Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Modular frame structure for machining center

Machine tools bedMetalworking fluids pipelineModularityReconfigurable machining centerScalability


The invention concerns a standardized and modular frame structure for work centers, such as reconfigurable machine tools, which integrates both the structural function to support the devices mounted on the work center as well as the distribution of the process fluids, e.g. metalcutting liquids or gases, necessary to carry out the machining processes performed by aforementioned devices.

Technical features

Today machine tools frame structures establish the position and constrain the relative trajectories between the tool and the workpiece. The new modular frame structure includes (see figures): vertical columns (2); horizontal linear guideways (5 and 6), joined to the vertical columns (2), to move the cross- tables (50 and 60) that host workpieces (P) and processing head, e.g. electro-spindles (51); horizontal tubular elements, parallel (4) and perpendicular (3) to the aforementioned guideways (5 and 6), which connect the vertical columns (2) to each other by means of flanges (35 and 45); the tubular elements have flanged endings (41 and 31) to provide structural and hydraulic coupling of adjacent modules. The horizontal tubular elements (4 and 3) provide both structural strength and process fluids distribution, e.g. coolants, gases, etc., that through branch connectors (9) can feed the devices/pieces on the cross-tables.

Possible Applications

  • Manufacturing industry;
  • Flexible automation systems;
  • Sharing economy for manufacturing: manufacturing capacity shared inside the factory and between factories in the same industrial district;
  • Mechanical modules for Industry 4.0;
  • Training for Industry 4.0.


  • Modularly scalable working volume;
  • Fluid distribution pipeline integrated in the frame structure;
  • Reconfigurable layout with reduced costs and times;
  • Can be integrated into the system claimed in WO2017137938A1 to change rapidly technologies and production capacity;
  • Reduction of equipment capital.