DMG Mori is the combined sales and service operation for the currently separate firms of DMG Mori Seiki Co, Japan (formerly Mori Seiki Co) and DMG Mori Seiki AG, Germany (formerly Gildemeister AG). The two companies have been working together across sales, service, development, production, purchasing and finance since March 2009. There is already a cross-shareholding between the two, but they will become a single company in 2020, as announced in October last year (here
This joint activity was given a solid UK dimension when the two previously separate UK sales operations became DMG Mori Seiki UK in late 2012, with the official opening held in January 2013 (here
). The MACH 2014 exhibition in April (7-11) will be the pair's first major public outing in their new UK guise, in fact.
Combined sales for the two global machine tool makers are over £2.5 billion (DMG Mori Seiki AG, €2 billion/£1.645 billion [to 31/12/2012]; DMG Mori Seiki Co, ¥150 billion/£884 million [to 31/3/2013]), while their combined production capacity is put at 20,000 machines/year.
So, by volume, that puts the couple ahead of Haas Automation, which claims the position of the largest producer of CNC machine tools in the Western world; and by value puts them ahead of Japan's Yamazaki Mazak, which claims the position of "the world's largest producer of CNC metalcutting machine tools", (sales over €1.5 billion/£1.23 billion).
The DMG Mori Seiki AG turnover figure includes its energy products activity, so its machine tools' revenue is lower than the headline figure, at €1.175 billion/£966 million; but services related to machine tools are put at €790.5 million/£650 million, so, on combining these figures, the Yamazaki Mazak claim could be challenged, although DMG Mori Seiki AG makes no such challenge. Overall employee count for DMG Mori Seiki AG and DMG Mori Seiki Co is 10,400, with DMG Mori boasting 500 employees.
The unmistakeable overall message is that the two companies together are a major global force in the machine tool industry. Across the world, there are almost 500 DMG Mori machine tools in some 100 DMG Mori showrooms, staffed by the 500 employees, while there are also 50 technology partners.
The two companies have a combined product offering of around 200 machine models, although rationalisation to around 100 models is on the cards, with these machines produced at 19 machine tool manufacturing sites world-wide.
And with an R&D workforce of approaching 1,000 engineers, the frequent announcement of new products is a habit that only gathers pace, with the February Pfronten, Bavaria, Open House a major fixture on the calendar. Eight world premières were unveiled to an audience of 6,000+ visitors – that's just under a third of the number that will visit MACH 2014 next month. And they "come to learn what's new from DMG Mori, what innovations we have to offer", says Mori Seiki AG chairman of the board Dr Ruediger Kapitza.
The technological highlight this year was the Sauer Lasertec 65 Additive Manufacturing, a machine that combines traditional milling/toolchanging with additive manufacturing in the frame of a DMU 65 monoBLOCK machining centre. A development from DMG Mori Seiki AG company Sauer AG, the machine offers a unique proposition – the ability to create solids from powder and then machine them to the finished state.
First revealed at Euromold last December, the Lasertec 65 incporates a 2 kW diode laser system (glass fibre optic-transported beam), located to the right in the working envelope. Build rate, at 3.5 kg/hour, is 20x faster than for powder bed machines. Wall thicknesses of 0.1 mm to 5 mm can be built up, depending on the laser and the nozzle geometry, while complex 3D contours can also be generated in layers, without the need for supports. The machine's capacity is 650 mm diameter by 360 mm in height, with a maximum weight of 1,000 kg.
The laser head features an HSK back end, with the spindle picking it up from its location, which is currently within the working envelope. The use of a powder nozzle additive manufacturing system allows for a faster material build-up versus powder bed machines (which cannot machine), while such technology is "easily implemented within a machine tool", according to Friedmann Lell, Sauer GmbH sales director. Indeed, the technology could be incorporated into any number of DMG Mori machine tools.
At the Pfronten Open House, a demonstration, funnel-shaped part was shown being produced, via video (see video above). Approximately 150 mm high and 180 mm diameter at its widest end, it features annular spigots around the funnel's external wall and also has two flanged ends featuring drilled holes. Built from nothing from stainless steel powder and then fully machined, it takes some about 5 hours. The same part would take around 50 hours, using a powder bed machine; would need support structures added during build and, of course, would not be finished machined.
The machine on show at Pfronten was a 'project' – a functional study - not the finished machine. Currently only dry machining is possible, as the laser is not fully protected, but the final design will support coolant use, with full protection for the laser. That machine will be available around the middle of the year and will break cover at, first, the IMTS (Chicago, USA) and then AMB (Stuttgart, Germany) exhibitions. And Mr Lell says that five machines will be shipped this year. Unsurprisingly, the machine price is not yet fixed.
While a machine such as this could have been developed some years back, the reason for its development now is customer demand. There is no additive machine currently available that offers the surface quality and component accuracy that DMG cutting machines do: "So we developed an additive manufacturing machine for our customers that does give such quality and accuracy." And there is "unbelievable interest", with this emanating from Europe and the USA, Mr Lell offers.
