Innovation Knows no limits
Originally intended for mould and die manufacturers, the Matrix family of CNC machines has recently undergone innovative advancements. Make no mistake about it, just like every other CNC machine manufactured by Breton, the Matrix knows no limits. Thanks to its recent facelift, it is now heavily sought after in the aerospace, automotive, mould, die, and prototype industries.
“For mould and die manufacturers, this new machine tool from Breton is a mouth-watering prospect.”
- MTD Ltd., the leading online marketing portal for machine tool and tooling suppliers in the UK.
What is it?
It is an interpolated 5-axis high-speed vertical machining center designed to give our clients the complete solution for their machine tools needs across various markets and an edge over the competition.
The Matrix 1000 has been completely redesigned to match current market demands and changes, as Breton is always in front of the industry curve. It now boasts many new features to meet the requirements of other markets.
Breton’s team of engineers kept previous components of the Matrix that did not need to change, simplified it where possible, ensured the interchangeability of accessories to fit market needs, and made the machine more modular.
Among the new features that Breton implemented is the right-angle head, particularly appreciated by mould and die makers. This industry required the most changes, so Breton created a new CNC milling head for faster performances to match their demands. In fact, compared to a fork-type milling head, it can machine closer to the workpiece with shorter tools, and access points previously inaccessible by a forked head. The new head has many distinct features, such as direct drive, safety brakes and encoders, and a case that resists bending and twisting as much as the forked one can.
Since the forked head is ideal for other industries, it is still available to those machine shops that needs the utility it provides. However, the new right-angle head was designed for the mould and die makers that requested it. The Matrix 1000 comes with the Heidenhain iTNC 640 numerical control but can be replaced with a Siemens 840D SL upon request. The Matrix’s modularity makes it suitable for different industries and can meet the needs of your business too.
Withstanding the test of time
Though the Matrix 1000 was re-engineered, some of the previous features remain the same, and did not need to change. Sometimes you just get it right the first time.
The Matrix remains a gantry-type machine with four motors on the master/slave X axis and backlash recovery. Y axis movement comes from a recirculating ball screw, while the Z axis has two recirculating ball screws that do not require balancing, which increases reactivity during machining.
The revamped Matrix’s axis use torque motors with encoders, while the linear axes use the traditional ball screws and racks, and produces speeds of up to 5 m/s2 and 50 m/min. These results are accomplished without having to deal with problems typically associated with using linear motors – such as consumption and cooling system design errors – ensuring the best performance levels.
To guarantee high performances safely, Breton continues to equip the Matrix 1000 with robust shoulders engineered with innovative, patented Metalquartz® technology. They are composed of a sandwich-structure with electro-welded and stabilized steel. The sides of the shoulders are embedded in a mass of polymer quartz composite material allowing for better machining. This innovative technology ensures high structural rigidness from excellent vibration dampening, which creates better surface finishes and a longer tool life.
The displacements of the carriage and beam continue to carry out machining operations on widely dimensioned guides with roller circulation. All axes are driven by recirculating ball screw systems with double preloaded rotating nuts. This ensures maximum accuracy by position detection being achieved with optical lines. The axis is still managed by digital drives with brushless servomotors.
We do not think there is anyone better than the end user to say what a specific industry market requires. Breton re-engineered the Matrix 1000 with a bottom-up approach where the market guides new model development.
The new Matrix 1000 was guided by the requests of the mould and die industry. This industry wanted a machine whose axis movement was based around the largest workpiece that they generally machine, such as car bumpers or dashboards.
Mould and die manufacturers also demanded more robust tool tapers, both to support the increased removal capacity of the machine, and to improve the operating conditions of the tools, as they are subjected to less vibration. For this reason, we provide both the traditional HSK63 taper and the HSK100 version.
There was another direct request from users, “it must cost less and produce more.” Though this feat is difficult to achieve, it was not completely impossible: it costs less than the previous version, while achieving better accuracy, performance and productivity.
Breton is built on innovation and continues to grow by listening to its clients. The 5-axis Matrix 1000 was re-engineered with our clients and consumers in mind. Breton wants you to have a CNC machining center that makes your business more efficient and profitable. Therefore, our team of engineers redesigned the machine to achieve these results.
Details, details, details...
Breton takes the time to make sure we do NOT overlook a single detail by listening, testing, and then producing. Re-engineering the Matrix 1000 started by examining the simplest details that normally are considered minuscule but are required in all workshops. An example was improving ergonomic access to the working area and being able to clean the machining area of chips easier. From there, the process moved on to more complex aspects. We then figured out how to create greater structural rigidness to support the significant improvement of chip removal and reduced thermal expansion.
The Matrix has a step-to-access working area that can be installed directly to the floor or industrial foundations without the cost of a contractor having to install it. It just needs to be anchored and is then ready for creating smoother milling operations. If the machine needs to be relocated in the future it can be simply moved from spot to spot in your fabrication shop. Ergonomic access to a CNC machining operation is crucial for optimizing throughput fabrication and capitalizing on ROI.
The chip evacuation system was positioned behind the front doors, with its way-out on the tool-store side, being either the right or left, depending upon the CNC machine operator’s preference. That way a CNC machinist can operate the numerical control panel at the front of the machine. The tool-store and chip box are easily accessible from the machining side, so there is no need to access the rear. These features ultimately optimize throughput and saves time during the manufacturing process.
