Machine tool industry leaders from around the globe cut the ribbon on JIMTOF 2014. Among them from the United States was Douglas K. Woods (fifth from right), president of The Association for Manufacturing Technology.
Mazak's Integex I-100 AM presented the combination of CNC machining and additive manufacturing as a natural extension of the multitasking concept. For a full report on this innovative machine, click here. JIMTOF had a strong focus on additive manufacturing throughout the show.
Five-axis machining capability was prevalent this year. Among the more distinctive implementations of five-axis machining was the OKK VC-X500L, an HMC that incorporates turning. Rotating the part on a direct-drive rotary table built into the trunnion provides sufficient speed and torque for turning operations.
DMG MORI demonstrated how a laser-cladding head on a machining center can grow surfaces, flanges, ribs and other part features with this process. Finish machining of these features can be performed in one setup to deliver a completed part.
How laser cladding works as an attachment to a machining center is shown here.
Spectacularly stylish enclosures are the new standard for the current generation of CNC machines. This Taiyo Koki vertical grinder is a good example. Underneath the skin, however, is an innovative process for swapping the grinding head from the carousel that acts like an automatic tool changer.
Grow the part from powder with laser sintering, then profile the edges with a built-in, three-axis milling capability. That's the idea behind Matsuura's Lumex Avance-25 machine. Several layers of sintered material are created between each profiling routine, thus progressively building up a part that is finish machined when completed.
Sodick calls its selective laser sintering machine with integrated milling a Metal 3D Printer. Although additive manufacturing is the common term in Japan for creating shapes layer by layer, 3D printing is also a popular name that gets attention from the younger set of manufacturing professionals.
Here is wire EDM with a twist. Sodick's ASX300L orients the energized wire to travel horizontally side to side. Left and right wire guides attached to a swivel arm enable the wire to sweep at variable angles across the workpiece, which also rotates in sync with the sweep of the wire. This arrangement is especially effective for producing PCD cutters with complex, contoured cutting edges.
Tsugami's LaserSwiss S205 combines CNC laser cutting with Swiss turning. The laser head is positioned near the bushing, enabling it to cut complex openings in thin-walled tubing very accurately. Gang-style turning tools and an endworking spindle provide done-in-one capability.
By monitoring seven sources of heat on YBM 630 V jig borer, Yasda says this machine can identify any potential thermal influence that might affect part accuracy.
Kiwa's Triple H40 is an HMC with five-axis capability. The compact design (the unit is only 1,400 mm wide) is intended for high-production machining lines for increasingly complex automotive parts. Another Kiwa machine making a splash at the show was the KH4500, which features 2,000-psi through-the-tool coolant delivery.
One source of vibration when machining titanium can be the ever-so-slight variations in the height of cutting edges on a cutter with multiple inserts. Okuma was showing a Tool Edge Control system that detects--and corrects for--this variation in order to make titanium machining more productive while extending tool life. The system calculates the offsets necessary to compensate for edges that are too low or too high, and continuously applies these offsets on the fly during machining.
Another builder leading the charge to smartphone-like CNC units is Nakamura Tome. Its NT SmartX control has features that include touchscreen navigation, hot-button shortcuts, customized homepages for each operator, and different levels of permissible access based on levels of user responsibility. This CNC was shown on an MTRX 300 twin-spindle multitasking machine that enables machining 5 inches below centerline to complete parts that fit within a 10-inch cube.
Planners of JIMTOF 2016 are eager to promote the local tourist attractions that are a plus to a visit it Tokyo. One of the most popular is the new Tokyo Sky Tree, the tallest observation tower in the world. The scene here is looking down from 345 storeys to the famous Sensoji Temple.
Mitsui Seiki's HU100-5X is one of the world’s largest horizontal machining centers, according to the company. With a 1,000 mm square trunnion style two-axis table, the machine delivers high performance for milling, drilling, boring, tapping and reaming of tough materials such as titanium.
Akihiro Kitamura, president of Kitamura Machinery Co., demonstrates the company’s Arumatik-Mi CNC control. Featuring an interface based on smartphone technologies, the proprietary control is easy to navigate with a host of helpful functions. Also on display were what the company describes as the world’s first reverse 3D printing machining center and theMycenter-HX500G horizontal machining center, both featuring the new control.
Improved machining of titanium alloys is one goal of many cutting tool manufacturers. Mitsubishi Materials had the VFX series of tools for milling various grades of titanium on display, with an internal coolant channel providing improved chip removal and inserts featuring a curved cutting edge to minimize material resistance.
Fuji Machine Mfg. Co.’s DLFn modular production equipment an innovative approach to flexible machining. It enables as many as 10 modules performing functions such as milling, turning, measuring and deburring to be linked, requiring half the space of a conventional machining line.
Versatility was a central theme among cutting tool manufacturers at JIMTOF this year. OSG Corp.’s contribution was the “A Brand” product line, comprised of the all-new WDO-SUS coolant-through carbide drill series for machining materials such as stainless steels and titanium alloys; the all-purpose A-TAP series, designed to simplify tool management with a wide variety of material and process applications; and the expanded Phoenix indexable drill series.