Hybrid Machining Joins Five-Axis and Automation Showcase
While also known for its vertical machining centers and five-axis machines, Matsuura Machinery Corp. of Japan and Matsuura USA have been involved with hybrid manufacturing for roughly 16 years. But in a first for IMTS, Matsuura USA is exhibiting its Matsuura Lumex Avance-25.
While also known for its vertical machining centers and five-axis machines, Matsuura Machinery Corp. of Japan, of which Matsuura USA is a subsidiary, has been involved with hybrid manufacturing—metal powder-bed selective laser sintering combined with high-speed milling—for roughly 16 years. In fact, the centerpiece of its North America headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a new a 38,000-square-foot laboratory and demonstration facility called The Matsuura Machinery USA Lumex Additive Manufacturing Center. As the center’s name suggests, the Lumex series of hybrid machines are the focus of this facility. For the first time at IMTS, Matsuura USA is exhibiting its Matsuura Lumex Avance-25.
The Matsuura Lumex Avance-25 metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine is a powder bed metal AM platform with subtractive machining that combines selective laser sintering with high-speed milling to process parts and molds ranging in size up to 256 × 256 × 300 mm. After the part is designed in proprietary CAM software (which includes laser scan and milling paths as well as a simulation function), the build process begins with powder distribution—a 0.05-mm thick layer for the standard 500-W laser, or 0.1 mm thick for the optional 1-kW laser. Each layer is sintered, and the process repeats itself for 10 layers. (This is a user-definable parameter, but 10 is the default.)
Additionally in its South Building booth, Matsuura USA is displaying automated and unattended machining capabilities as well as the entire MX series of five-axis machines. This includes the company’s smaller five-axis platform configured with 10 pallets and 90 tools, as well as the four-pallet automated version of the single-table five-axis VMC. The four-pallet machine is equipped with 90 tools and an installed Universal Robot Interface to maximize automation. Matsuura has integrated video monitors in its booth to showcase the capabilities of each machine, including the LF-160 linear motor machine integrated with a robotic cell.
Matsuura has also expanded its on-site personnel at IMTS to assist with giveaways of T-shirts, baseball caps and other promotional items to all booth visitors. Drawings are being held each day for additional prizes, and the company is offering a full-service coffee and snack bar throughout the entire show with charging stations for booth visitors.