Mazak increases UK production following lockdown easing
Yamazaki Mazak has ramped up production of the CV5-500 at its European Manufacturing Plant following the easing of lockdown restrictions for UK manufacturers
Yamazaki Mazak has increased the number of shifts for production at its European Manufacturing Plant following the easing of lockdown restrictions for UK manufacturers.
The company will be focusing on the manufacture of a core group of machines, including its new CV5-500 fully simultaneous 5-axis machining centre, as well as models from its VCN and VTC vertical machining centre range, and QT Series of high-performance CNC turning centres.
Mazak has also been able to safely increase production levels at its European Manufacturing Plant in recent weeks, following the implementation of a series of stringent new factory systems and processes. The new measures ensure compliance with UK Government guidance on social distancing and workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A 31-page document, published on the Mazak website, provides in-depth details of all changes made to the factory, alongside a full risk assessment for all production and administration areas of the site, and a breakdown of all potential risks to staff and customers, and proposed control measures.
Richard Smith, European group managing director, Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, comments: “There is no doubt that the last few months have been incredibly challenging for the UK as a whole and for manufacturing. However, the resilience and adaptability on display across industry has been nothing short of outstanding. I would like to thank our own staff who have adapted to the situation in an overwhelmingly positive way, and have continued to work safely and diligently so as to ensure we are able to meet the requirements of our customers.”
Stuart Astley, production director at Yamazaki Mazak’s production facility in Worcester, adds: “As production director, my primary concern has always been the health and safety of all our staff. As a team, we have collaboratively created a safe working environment that has allowed us to complete machine orders and support our customers during these difficult times.
“The workforce has played a key role in achieving this, not only by helping to establish the new ways of working, but by following them to the letter. They have been incredibly supportive of what we are doing and I am happy to say that the morale on the factory floor has been superb throughout this difficult time.”
Phil King, who is both an assembly worker and a Factory Floor Health & Safety representative, adds: “I feel that Mazak has clearly put into place a system that has allowed myself and others to work during these unprecedented times, while feeling safe and valued. Any concerns that I had at first have been put to rest completely.”
New 5-axis machining centre from Taiwan
Taiwanese machine tool builder Leadwell CNC Machines has introduced a new model, the BC-600, at the smaller capacity end of its of BC-series of 5-axis machining centres. On all four models, the rotary axes are provided by a ±110-degree B-axis spindle and an integrated C-axis rotary table, both of which may be interpolated with X, Y and Z to allow full 5-axis machining.
The competitively priced, highly specified machines, which are fitted with scales in the linear and rotary axes as standard, are available in the UK and Ireland through recently appointed sole sales and service agent WH-Lead, which was due to move into its new Towcester facility in April 2020. The first batch of Leadwell machines for stock and demonstration were scheduled to start arriving from early May.
A notable feature of the 12-tonne BC-600 is its generous working envelope for the nominal 4.7 by 3.8 metre footprint. Travels in X and Y are 1,100 mm and 610 mm respectively, while in the Z-axis components 610 mm tall can be machined with the spindle in the vertical orientation, rising to 790 mm with the spindle horizontal. Cutting feed rate is up to 10 m/min, while rapids are 36 m/min in X and Y, 30 m/min in Z for short idle times and high productivity.
The flush, 600 mm diameter rotary table accepts workpieces weighing up to 400 kg, but the full 1,280 x 610 mm fixed table can accommodate 1,400 kg components for 3- or 4-axis machining. The C-axis uses a direct drive motor to provide high torque and rigidity and to avoid the backlash normally associated with worm gear drives. Maximum standard rotational speed of the C-axis table is 120 rpm but there is an optional 800 rpm version to provide turning capability.
The tilting spindle, which can be positioned to within 20 seconds of arc, is driven at up to 15,000 rpm (optionally 10,000 or 12,000 rpm) by an 18.5 kW motor. It is replenished automatically with 40-taper or HSK-T63 cutters from a 40-station tool magazine. The spindle’s rigidity, coupled with the wide machine column and base and the use of linear roller guideways in the orthogonal axes with dual-nut, 40 mm diameter ballscrews in X and Y, result in the ability to undertake rigorous metal cutting.
