A Focus on Technology, Not Just Machines

Beneath the sun and mountains of Pfronten, Germany, sits a 79,000 square-foot facility focused on technology, not just machines. And last week it was the site for DMG MORI’s annual Open House where 88 high-tech machines, six world premieres and an industry outlook were presented to visitors from around the globe, including me. Here I want to share a few of the highlights that just may be of interest to you.

Beneath the sun and mountains of Pfronten, Germany, sits a 79,000-square-foot facility focused on technology, not just machines. And last week it was the site for DMG MORI’s annual Open House, where 88 high-tech machines, six world premieres and an industry outlook were presented to visitors from around the globe, including me. Here, I want to share a few of the highlights that just may be of interest to you.

With its dates always at the beginning of the new year, this event serves as a nice indicator of the business year ahead, and according to Dr. Rudiger Kaptize, Chairman-Executive Board & CEO at DMG MORI AG and Executive Officer at DMG MORI Co. Ltd., the upcoming year “looks calm with no clear downward trend.” And with all the technology and innovation DMG MORI showcased during the week it’s hard not to get excited about the future.

One standout for me was the XXL Center that is dedicated to building 12 large machines per year and represents the company’s systems approach to improving its best sellers.  The machine that caught my eye (whose size alone gets your attention) was the DMU 600 Gantry linear, which is quite impressive for mold machining. This universal, high speed cutting machine is for five-side/five-axis machining of large workpieces and is said to set new standards in dynamics and surface quality.  Linear drives in the X, Y and Z axes permit highly dynamic finishing processes with optimal contour accuracy that yield significant productivity gains because post processing is greatly reduced. It’s made of a cast iron Y-crossbeam and X-traverse and the reinforced concrete side walls are part of the foundation. The standard version is designed for workpieces weighing up to 165 tons and a table measuring 16 x 10 feet in a work area of 20 x 12 x 5 feet.

Another highlight was the Lasertec 210 Shape for milling and laser texturing plastic injection molds up to 6.6 feet on one machine in one setup. A HSK-A63 or HSK-A100 interface allows changeover time from milling to laser operations in 5 minutes! This rigid machine permits unlimited design possibilities for geometrically-defined surface textures in free-form surfaces, does not require the use of chemicals, offers a fully digitized process chain and includes 3D texturing software from bitmap to the finished texture.

Advancements with the Lasertec 65 3D, the company’s hybrid laser deposition welding and milling machine for manufacturing, repair and coating, drew people to its display on the show floor. These include its now closed-loop process using the AM Analyzer that helps continually measure melt pool size and the laser powder to ensure a constant melt pool via a camera in the beam, multimaterial capability, two nozzle sizes (3mm and 1.6mm), exclusive hybrid CAD/CAM and an adaptive process control.

Other machine tool highlights include, the second generation of its CTX gamma 3000 TC, DMU 160 P and Ultrasonic 20 linear, the fourth generation of its duoBlock, the DMU 600 G linear and the Dixi 125. Celos + Industry 4.0 were also showcased to demonstrate the importance of integrating machines into a company via a Condition Analyzer that involves self-optimizing machines with more than 60 sensors that monitor temperature, vibration, lubricant and forces--X, Y linear guides with sensors for vibration and grease, Z linear guide with sensors for hydrostatic and compact guidance, bearing X,Y, Z axis with axial force sensors and a ball screw unit with a vibration sensor (axial and radial).

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