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EMO Milan: A Solid Performance


Excellent attendance and good technology on the floor characterized EMO's 2003 edition

By Brian J. Hogan


Activity at EMO 2003, held in Milan, Italy from October 21 to 28, supports the views of those who believe manufacturing is headed for a rebound in 2004. Approximately 155,000 visitors from 104 countries came to the Milan Fairgrounds to see products from 1648 exhibitors. In total, the show reportedly occupied 1,370,000 ft2 (127,275 m2) of floor space, and some 6500 machines of all types were on display. EMO makes it a point to admit students to the exhibition, and about 10,000 students came to the fairgrounds during the eight days of the show.

Sponsored by CECIMO (Committee for European Cooperation of the Machine Tool Industries), EMO has been held alternately in Hannover, Germany; Paris; and Milan. During a press conference, officials announced that the new sequence would see the show held in Hannover in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2013, and in Milan in 2009 and 2015. Paris is no longer in the schedule. One reason for the change is the prominence of the Italian machine tool industry. Looking at the world machine tool industry, Germany and Japan are first and second in producing equipment, while Italy is in third position. China is now in fourth place, and the US in fifth.

Out in the exhibition halls, EMO seemed to be a busy show. As is usual at such a big event, some exhibits were crowded, while in others personnel were sometimes reduced to conversing among themselves and drinking coffee. On the whole, however, EMO 2003 looked to this observer like a success.

For the most part, exhibits at the show indicated steady improvement in the performance of manufacturing technology of all types. The following descriptions are typical of the innovations on display in Milan's halls.  

Builders brought a range of new metalcutting machines to EMO. At the Mori Seiki (Irving, TX) booth (or stand, if you use the Euro term), there were 26 machines on display, five of them new. Prominent among the new Mori machining centers was the NV4000 VMC (described in this issue's Tech Front). The machine was shown without guards, and the unusual arch-shaped column drew crowds of observers throughout the show. Also on display was the new NH4000 HMC, which delivers 1.1-g feed acceleration on all axes and a 50 m/min rapid traverse. Employing box-in-box construction and the concept of driving through the center of gravity on the X axis, the NH4000 offers improved surface quality and a footprint of 90.6 X 147.8" (2.3 X 3.75 m). The new NH6300 employs the same design approach as the NH4000, but offers a 630-mm pallet.

Mori has been adding smaller Japanese builders to its portfolio of equipment in recent years. In addition to Mori's latest designs, vertical-grinding systems from Taiyo Koki, precision automatic lathes from Tsugami-Mori, and a small machining center from Roku Roku were shown. Mori Seiki's Digital Technology Laboratory (West Sacramento, CA) was also represented, and put the company's new Tool Management System (TMS) on display. This system constantly updates tool life using the CNC, and makes tool life information available at a machine's control. Mori personnel say the company's goal is to be able to go from machine tool concept to first production item in three months. Mori Seiki's exhibit was the largest at the show, and it was consistently busy.

Across the aisle from Mori Seiki was the only slightly smaller space occupied by Deckel Maho Gildemeister. (Schaumburg, IL). The company had 30 machines at the show, of which six were shown for the first time. The new DMC 75 V Linear is a VMC that employs linear drives on all axes. Options can expand the DMC 75 V to a simultaneous five-axis machining center. Linear drives provide 2-g acceleration on all axes and maximum rapid traverse speeds of 90 m/min. Five-axis performance is achieved by a swivel axis in the spindle head in conjunction with a CNC rotary table. These two axes have direct drives. DMG uses the Heidenhain iTNC 530 controller on the new machining center, and a software tool called the application tuning cycle (ATC) automatically optimizes machining parameters to the surfaces, speed, and precision required, and integrates them into the workpiece program.

Other equipment exhibited by DMG includes the DMC 100 U universal machining center, which has traverses of 1000 mm on all axes. It uses the patented duoBlock concept, which combines a rigid machine bed with three-point support, and a solid rear wall with threefold guide for the X carriage. Rapid traverse in all axes is 60 m/min.

EMO attendees kept the DMG exhibit well crowded. It seemed that visitors to Mori Seiki and DMG were rolling back and forth, looking at equipment on both sides of the aisle. And the two companies provided plenty for them to see.

At Chiron's (Charlotte, NC) exhibit, visitors gathered around the Chiron Vision machining center. The Vision's axes achieve rapid traverse speeds to 120 m/min, acceleration to 3 g, and what Chiron calls vectorial axis acceleration of 5.2 g. With a chip-to-chip time of 1.2 s, Vision is equipped with parallel kinematics and linear motors for X and Y movements. Both axes move independently of each other, and control the movement of the main spindle with their interaction. Spindle speeds range to 40,000 rpm.

