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By: Christina M. Fuges 12. September 2014

IMTS: A View from the Top Reveals Machine Craftsmanship from the Ground Up

Five of the 14 machines at YCM Americas' double-deck booth (Tustin, CA; Booth S-8450)  focus on the company’s exclusive five axis machining technology and range from small trunion to larger double column bridge designs.  Also on display are YCM’s high torque horizontal machining centers for heavy duty horizontal machining to high speed horizontal machining. Its high performance vertical machining centers for use in job shops as well as the aerospace, automotive, medical and die/mold industries are also on the floor. Another highlight are YCM’s larger machines, such as the NH 800B HMC, DCV 2018A-5AX double column machine and TCV 3000A-5AX traveling column machine.

All of this technology is evidence that YCM pays very close attention to industry trends and requirements, including horizontal and five-axis machine tool technology that enables customers to eliminate multiple setups in their machining processes, saving time and costs.

Top attractions at the booth include:

The DCV 2018A-5AX double column VMC for complex five-axis applications. Equipped with powerful, 18,000-rpm, 90-hp HSK-A63 taper, built-in motorized spindle, Heidenhain i-TNC530 with a 15.1-inch color TFT LCD screen and a five-axis simultaneous control. X axis travel: 86.65”, Y axis travel: 94.53”, Z axis travel: 30”; B axis +/- 105 degrees, C axis +/- 360 degrees.

The NXV 1680A VMC for general-purpose machining. Equipped with 12,000-rpm spindle speed, a 40-hp (205NM) IDD spindle BBT-40, MXP 200FA with manual guide. X axis travel: 64.0”; Y axis travel: 30.1” and Z axis travel: 27.6”.

The NH 450A for various types of horizontal machining, from job shops to automotive. Equipped with 15,000-rpm, 30-hp (Big-Plus spindle) BBT-40 taper spindle that delivers 148ft/lbs. [200NM] of torque. MXP 200FA with manual guide. X axis travel: 25.2”; Y axis travel: 24.0” and Z axis travel: 26.8”.

 


By: Christina M. Fuges 11. September 2014

IMTS: Automate Your Way out of the Skilled Labor Shortage

The GF Machining Solutions booth (Lincolnshire, Illinois, Booth S-8754) is showcasing a range of application-specific services and support as well as an entire product line from three- and five-axis high-speed, high-performance milling machines to three- and five-axis hole drilling systems to wire and diesinker EDMs to laser texturing and compact modular forms of automation.  

The company’s automated part-processing system on display includes an advanced pallet changing system on a Mikron HPM 800U high-performance machining center, a standalone robot paired with a GF AgieCharmilles CUT 2000S wire EDM and a fully automatic tool/electrode changer with a GF AgieCharmilles FORM 20 sinker EDM.

The highlight of the display is new System 3R Transformer automated cell technology, which is expandable and scalable allowing automation of one or two machines and then easy expansion to include up to 12 stations.

The basic components of the Transformer system are a robotic pallet changing unit and modular racks or rotating magazines that store pallets fitted with referencing chucks from System 3R. 

Together, the modular nature of the robotic handling, rail and magazine components and easily updated software enable a Transformer system to be expanded or modified in a few days. Its modularity and simple connectivity allows for the expansion of the rail system while the rest of the system continues to operate.

There are two control modes for the Transformer system: (1) the machine tool sends direct commands to the robot and (2) the use of WorkShopManager software that links all machining processes together.

The Transformer automation system is suited to lights-out production of small to medium size precision components in tool, die and mold building operations.

On the self-contained automation side is the five-axis Mikron HPM 800U, which is designed for the production of tools, molds and high-value parts. It features a sturdy, compact design with a large working space, an integrated pallet changer and tool magazine options that accommodate up to 210 tools.

Visitors to the booth also experience the automated FORM 20 sinker EDM equipped with an integrated Rotary Tool Changer (iRTC) that easily and automatically permits jobs requiring either multiple similar electrodes or several electrodes varying in size and geometry. 

 


By: Matthew Danford 10. September 2014

10,000 Reasons to Consider Additive Manufacturing

 

MC Machinery Systems marks the sale of its 10,000th Mitsubishi wire EDM in North America at this year's IMTS show, but a special plaque is far from the only highlight of booth N-6825. Even as the company celebrates the past, it’s looking toward the future with the unveiling of hybrid additive/milling technology that could prove just as revolutionary as EDM. “In the ‘70s, EDM was like magic, and today, laser sintering of powdered metals is viewed in much the same way,” says Greg Langenhorst, technical marketing engineer. “It’s taking away the restrictions of conventional machining.”

