NCMT to show off new Makino machines at MACH 2022

MACH 2022 will mark the UK launch of the D200Z 5-axis, vertical-spindle machining centre from Japanese machine tool builder, Makino, which is represented exclusively in the UK and Ireland by NCMT. The machine will cycle through a reflector mould program and also being demonstrated will be Makino’s iSetup, an on-the-fly probing solution.  NCMT is in Hall 19, stands 120 and 130.

From roughing to high-speed finishing of multi-faceted and 3D contoured geometries, the D200Z boosts productivity of complex dies and moulds typically found in the automotive, injection moulding, packaging, medical and optics markets. The machine's speed and precision provide a solid foundation for responsive, high-speed metalcutting and for the production of outstanding surface finishes that reduce or eliminate hand polishing.

The 30,000 rpm spindle and integral, direct-drive table provide quick, precise, full 5-axis machining. This capability combines with high-speed SGI.5 motion control software in the Makino Professional 6 CNC to maintain the tightest tolerances and quality requirements and ensure accurate blending of 3D surfaces, even during simultaneous 5-axis motions. All of these attributes are essential in the manufacture of modern dies, moulds and components of intricate geometry.

Designed to maximise working volume and load capacity, the compact D200Z accommodates workpiece sizes up to 300 mm in diameter, 210 mm tall and weighing up to 75 kg. The X, Y, Z axis travels of 350 mm, 300 mm and 250 mm respectively feature rapid traverse and cutting feed rates of 60 m/min. The machine utilises a lightweight B-axis structure with 0 to +180 degrees of tilt at 100 rpm. Both the B-axis and 150 rpm, 360-degree C-axis table feature direct-drive motors for accurate, high-speed operation.

Wide base castings and core-cooled ballscrews serve as a platform for enhancing overall process stability. The HSK-E50 spindle is designed with a core and jacket cooling system to control thermal growth, deflection and vibration during high-speed machining operations. As a result, the machine extends tool life in addition to providing exceptional surface finish.

With flexible tool capacities and automation capabilities, such as the 100-tool capacity magazine with automatic tool changer and multi-pallet system, the D200Z can achieve utilisation rates of more than 80 per cent for high levels of throughput and fast return on investment.

HORIZONTAL MACHINING CENTRE MATCHES 30-TAPER PRODUCTIVITY

The speed and agility normally associated with a 30-taper production centre has been built into Makino's new HSK-A63 horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC), the a40 SE. The 4-axis machine will also be launched in the UK at MACH 2022.

A high rate of change of axis acceleration, or jerk, delivers industry-leading speed in the HSK-A63 machine sector. Additionally, the inertia of the 22 kW / 91 Nm spindle is two-thirds that of the spindle in the similarly sized model in Makino’s standard HMC range. Side-by-side comparative tests against a couple of competitive, high-speed HMCs showed cycle time savings from 10 per cent up to one-third, depending on the type of component as well as the number of operations and tools involved and the frequency of table indexing.

Minimisation of idle time and maximisation of productivity when the tool is in cut were the guiding principles during development of the machine. Designed for taking light cuts from near-net-shape, non-ferrous components, it is aimed at high-volume producers and users of aluminium and zinc die castings. Axis travels are 560 x 640 x 640 mm, the rotary table has 0.001 degree indexing and maximum table load is 400 kg.

One of the biggest drivers of per-piece production cost is the cycle time. It not only dictates the number of machines required, but also has far-reaching cost implications affecting labour, floor space, utilities and tooling. The a40 SE features a collection of innovative technologies, known as Makino’s Intelligent R.O.I. design, for slashing unproductive non-cutting times. Various automation options are available to reduce cost per part still further.

The direct-drive spindle accelerates from zero to 20,000 rpm in 1.5 seconds and the elevated speed allows the use of PCD tooling and fine drills. Rigid tapping at 6,000 rpm combined with fast spindle acc/dec reduces tapping times per hole by 0.5 to 0.7 second compared with typical 400 mm HMC solutions, while rapid traverse in the linear axes is 60 m/min, up to 30% faster than similar machines on the market. Additionally, Makino’s inertia active control evaluates component, fixture and tool weights to increase axis acceleration as the load on the table and tool weight decrease.

The a40 SE uses proven systems from Makino’s 1-Series horizontal machining centres. Single-piece X- and Z-axis slideway covers, central trough chip and coolant management and dual-supports for the automatic tool change (ATC) mechanism serving the 60-station tool magazine are noteworthy design features. Vision-type broken tool detection supports unattended operation by validating the condition of the cutting tool after each ATC in 0.1 second, seven times faster than using a probe-type system.

Dedicated cleaning nozzles wash the tool taper with filtered coolant at the time of each tool change, ensuring contamination-free tool clamping. Three-stage coolant filtration with a 20-micron hydro-cyclone eliminates sludge in the coolant tank, common when machining non-ferrous materials, extending the time between coolant system cleaning and maintenance.

