Makino Continues to Raise the Bar on Machining Technologies

Packed with information to help attendees advance moldmaking, and more, Makino’s Technology Expo shows the company’s commitment to its customers’ successes.


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Makino hosted its biennial Technology Expo on September 10 – 12 at its Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. As is customary, the event was packed with machining demonstrations and technical presentations given by Makino’s expert staff and special guest speakers, including Sho Fujita, Ph.D., chief digital officer and executive manager of S.I.T. Division of Makino; John Phillips, president of Phillips Precision Medicraft and Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of Harbour Results Inc.

Attendees viewed demonstrations of some of Makino’s latest high-precision machining technologies, including “the world’s fastest wire EDM machine” – Makino’s new U6 Wire EDM H.E.A.T. Extreme® – 0.016-inch wire enabled with ATHENA Voice Interoperability, the new F5 Pro6® Vertical Machining Center and MHmax™ - Makino’s new Machine Health Monitoring Software.

Makino divided its Expo’s focus into three main topics, one for each day of the event. Day one’s focus was “The Predictable Process,” and featured presentations about machine setups for predictable, repeatable wire EDM and die and mold milling processes. Other topics included tips for proactive elimination of downtime, Dr. Fujita’s keynote which provided a first look at the new future in Industry 4.0 technology, reducing piece part production costs through strategic application of five-axis machining strategies, automation and more.

Day two’s topic was Makino Medical Solutions with an afternoon presentation offering cost effewctive solutions for complex part geometry and challenging materials. There was also a session on choosing the right EDM consumables to optimize quality and productivity in both wire and sinker EDM applications.

Finally, on Day three, topics zeroed in on die and mold applications and how to optimize them. Makino presented its five-axis continuous milling and new tooling technology, which minimizes finishing and polishing times. Both days, Makino introduced the latest advances with its voice-controlled machine tools, namely ATHENA, which made quite a splash at IMTS in 2018 and is geared toward enhancing productivity for both new and experienced operators. In addition, Makino revealed its new wire EDM technology that it says will double cutting speeds without doubling wire consumption.

For those interested in exploring Makino’s supersized machine tool offerings, the company took them on an augmented reality ride during which they could “climb” in and around various machines to see special features and demos.

In addition to the abundant demonstrations and presentations, Laurie Harbour provided some insight and data that helped attendees to understand the current state of the mold and die industry and what can be expected over the next several months. Many sponsoring vendors were on hand with tabletop exhibits and presentations of their own, including Autodesk Inc., Mitsubishi, Big Kaiser, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Haimer USA, MasterCam, Tebis America, Zoller, Hirschmann, CAM-Tool, Erowa, Mann+Hummel and others.


  • Taper Angles and Wire EDM

    Software can help compensate for excessive erosion during taper cutting with wire EDM.

  • Electrode Effect on a Quality EDM Finish

    The production of fine surface finishes in the cavity does not come with the technological improvements of the EDM sinker unless an electrode material of higher quality is used.

  • Maintaining a Wire EDM Machine

    To achieve the ultimate capability and level of productivity from your wire EDM on a consistent, repeatable and reliable basis, regular maintenance is a required task.