A broad spectrum of cuts can therefore be taken, from roughing of tough superalloys to fine finishing of any material, ensuring that single setup production, which is the rationale for 5-axis machining, can be realised.
Controls available are Heidenhain TNC640 with 21 GB of programme storage, a DCM function to minimise the risk of a collision during 5-axis cycles and KinematicsOpt geometry error compensation; or Siemens 840D with either full 5-axis or 4 +1 interpolation; or FANUC 0MiF, which is available only with 4 + 1 capability.
The BC range is completed by models BC-700, BC-800 and BC-960, the largest of which has an installed weight of 18.6 tonnes, an 800 mm diameter table and a working envelope of 2,040 mm by 1,000 mm by 820 (min) / 948 mm (max) in Z.
NCMT wins machining centre agency
Following its appointment by Rema Control as sole agent for the UK and Irish markets, NCMT will show at MACH 2020 a 5-axis NBT5.25 machining centre
With immediate effect, NCMT has been appointed sole sales and service agent in the UK and Ireland for the range of vertical machining centres (VMCs) manufactured by Rema Control at its factory in Stezzano, near Milan, Italy.
Founded in 1987, the company is a member of UCIMU, the Italian Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers, specialising in building large, 3- and 5-axis, moving-column machines with travels up to 8,000 mm in the X-axis and 1,200 mm in Y. The manufacturer also produces trunnion-type 5-axis VMCs, ultra-rigid universal milling machines with box ways, and gantry-type VMCs with a rotary pallet changer.
The long-bed machine programme, which fills a gap in the NCMT range, is particularly well suited to production applications in the energy, shipbuilding and other heavy industrial sectors as well as in the mouldmaking and aerospace industries.
At MACH 2020 (Hall 19 Stand 130), NCMT will be showing for the first time a moving-column machine from the principal’s Newton Big range, a model NBT5.25 with linear travels of 2,500 x 800 x 800 mm capable of simultaneous 5-axis metal cutting. The two other CNC axes are provided by a flush rotary table for 360-degree positioning and a ± 92 degree B-axis spindle head. A 10,000 rpm spindle delivers 22.5 kW of power and 190 Nm of torque (optionally 33 kW / 260 Nm), while the integral motor spindle alternative is rated at 12,000 rpm / 38 kW / 268 Nm.
Capable of heavy-duty machining, the BT40 / HSK-A63 machine supports 1.5 tonnes on its rotary table or 1 tonne/m2 over the 2,800 x 820 mm fixed table area. Rapid traverse in the linear axes is 50 m/min and installed weight is 15 tonnes. The machine on show will be controlled by a Heidenhain TNC640, although Siemens and Fanuc CNC systems may be specified.
A video of the machine in action can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP3I6qLOCfU
Dugard becomes new UK distributor for IBARMIA
As part of its relentless and exciting growth strategy, Dugard has now become the sole UK and Ireland agent for the high-quality range of IBARMIA 5-axis moving column machining centres. The new partnership is the result of increased UK interest in the 5-axis moving column machining centres manufactured by the renowned Spanish brand.
IBARMIA has enjoyed significant growth across Europe, North America and Asia, witnessing a huge upswing in interest from UK manufacturers at numerous international machine tool exhibitions. With IBARMIA acknowledging the strong interest from UK engineers enquiring about the wide range of machine tool solutions and technology, local representation and technical support; the Basque Country manufacturer set about finding the best established, most reputable and well recognised brand in the UK, confidently turning its attention to the Brighton machine tool experts.
The level of interest from UK manufacturers led IBARMIA to analyse the possible distribution channels with the aim of selecting a company with a strong network of coverage and service support to ensure all companies receive first class products with first class service.
IBARMIA’s area sales manager for the UK, Ignacio Mera says: “IBARMIA is now a leading world reference in moving column machining centres and universal machining centres. Through working together with Dugard, engineers in the UK, we will now have the opportunity to invest in the highest level of technology with the best local service support. We are excited to bring the success of our solutions to the UK and we are confident Dugard is the perfect partner for it.”