Regarding the temperature of the additively produced features, if highest machined accuracy is required, then cooling must take place prior to cutting – the application of coolant to accelerate that process is a possibility, he says.
As for material properties, currently stainless steel is the trial material and features/parts produced demonstrate full density. "We are not finding any porosity," Mr Lells says, but adds that the company "is not yet the process expert".
The next material to be tested will be Inconel, which has long been used in additive manufacturing, so should present little problem, he suggests. Following that, aluminium is the next material on the agenda, but this does present greater challenges regarding porosity, so will require greater process development.
For the project machine, CNC programs are being generated via two systems: one for the additive element of the process and another for the cutting element. At launch of the production unit this year, there will be a single software system for programming, Mr Lell says, with the machine itself using Siemens CNC only.
As to the matter of process control/repeatability and consistency of component quality/performance, this will require further machine development. At the moment there is no process control. "For aerospace turbine or aircraft parts, if you make 1,000 parts, how do you avoid any failures? This is an open question. There will be process monitoring in the future, with many parameters involved. But there are many parts today that do not require this level of control," Sauer's sales director explains. It's the same situation for powder bed machines, of course, although there are efforts in this area under way already.
And the market for its Lasertec 65 Additive Manufacturing? Well, around 100 metal AM powder bed machines are sold annually. This is the first time a machine dedicated to manufacturing has been developed, so it's a new market. Its launch will "definitely give a push to the market" with its potential "tremendous", Mr Lell concludes.
BREAD AND BUTTER
But while the Lasertec 65 Additive Manufacturing is definitely a technological novelty with demand, the bread and butter product lines still see plenty of development, with the Pfronten event seeing eight world premières, as mentioned earlier.
Launched at EMO last September, the cross-product CELOS CNC interface, which boasts a smartphone, app-centred approach to interaction for a variety of tasks, was a highlight (see box item). Eighteen of the 66 machines at Pfronten saw this technology fitted and the first 20 machines with CELOS will be available for delivery from the second quarter of 2014. Key for DMG Mori is that CELOS now offers a uniform CNC interface across both companies' machines (box item below).
In addition to the control, the machine nomenclature 'CELOS' also encapsulates machine design. This sees units delivered in black or white, while distinctive look, feel, ergonomics and materials "play just as important a role as do ease of use and service friendliness", the company says. Within this: large viewing windows offer the best possible view of the work area; access facilities and the interior working area are designed to ease operators' ability to reach inside and ensure optimum chip disposal during the machining process; the safety glass windows can only be removed from the outside, benefiting service friendliness; and a finely textured coating in the premium area provides long life, scratch-resistant surfaces and better protection against damage in general, boosting long-term machine value. So the two companies' machine designs have now moved closer together visually.
Onto the eight world première products in full and these take in:
 .The CTX beta 800 TC
500 mm diameter by 800 mm length capacity, toolchanging, 5-axis simultaneous-capable mill-turn, offered at €219,900;
 The DMC 850 V and DMC 1150 V
, third-generation vertical machining centres, with X, Y and Z axes of 850, 520 and 475 mm, respectively, for the former and 1,150, 700 and 550 mm, respectively, for the latter. A 10,000 rpm, 303 Nm SK 50/HSK A100 motor spindle features, a 20-tool magazine is standard, with a 120-pocket as an option;
 Following the launch of the DMU 80 P duoBLOCK, a 5-axis vertical machining centre, at the EMO exhibition last September, the first DMG Mori horizontal machining centre in the 4th generation duoBLOCK series is now offered – DMC 80 H duoBLOCK
. Greater machine stiffness demonstrably results in up to 30% improved accuracy for this machine that has 800 by 850 by 1,050 mm in X, Y and Z, respectively. Spindle possibilities include a 44 kW, 288 Nm 12,000 rpm unit, the new powerMASTER 1000, with 1,000 Nm and 77 kW at 9,000 rpm, and the torqueMASTER gear-driven spindle, offering 1,053 or 1,424 Nm at 8,000 rpm at 37 or 44 kW respectively. SK 50/HSK 100 toolholders can be employed;
 The DMC 80 FD duoBLOCK universal machining centre
(and its sister the DMC 80 U duoBLOCK, but which is not a world premiere) benefits from a 30% improvement in core characteristics of precision, performance and efficiency via its fourth generation credentials. The claim is that it has 75% greater metal removal. The new FD adds integrated turning capability (40 rpm) to the DMC 80 duoBLOCK stable. It also features a new B-axis milling head, which boasts an extended swivel range of 250°, with a swivel of 70° in the negative direction. A larger axis bearing results in a 20% increase in stiffness, too. It features X, Y and Z travels of 800, 1,050 and 850 mm, respectively. PowerMASTER and TorqueMASTER spindles can be fitted;
 The DMU 270 P gantry machining centre
, with travels of 2,700, 2,700 and 1,600 mm in X, Y and Z, respectively. The machine is, effectively, a DIXI 270 high precision machine, but without the scraped slideway elements, so a less precise, but lower cost unit of the same capacity. The new machine is the bigger brother to the existing DMU 210 P, offering a 50% increase in the transverse direction and some 30% in the longitudinal and vertical directions. The work area is increased by 235%. In fact, with maximum workpiece dimensions increased to 2,800 mm diameter and 1,800 mm height and workpiece weight of 12,000 kg, it delivers "the highest figures in this machine class";
 The DMU 70 ecoline
extends this range that starts with the DMU 50 ecoline. It is a high accuracy universal machining centre for five-side machining, having X, Y and Z travels of 750, 600 and 520 mm, respectively. With a capacity of 800 mm diameter by 620 mm in height, the patented NC swivelling rotary table (-10°/+95°) takes loads up to 350? kg. A 12,000 rpm spindle and 32-position toolchanger are fitted as standard ;
 The already-mentioned 5-axis Sauer Lasertec 65 Additive Manufacturing
, presented as a concept machine.