An increase in the chip removal capacity was achieved by utilizing a structure designed and built to support higher cutting forces. The columns, bridge, and ram are structurally sound and have increased the rigidness of the Matrix 1000. Previously, the spindle could reach 100 Nm of torque, while the new versions designed for this evolution can now provide continuous torque of 160 Nm on a 18,000-rpm spindle. Alternatively, there are other spindle models with 100 Nm and 18,000 rpm or 64 Nm and 28,000 rpm. This creates more time for milling and less time cleaning up. More time = more money!
In addition to its stiffness and rigidness, certified by FEM structural analysis, the new Matrix 1000 has a patented solution, making it less sensitive to temperature variations. Now combine that with a thermo-symmetric structure, you get an increase in overall machining accuracy regardless of the operating conditions.
The thermal shield was one of the crucial details that we could not afford to overlook. We understand that normal machining operations cause machines to get hot, and they must remain so, but finding a way to control temperature variation was vital in improving the Matrix 1000 for its users. Most importantly, gradual and controlled variations in temperatures must occur for the thermo-symmetric structure to adapt. The structure has special insulation in the case that a sudden change in outside temperature occurs. If this is to happen, the machine opposes the changes, and takes much longer to heat up and expand. This technology is well known in the construction industry, where thermal cladding is used to make buildings more efficient by keeping the temperatures as stable as possible compared to outside temperatures. The difference in temperature between the sheet metal panels that make up the machine is roughly 32.5 °F. This is a value that can easily be managed with the passive thermal cladding and active electronic compensation systems in the Matrix 1000.
We also put vibration sensors in the new milling head on this 5-axis CNC machining center. These censors stop machining operations to prevent any damage if they gauge too much vibration that can lead to a crash. The Matrix 1000 has an option for an adaptive package that varies the machining parameters according to the measured machine reactions of temperature, power consumption, vibrations and more.
Details count, no matter the size of them. Installation time is another detail that means a lot to end users. For this reason, we have introduced significant improvements to reduce commissioning time of the Matrix 1000 by approximately 20%.
True User Experience
The Matrix 1000 is now engineered to satisfy every application requirement. We rebuilt it improving the ergonomics, performance, access, visibility, and safety so the end user has the ultimate experience when precision machining.
The updated Matrix 1000 has a smaller footprint than the previous model, even though the axis travels are almost 12 inches longer on the Y direction. Workshops often have problems with space, and sometimes this can be a key factor when choosing one model over another, which is why we made it smaller for CNC machine operators to maneuver around their machine shop more efficiently. It can also be installed up to 40 inches away from a wall without running into operational and maintenance safety issues
Breton engineers have created a stainless-steel cover for the internal working area. This solution avoids running the risk of paint removal, while milling workpieces releasing a plethora of chips. We did this to create a better user experience and to help you maintain your machine for years to come.
Chip evacuation is another feature our clients asked to see improved. Unlike steel machining, aluminum machining produces considerably more chips. The process of machining aluminum rotary moulds removes up to 90% of the large block’s stock material. In this case, being able to rely on an efficient evacuation system keeps the working area clean and prevents accumulation that can create future problems to the machine. Therefore, we provided a front belt conveyor a long with two lateral chip evacuation conveyor belts to better transport the remaining chips to the front conveyor. Also, there is no need for a foundation to support the conveyor since all the cables pass through the machine.
One of the Matrix’s sides has access to the tool-store expansion with 30 positions in the base model but can be doubled upon request. These are values that perfectly align with the needs of the mould and die industry, where large numbers of tools are not required, but can accommodate other industries that require more machine tools, as is the case for the aerospace, defense and automotive industries
Spindle disassembly is now easier than ever. All you have to do is unscrew a few screws by using a quick cabling system. This lets the CNC operator quickly change the spindle if there is a crash, collision, or simply for different machining operations. Once the new machine tool is installed, all that remains to do is programming one centering cycle. On request, an automatic cartridge changing device can be supplied, creating a better user experience for machine shops.
A ram with hydrostatic guides is another way we dampened previously omitted vibrations more effectively. The stainless-steel walls also protect columns and bellows, which remain clean and easy to wash. Moreover, the rear wall is placed up against the table to prevent chip accumulation. For those who prefer their CNC machine’s work table level with the floor for forklift access, all that needs to happen is a pit needs to be dug to recess the table into the flooring foundation. These are just some of the ways the new Matrix 1000 accommodates CNC machine shops and makes a CNC machinist’s job much easier by creating a better user experience.
Breton: Driven by Innovation and Building on Excellence
The Matrix 1000’s gantry structure and cross moving beam satisfies the most demanding machine shop manufacturing requirements for high-speed vertical machining operations. It is more than capable of milling complex and large sized projects for the mould, die, automotive and aerospace industries. Please reach out to us at (941) 960-8753 or MachineSales@BretonUSA.com with any questions or concerns you may have. We want to know what your thoughts are on this machine. You can also talk to our team of engineers at BOOTH 339186 during IMTS 2018, September 10 - 15 to find out what owning this machine can mean for your machining operations. The future is here. Are you on board?