Eric Dugard, managing director at Dugard Machine Tools, enthuses: “We are delighted to be appointed as the exclusive dealers for IBARMIA. In recent years, we have been aware of just how successful the IBARMIA brand of machines have become in the European, North American and Asian machine tool markets. With a full line up of 3, 4 and 5-axis travelling column machines from 1.5 m to 12 m with complete turning capabilities, the flexibility, capability and opportunities for UK manufacturers are evident. Manufactured in the Basque region of Spain, an area renowned for its heavy-duty machine tool building and innovation, the IBARMIA range will certainly give Dugard and its customers, machine tool capabilities and flexibility far beyond that of anything else seen in the UK.
“Adding to the travelling column machines, IBARMIA has now introduced its exciting T-Series of fully universal 5-axis machines. The ingenious T-Series offers a swing diameter from 1.2 m up to 3.6 m with a 2.15 m height capacity. Taking this size capacity to industry will open new doors and opportunities for Dugard and its customer base. The T-Series also offers a ‘turning option’ and we are very excited about introducing this exciting brand to the marketplace and discussing the countless range of solutions available,” concludes Eric Dugard.
Best-in-class 5-axis machining
Photo courtesy of Schunk GmbH
Walter GB and Schunk Intec combine to provide aerospace specialist with innovative wing rib machining solution
Tooling expert Walter GB joined forces with workholding specialist Schunk Intec to host a customer innovation day to showcase best-in-class 5-axis aerospace machining at the Knowledge Transfer Centre in Sheffield.
A packed audience of aerospace production specialists not only learnt about how the companies’ new tooling and workholding innovations could bring substantial benefits to the machining of aluminium wing ribs, but they could also see the results for themselves in the adjacent AMRC with Boeing Centre where a demonstration part was machined on a Starrag Ecospeed machining centre. (The Ecospeed is one of eight Starrag machines in-situ at the AMRC and the accompanying Nuclear AMRC.)
Jim Dale, Walter’s component manager, Business & Application Development, outlined the distortion and machining challenges presented when producing one-hit finishes and tight corners, for example, on such aluminium workpieces with wall thicknesses that may be only 1.5 mm thick and corners with 6 mm radii.
“Developing and supplying ‘pre-set’ tooling packages to suit many different machining platforms and processes is one of the strengths of Walter’s Engineering Kompetenz strategy,” he says. “In terms of our aerospace customers, it is successfully being applied globally to titanium and aluminium structures, as well as to engines and landing gear programmes.”
The sample wing rib, measuring 1,500 mm long, 280 mm wide and 80 mm high, with pockets up to 50 mm deep, was jointly designed by Walter and Schunk Intec to specifically show the ability of the companies’ tooling strategies and workholding technology in overcoming these difficulties in a controlled manner.
Jim Dale continues: “In addition to applying a number of new Walter milling cutters, including an innovative three-flute cutter and inserts with a newly-developed coating for extended tool life, together with Schunk Intec’s Vero-S Aviation system, we have arrived at the ideal solution.”
The Vero-S (a) pneumatic system enables all component stresses to be relieved between machining operations by simply releasing then re-clamping the workpiece in-situ without the need for separate setups. “Importantly, we wanted to achieve similar cycle times as if we were using a ‘fixed’ clamping system,” adds Jim Dale.
As a result, Walter has arrived at a ‘toolbox’ specifically to suit the Ecospeed and the workpiece in question, with pre-set feeds and speeds for the tooling to match the machine’s impressive 120 kW/30,000 revs/min spindle and the capabilities of its Sprint Z3 machining head.
“Developing and supplying ‘pre-set’ tooling packages to suit specific machining platforms and processes is one of the strengths of Walter’s Engineering Kompetenz strategy,” explains Jim Dale. “In terms of our aerospace customers, it is successfully being applied globally to titanium and aluminium structures, as well as to engines and landing gear programmes.”