In evidence also at the show will be the manufacturer's Industry 4.0 package of software tools, MPmax, for real-time process monitoring and data management. With the ability to connect a multiple-machine network to a centralised computer, it allows manufacturers to retrieve, store and analyse high volumes of data in real time, enabling detection of and reaction to bottlenecks on the fly, whether it relates to underperformance or process errors.


WORLD'S FASTEST WIRE EDM MACHINE


New also from Makino will be a wire-cut electric discharge machining (EDM) centre, the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME, which in addition to using standard wire from 0.1 to 0.3 mm is optionally able to run the largest diameter wire - 0.4 mm - of any machine on the market. The wire is coated and distinct from the uncoated brass wire that is commonly used in industry.

The extra wire thickness together with the use of a second, booster generator in the machine allows two to three times higher productivity and heavier duty machining compared with using a standard 0.25 mm wire. Thicker wire also allows a slower unspool speed, so there is no increase in wire consumption rate. The demonstrations on the NCMT stand (Hall 19, stand 120 and 130) will be the machining of a tall keyway together with a comparison of machining with 0.4 mm wire and other diameters in a set time, assisted by dual pumps delivering high pressure and volume flushing.

Part of Makino’s popular U-Series wire EDM machine platform, the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME uses a new Bedra copper core wire with a double layer coating having controlled zinc donation. It has been optimised for use with Makino's generator and is exclusive to the new machine, promoting fast cutting at a reduced wire speed, leading to lower manufacturing cost. Areas of application include aerospace and medical component machining, separating additively manufactured parts, machining tall moulds and dies and tackling tough nickel alloys.

The U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme also features Makino’s HyperDrive Extreme wire control to raise speed and performance. The system employs servo motor tensioning that provides both jet and jet-less auto threading modes and expands the range and stability of wire tension to overcome the difficult job of reliably threading high tensile strength and therefore stiff wire.

The machine has a cutting conditions library developed to provide an optimum combination of speed, accuracy, surface finish and wire consumption for both sealed and poor flush applications. Settings for two-pass machining have been developed to provide optimal productivity.

Additionally, to reduce maintenance costs, the machine features long-life energisers that dramatically extend the service life of this consumable. To improve ease of use and productivity, the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme has the intuitive Hyper-i twin-screen control that includes advanced functions to support the needs of operators at all skill levels.

The machine is delivered as standard with HyperConnect Industry 4.0 network connectivity for remote machine monitoring and interlinking of all manufacturing information. It is also Athena voice-enabled, allowing hands-free control and simplifying training for novice operators.

Two further Makino EDM machines will be on show. One will be a second wire-cut machine, the U3i, which is also new to MACH having been shown for the first time at EMO 2019. It features the ability to navigate the control features and utilise the Makino Hyper Connect function to access the WireEDM CAM system in the office. The machine features jet-less threading and the same HyperDrive Extreme wire drive system as described above. Diverse automation options are available including a collaborative robot (cobot) for loading and unloading.

There will also be an EDAF3 die sinking EDM machine, which will be shown eroding seal slot features and side sparking as well as demonstrating surface finish and vector machining.

Adhesive workholding - Blue Photon

Completing the exhibits on the stand will be the a photo-activated adhesive system from the US, Blue Photon, for which NCMT is sole European agent. The method is ideal for securing awkwardly shaped parts to allow maximum access to tools for tight-tolerance machining or inspection.

The process involves applying an adhesive that is cured by ultraviolet light via an LED spot curing system. After machining is complete, the adhesive contact points can be sheared to free the workpiece by rotating the gripper pins in the fixture plate with a spanner. The residual adhesive can subsequently be removed by application of hot water.

Use of the technique is predicted to grow due to its ability to hold components securely with a shear resistance of up to 200 kg per gripper point, while allowing cutters excellent all-round access for machining on five sides. Unlike magnetic clamping systems, it can be used to secure non-ferrous metallic parts including ceramics and composites.

Blue Photon is ideal, for example, for clamping a turbine blade to enable the fir-tree and wedge face on the root as well as the shroud end features to be machined in one hit without tolerance build-up. Traditionally, due to clamp interference, multiple operations are required. A novel turbine blade fixture incorporating four gripper inserts has been designed by NCMT that, once adhesive has been applied and cured, holds a blade securely by one side of the aerofoil.

Tests have shown that the clamping force produced by the fixture can easily withstand the rigours of machining. Material removal rate actually exceeded that achieved when the blade was mechanically clamped, as in the latter case the pressure had to be limited to avoid component distortion and marking. Other advantages of Blue Photon clamping are good damping properties to suppress chatter, reduced cost of fixtures for holding complex parts and elimination of locating lugs on castings.