Product Spotlight


Big die and mold components may test most machines’ work-weight capacity and pose a unique dilemma for high-speed machining techniques and the accuracy capability of a traditional large vertical machine. Designed for power, speed, precision and versatility, Makino’s latest entries into its F-Series line of vertical machining centers, the F8 and F9, are designed to meet the divergent manufacturing needs of both the large-part production and big die and mold component markets.

“Both the F8 and F9 offer hours of continuous, tight-tolerance machining at an outstanding value,” said William Howard, Makino vertical product line manager. “Their robust design provides a versatile cutting platform that is ideal for both mold making and production machining. Standardly equipped with core-cooled ballscrews and scale feedback, the F8 and F9 offer a rare blend of precision, speed, capacity and flexibility to meet and exceed customer demands.”

The smaller F8 features X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 51.2 inches, 31.5 inches and 25.6 inches, respectively, a 61-inch-by-31.5-inch table and a maximum workpiece size of 61 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 21.7 inches tall. By contrast, the larger F9 features X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 63 inches, 31.5 inches and 25.6 inches, respectively, a 72.8-inch-by-31.5-inch table and a maximum workpiece size of 72.8 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 21.7 inches tall. Both machines offer a payload capacity of 5,510 pounds and feature a 30-tool capacity automatic tool changer.

Changing full-size workpieces can dramatically impact large machine utilization, productivity and ultimately part costs. Therefore, the F8 and F9 incorporate a unique, dual sliding door, chip-and splash-guard design for simplified loading and unloading of large workpieces. The open-corner, open-ceiling design affords unparalleled access for setups and changeovers, improving work in progress (WIP) and overall lead-times.


The F8 and F9 vertical machining centers offer a number of spindle configurations for tailoring the machine to specific die/mold or production applications.

The standard spindle configuration is a 49.6-hp, 10,000-rpm CAT 50 spindle. Manufacturers can also select an optional HSK-A100 spindle interface based on their needs. With 315 ft-lbs of torque, this combination provides stiffness and rigidity for lower-speed roughing operations and an excellent mix of spindle speed, power and torque.

Other spindle options include a 40.2-hp, 20,000-rpm HSK-A63 spindle. This configuration provides the vibration-free, chatter-free, high-ranging spindle speeds required for efficient high-speed hard milling of small details and fine surface finishes typical in modern die/mold applications.

The standard coolant system offers a combination of nozzle flood coolant, flush coolant, through-spindle air and an external air-blow nozzle. Dual internal spiral chip conveyors quickly and efficiently move chips and coolant to the rear of the machine, discharging them into a scraper-drum lift-up chip conveyor. Various optional through-spindle coolant systems can be provided to further enhance the capability and performance of the machine.


The F8 and F9 vertical machining centers employ the Makino Professional 5 Control, which affords the perfect balance of a Windows CE graphical user interface (GUI), touch-screen selection offering instant access to information at one’s fingertips, user-friendly, efficient PC-like capability for data management and editing, and the networking and storage capability of a data center.

The machine can also be arranged with Makino’s proprietary, next-generation Super Geometric Intelligence (SGI.4) software developed specifically for high-feedrate, tight-tolerance machining of complex, 3-D contoured shapes involving continuous, tiny blocks of NC data that ensure production rates faster than standard CNC systems while maintaining high accuracy. SGI.4 helps provide the lowest cycle times and costs achievable by reducing machining cycle times by as much as 40 percent when compared to most other control technologies.