Walter GB’s business development manager, Neil McKinnell says: “The event was a great success, taking into account we were addressing a niche part of the aerospace manufacturing industry.
“There is significant movement in the aerostructure machining sector, with regard to establishing best practice in line with projects aimed at next generation aircraft and we were able to show that we are fully aligned with these OEM and Tier One initiatives.
“We have received very positive feedback and significant interest in the machining strategies and tooling that were demonstrated.”
Likewise, Schunk Intec’s general manager, Marcel Machado, also comments favourably: “We couldn’t be happier. The event was a great opportunity to show a complex technology performing live. Attended by a highly technical group representing all the main names in the aerospace industry, the event was a true reflection of the work being performed at the AMRC.”
The demonstration wing rib in place on a Starrag Ecospeed, showing Walter tooling and the Schunk Vero-S Aviation system
Walter GB Ltd SCHUNK Intec Ltd
Tel: 01527 839450 Tel: 01908 611127
DMG MORI celebrates long term support for Scottish advanced manufacturing and research
DMG MORI has been a Tier 1 member of the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) since 2015. Located in Inchinnan, Scotland, it is a collaborative venture between the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, the UK Government and leading multinational engineering firms. The centre’s objectives are to work proactively to disseminate skills and technology that will offer a different perspective to manufacturing methods by the use of forming techniques.
As part of its Tier 1 membership, DMG MORI has supplied four machines to the AFRC a CTX beta 2000 TC 5-axis turn/mill, a NLX 2500SY 700 an HSC 75 linear 5-axis machining centre and a DMU 125 FD duoBLOCK® 5-axis mill/turn.
This range of machines enables the centre to manufacture and carry out research and development activity for complex components, tools, dies and moulds, with the aim of reducing costs and lead times and improving functional performance.
DMG MORI is a strong supporter of Scottish industry, where its technology is in use at companies such as Fife Fabrications, C.A. Models, Vert Rotors, Castle Precision and Hunting Energy Services, where the reliability and precision of the machines helps these companies manufacture complex high value parts economically.
Steve Finn, managing director of DMG MORI UK says: “We are committed to the development of high value manufacturing in the UK. By supporting the AFRC we can bring our expertise to bear within the advanced manufacturing industry, throwing a new light on the radical techniques that are possible. Companies using our machinery in Scotland manufacture parts ranging from heavy duty threaded pipes for oil and gas to high precision rotors where 5µ accuracy is essential. Achieving positive outcomes for this range of applications relies on the know-how available from DMG MORI and our commitment to excellence in machine design, manufacture and service.”
US contract machining company invests in a fourth Starrag machine
Of all businesses, contract machining companies know what they want. Cincinnati-based firm Metalex Manufacturing Inc already owns three Starrag machine tools, but after extensive benchmarking, the key customer has chosen to invest in a Droop+Rein T portal machining centre from Starrag, its largest investment to date in every respect.
The contract machining company, a specialist in producing sophisticated and high-quality workpieces, was looking to machine materials with flexibility, efficiency and precision, all in a single clamping operation. This was where Starrag’s claim came into play once again. In keeping with the proven philosophy of “engineering precisely what you value”, Metalex and a team from Starrag turned their attention to the entire Starrag portfolio.
The company ultimately decided on the Droop+Rein T series from the Bielefeld site, a powerful milling/turning centre offering an outstanding level of accuracy thanks to its perfectly rigid design and hydrostatic guide concept. Just one look at the extraordinary dimensions (table length: 18,000 mm; horizontal pass: 9,000 mm; vertical pass: 7,000 mm) and the huge working area of 19,000 mm in X, 9,000 mm in Y and 3,000 mm in Z proves it: We are looking at XXL at its finest. The huge amount of space offered by this new model means that processing large workpieces in a single clamping operation is easy. There is also an option for highly flexible 5-axis processing, thanks to the integrated C-axis with stepless rotation and the universal fork-type milling head, featuring a B-axis that swivels ±95°. The sixth-axis in W, a 5,500 mm continuously movable crossbeam, complements the universal approach that the contract machining company required.