Offering rapid traverse of 120 m/min and acceleration of 5.2 g on the vectoral axis, Chiron's Vision employs parallel kinematics on its X and Y axes.  

The Chiron Vision isn't a big machine--it has a footprint of 2.3 X 1.15 m. A two-axis NC swivel rotary table allows the Vision to perform five-axis milling. Tool change is carried out by a pick-up system with a changing time of approximately 0.5 sec. The chain magazine is integrated into the machine base, and covered for protection against chips. Designed for HSK 40 tools, it accommodates as many as 40 tools.

On display by the Schliefring group, Studer's Stratus M multitasking machine demonstrated ID/OD grinding and turning in one piece of equipment. Its spindle functions as the loader for the system to make flat parts and parts ranging from 2 to 6" (51 - 152 mm) in diam. Studer (Thun, Switzerland), one component of the Schleifring group, will build all cylindrical grinders now made by fellow group member Schaudt-Mikrosa. Studer machines are available from United Grinding Technologies, Miamisburg, OH.

Studer's Easyload is a new loading system for the company's S31 and S32 grinders. It's intended for contract manufacturers, and should price out at less than $100,000. Easyload can enable a grinder to achieve true untended operation, and can be used on any of the six universal grinders made by Studer.

Toyoda and Mitsui Seiki have formed a new company, called Toyoda Mitsui Europe (Krefeld, Germany) to offer products in Europe. At EMO, the new company introduced the FH-R Series HMCs. The FH630-R is a boxway machine designed for high-precision applications and heavy metal removal. It offers acceleration of 0.5 g and rapids of 48 m/min. This series of machines is equipped with a 50-taper, 110-mm diam, 6000-rpm spindle. Also introduced at EMO, the FH-S Series HMC employed linear guides and offers a 15,000-rpm spindle in 40 or 50-taper size. Acceleration is 1 g with a rapid rate of 60 m/min.

The company's new GU5R cylindrical grinder, a three-in-one universal machine, supports three grinding wheels and rotates between straight, angle, and ID grinding without changing part setup. The GU5R achieves table straightness to 0.0003 mm over 50 mm, or 0.002 mm over the length of the table (650 mm).

Hermle (Franklin, WI) presented its new Universal U 1130 to the tool and moldmaking market. Available in three, four, or five-axis models, the machine provides rapid traverses of 30 m/min in X and Y, and 20 m/min in Z. The main spindle's center is located away from the center of rotation, so that when the spindle changes from the vertical to horizontal position, it moves close to the table clamping surface. Thus the user doesn't need to place a support plate under flat parts.

Yamazaki Mazak (Florence, KY) introduced eleven new machines at its EMO exhibit. Among these new products were two new additions to the company's "e"-series multitasking machines. The "e" 800V/5 has a 500-mm square table or 610-mm chuck and a twin pallet changer system to optimize untended operation. It can handle maximum workpiece dimensions of 730 X 1000 mm and a maximum machining diameter of 730 mm. The milling spindle is rated for 22 kW and 12,000 rpm, and the machining center spindle for 30 kW and 1000 rpm. Rapid traverse rate is 50 m/min.

The Integrex "e" 1060V/8 handles workpieces to 1250 X 1250 mm, and maximum machining diameter of 1250 mm. It has a 37-kW, 10,000-rpm rotary tool spindle, a machining center spindle of 37 kW and 10,000 rpm, and a rapid traverse rate of 40 m/min. It's designed for turning and milling larger diam workpieces and carries tables to 1 m2 or 1-m-diam chucks.

Mazak Nissho Iwai Europe also used its 3-D laser technology in an unusual way at the show. They employ their laser cutting machines to make fixtures for welding and metalcutting, and also to make prototype dies.   

Users provide a CAD model to the Mazak system, which then recognizes the surface that a fixture must support. The laser cutting system then (for example) slices the parts for the fixture out of mild steel of appropriate thickness, and the parts are assembled like the pieces of a puzzle. Mazak says the system can produce a fixture in 2 - 3 hr. These fixtures might be prototypes, but they can also be used in a production setting. A prototype die can be built up in a similar fashion by dividing the die into a series of flat plates, cutting those plates out of flat material, and then stacking them.

Indicative of the work being done in the Italian machine tool industry is the new Vertimac rotary transfer system from Riello Sistemi (Minerbe, Italy). Equipped with a 10-station rotary table and 181 CNC electrospindle heads, its model E 7k16 N heads have 180-mm-diam quills and Z-axis strokes of 160 mm. The 70-mm spindles are powered by 7.5-kW motors and operate to 6000 rpm.


This article was first published in the January 2004 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. 

Published Date : 1/1/2004

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