Langenhorst emphasizes that research into much-needed new materials is ongoing. However, he and marketing manager Pat Simon say the company is confident that North American manufacturers are ready to take advantage of the new Lumex Avance-25 hybrid machine, offered in partnership with machine tool builder Matsuura. Simon adds that the 10,000-EDM milestone speaks to the company’s focus on the needs of this market and its capability for service and support, both of which were critical factors in getting Matsuura on board in the first place. As was the case with EDMs, the machine is expected to interest moldmakers in particular (although the company is also targeting aerospace and automotive applications).

The purchasers of the aforementioned 10,000 EDM machines will all be listed on a large, commemorative display along one wall (buyers of multiple machines get multiple listings). The 10,000th went to TNT EDM, a tool and die manufacturer that purchased three MV2400s. Notable features of the MV Series—the company’s latest EDM line—include cylindrical drive technology (an alternative to flat-plate linear motors that is said to provide less heat, cogging and backlash), an improved power supply, and more reliable automatic wire threading in deeper cavities.   


By: Matthew Danford 8. September 2014

Readying Students for High-Tech Careers

A participant in FANUC’s new Certified Education CNC Training Program learns the ropes on the company’s NCGuide CNC simulation software.

This year’s Smartforce Student Summit is not only exposing a new generation to the wonders of manufacturing technology, but also unveiling a pathway to learning the skills of the trade. Among the highlights is a new education program from FANUC America that aims to have young professionals certified and ready to program CNC mills and lathes just as soon as they graduate.

Designed to impart the fundamentals of CNC machine setup, operation and programming, this training adds to the robotics education already available through the company’s Certified Education Training Program (CERT). The result is a more comprehensive, advanced automation educational offering for high schools, trade schools, colleges and universities with manufacturing diploma programs or STEM curriculum.

As is the case with robotics training, students participating in the FANUC Certified Education CNC Training Program learn the ropes from FANUC-certified instructors on the company’s own equipment. This involves writing, editing and proofing programs in NCGuide CNC simulation software, transferring the program to the CNC via USB stick, then performing setup and testing. Students also must pass an academic skills test to demonstrate competence.

The company says its own Robodrill VMCs are ideal for providing this hands-on education, but it also offers commodity equipment at what it says are “education-friendly” prices. For example, the CNC certification cart from Levil Technology is a portable, industrial-quality CNC milling machine equipped with a FANUC Series 0i Mate-MODEL D CNC. The cart can be rolled into any classroom and kept in storage when not needed, thereby eliminating the need for a dedicated workshop.

If you're at the show and you want to see this equipment in action, or gather more comprehensive information about the program, stop by the Student Summit in Hall C (North Building). At booths C-900 and 901, FANUC education resellers Lab Midwest, Aidex Williams Crow, and Integrated Systems Technology are demonstrating CNCs and robots. Representatives from Madison Area Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College and BIR Training Center are also available to discuss the FANUC Certified Education Robot Training Program at their schools.


By: Christina M. Fuges 8. September 2014

IMTS: The Need for Speed

One of the major highlights so far this week is Delcam’s Vortex high-efficiency area clearance strategy. Delcam (Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Booth E-3222) reports up to a 70-percent increase in Vortex roughing speed, depending on variables such as cutting tools, material and machine tool. Following its initial introduction in PowerMILL, Vortex has been added to FeatureCAM, PartMaker and Delcam for SolidWorks CAM systems. The latest enhancement is in the ordering of toolpaths to minimize lifts and air moves, which increases overall efficiency.  Visitors can see Vortex as well as a number of high-speed and high-efficiency strategies for five-axis in PowerMILL, Featurecam and PartMaker.

Continuing the speed theme, Delcam is also excited to share details about its sponsorship of the Bloodhound SSC (SuperSonic Car) adventure, a project whose goal is to set a land speed record by creating a vehicle capable of 1,000 mph in summer 2016 in South Africa. Visitors have a chance to experience the extreme sport through the Bloodhound simulator.

Delcam supported the project with its manufacturing software and expertise, and also produced vehicle components. Delcam partnered with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center with Boeing (AMRC) to manufacture the front suspension sub-assembly using Delcam PowerMILL’s Vortex machining strategy.  It produced vehicle components in its Advanced Manufacturing Facility at its Birmingham headquarters.

Visitors can see some of the parts, such as the steering support column, on display in the booth. Delcam Professional Services manufactured the steering support column that ensures the car remains on track during its world land speed record attempt. It was produced on a Hermle C50 UMT machining center.  



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