfaces on each column base.

FERMAT's Multitask Gantry Center

The control system for the detachable rotary table is integrated with the main control through an NCU link.

Four motors, one master and three slaves, move the saddle of each column. The Y-axis itself has four motors for power and stability.

In addition to a cabin built on the machine itself, there’s an external cabin as well. Both are designed for the machinist to follow the operations closely while safely out of the way. There are two chip conveyors below the machine, continuously removing the cuttings, keeping the area clean.

The two cabins on FERMAT's Mutlitask Gantry Center

View of the two operator cabins on FERMAT’s Mutlitask Gantry Center

All of these features improve manufacturing and reduce production costs.  With FERMAT’s new multitask gantry center, you have the benefits of 4 machines in one: a gantry milling machine, laser annealing equipment, a grinder, and a vertical lathe.  Moreover, with its KUKA robot tool changer and its superb multifunctional design, machining efficiency is maximized and idle production time is cut to an absolute minimum.

The technical parameters of FERMAT’s new multitask gantry center


Milling, Machining

X axis = 27 meters;

Y axis = 6.8 meters;

Z axis (Ram) = 1.6 meters;

W axis (Spindle Stroke) = 1 meter;

Dimension of floor plates = 4 meters x 30 meters;

Floor plates’ load bearing capacity = 3.5 metric tons/m2;

Distance between columns = 5.2 meters;

Clearance between table and nose of taper: 2,675 mm to 3,675 mm;

Spindle diameter = 160 mm.


Dimension of grinding table = 2.24 meters x 8 meters;

Grinding table load bearing capacity = 5 metric tons/m2 (max. 40 metric tons);

Maximum grinding height = 2.5 meters;

Maximum grinding width = 3 meters;

Maximum grinding length = 8 meters.

Please visit, http://www.fermatmachinery.com/products, for information on the different FERMAT machine tools and accessories that can improve your manufacturing business. Also, try to Build Your Own machine using our on-line configurator found on our homepage, http://www.fermatmachinery.com/. Should you have any enquiries, please send us an e-mail: export@fermatmachinery.com, or for the U.S. market, e-mail Lucas Precision, a FERMAT Group company: sales@lucasprecision.com, or call toll-free: 1-800-336-1262, or telephone in the U.S.: (216) 451-5588, or send us a fax (216) 451-5174.