Global facilities' expansion was also outlined. The DMG Mori headquarters in Winterthur, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, will be completed in October this year and will be home to some 200 staff and boasts a 1,000 m² showroom. The equivalent headquarters for Asia will open in Tokyo in July and feature a 1,350 m² showroom – each showroom will house some 30 machine tools. And in June a new DMG Mori technology centre will open in Italy, at the manufacturing site for production turning products. World première machine launches are promised at the various DMG Mori facility openings.
In Pfronten, Germany, a new assembly hall for very large, so-called XXL machines will be completed this year, with capacity for 12 DMU 600 machines/annually and offering a throughput time of 16 weeks. This doubles previous capacity for these machines that can handle parts weighing up to 40 tonnes.
Further afield, in Russia, in Ulyanovsk, a factory for Ecoline machines should open by the end of the year, having a capacity of 1,000 units and targeted at the Russian market. And the Tianjin, China factory, which came on stream last year, will, this year, commence production of Ecoline machines, in addition to the horizontal machining centres already produced there.
With its annual Pfronten event, DMG Mori never fails to hammer home its technology development and global expansion. This year was no exception.
CELLOS – smartphones meet CNC
CELOS will be provided on all new high-tech machines from DMG Mori, with the first 20 available for delivery from the second quarter of 2014. (German language video here
The CELOS CNC provides a uniform touch-screen interface across all machines from DMG Mori – not previously the case, as DMG Mori Seiki Co machines and DMG Mori Seiki AG machines drew on the separate heritages of the companies.
A current difference between Siemens and Mitsubishi-based CNC hardware is that the former still retains the traditional machine function panel, while the latter sports a touch-screen here, too.
Encapsulating CELOS CNC is the tag line 'From the idea to the finished product', meaning a CELOS system supports a greater scope of work than just either programming and controlling/running a machine.
The system is compatible with production planning systems (PPS) and ERP systems, as well as networkable with CADCAM software. Local or networked functions are accessible via Apps. The App icons are set out on a screen much as are similar icons on a smartphone. Indeed, the company says that "CELOS is as easy and intuitive to use as a smartphone". However, users can switch to traditional CNC control mode, with its familiar layout via the Control App - initially available with controls from Siemens (with Operate 4.5 on Sinumerik 840D solutionline) and Mitsubishi (with MAPPS V).
This App/smartphone layout is 'nice', but it is the functions behind the Apps that are said to be of "crucial additional benefit to the customer".
The Status Monitor App is the starting point for interaction between the operator and the machine. Here, CELOS displays up-to-date monitoring of the machine and process. It supplies important key performance indicators for the current order, as well as for the order progress. Moreover, it notifies the operator with special icons, as well as text messages, of any errors, problems or upcoming required maintenance work.
Job Manager and Job Assistant support the machine operator, with regard to network-integrated planning, preparation, optimisation and systematic processing of new machining jobs.
First, all production-related data for the NC program, workpiece, tools, clamping devices etc can be combined to form a machining job and instantly visualised via Job Manager. All documents, data and information required for an order can also be managed in a structured way. For example, the data can be quickly accessed during later processing or obtained for a repeat order.
With Job Assistant, orders can be systematically processed at a later stage. In this process, first of all the availability of all NC programs and equipment (tooling, fixtures, etc.) required for machining is checked. The operator is then guided through the set-up process and preparation of the machining job via a dialogue process. Appropriate queries and necessary confirmations ensure that the machine operator makes no mistakes. Only then is the go-ahead given to start machining. This ensures highly reliable manufacturing, even for more complex orders or more complicated components, suggests DMG Mori.
Job Manager and Job Assistant are suitable for differing company sizes, it is offered. Small companies with a high level of personal operator responsibility can benefit from the option of paperless production. On the other hand, networked large companies can organise and use the different skills of their employees via these two CELOS production applications. This is because a skilled worker can first single-handedly prepare all orders in Job Manager, with the machine operator then instructed and guided in detail by Job Assistant. Access rights can be organised via the customisable status via SMARTkey technology.
In all, 12 different CELOS APPs are currently available and can be started centrally via the App selector.
First published in Machinery, March 2014