The processing centre uses a 100-kW main spindle with a maximum torque of 7,500 Nm, transmitted via vertical and horizontal milling heads, two fork-type milling heads designed for 5-axis operation, as well as a slim outboard bearing for drilling through.
If entirely new orders come in, there is an option to use additional heads for milling, turning, grinding and turning out. The versatile robot magazine, which has space for up to 400 tools, supplies the milling and turning heads with three different tool systems. Integration into Metalex’s production and tool management systems is undertaken by the Integrated Production System (IPS), Starrag’s “building block” for Industrie 4.0 solutions.
The special table construction with two large tables (6,000 x 8,000 mm) ensures very efficient machining. This construction means that one table can be used under the spindle while the other is loaded and unloaded outside the work area. Extra-long workpieces are machined in coupled tandem operation, for which tables are extended to 18,000 mm. Each table also features an integrated rotary table from the Dörries series (diameter: 6,000 mm). Thanks to the two 111-kW main drives, the turning of components weighing up to 200 tonnes is also possible. The rotary table can also be used as a C-axis for precise positioning when milling and drilling.
All in all, Starrag’s solution was exactly what Metalex CEO Kevin Kummerle was looking for. He values healthy growth and continuous development. The new Droop+Rein T portal machining centre plays an important part in this, offering Metalex and its customers impressive long-term benefits in terms of quality, technology, costs and service.
For its investment in the XXL future at its new “Center for Advanced Large Manufacturing”, Metalex, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, ordered a 6-axis portal machining centre from the Droop+Rein T series by Starrag.
Engineering precisely what you value
Starrag Group is a global technology leader in manufacturing high-precision machine tools for milling, turning, boring and grinding workpieces of metallic, composite and ceramic materials. Principle customers are internationally active companies in the Aerospace, Energy, Transportation and Industrial sectors. In addition to its portfolio of machine tools, Starrag Group provides integrated technology and maintenance services that significantly enhance customer productivity.
The products are marketed under the brand Starrag and include the product ranges Berthiez, Bumotec, Dörries, Droop+Rein, Ecospeed, Heckert, Scharmann, SIP, Starrag and TTL. Headquartered in Rorschach/Switzerland, the Starrag Group operates manufacturing plants in Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK and India and has established a network of sales and services subsidiaries in the most important customer countries.
Starrag Group Holding AG is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Hurco to present machining solutions for simple and complex components at Southern Manufacturing
At Southern Manufacturing 2018, Hurco will present its machining solutions for simple and complex components.
David Waghorn, managing director of High Wycombe-based Hurco Europe states: “A modern-day subcontract engineering business must focus on the immediate order book, but at the same time has to keep an eye on the future. It is essential to be as flexible as possible and to be able to advance seamlessly to the next level of technology.”
His point is that the Hurco machine tool range is designed specifically to meet this demand. The same Max5 control is fitted to the simplest 3-axis machining centre, the high specification 5-axis machines and the firm’s entire lathe range.
Conversational prompts guide the user through the programming process, there are canned cycles for all the usual routines, calc-assist to find intersection points and clear graphical representation of toolpath and component on the 9-inch colour LCD screen.
Hurco customers gain the benefit of getting new operators up to speed quickly. They have no problems in producing one-offs or small volumes and tend to make less programming mistakes. The result, says David Waghorn, is a first-off completed part with a minimum of fuss and effort.
Hurco will be exhibiting two of its most popular and compact, entry-level machines at the show. The VM5i 3-axis machining centre will make its Southern Manufacturing and Electronics debut. The specification provides full machining centre performance, despite the machine being able to fit into a space that is less than 2 metres in height, depth and width. 8,000 rpm and 7.5 kW of power from the spindle plus a 16-station automatic tool changer are provided.
Additionally, the latest, updated XP version of the TM8i lathe will be shown. Already a Hurco best-seller, this new model boasts a more compact footprint and bigger spindle bore plus some innovative control system enhancements.