MG Mori’s 2017 annual press conference in Pfronten, Germany, set the course for the future of the Global One Company in what is expected to be a highly competitive year.
Machine tool orders for 2016 reached a record high of €2,369.9 million, up 4% compared with a global machine tool market that declined 1.7%.
Masahiko Mori, president of DMG Mori Co. Ltd., and Christian Thönes, chairman of the executive board, DMG Mori AG, detailed plans for new organizational sales and service structure, streamlining its operations, and strengthening its additive manufacturing and digitization capabilities.
The company has acquired a majority interest in Realizer GmbH (Borchen). The bed-style selective laser melting (SLM) process extends DMG Mori’s additive manufacturing capability, which includes the nozzle-style powder technology of its Lasertec 3D product lines. As a pioneer of the powder bed SLM process with more than 20 years experience, Realizer has advanced the technology to the level of mass production. Future development and assembly will take place in Borchen and at DMG Mori in Bielefeld.
The annual Open House drew more than 9000 visitors, who viewed some 80 high-tech exhibits in the 8500 m² factory and display area. Three world premiere products were shown with the promise of more products to come at EMO later this year. The Lasertec 30 SLM is the first result of the collaboration with Realizer in producing a generative additive manufacturing machine with a build volume of 300 mm. The DMU 50 third-generation five-axis machining center features the speedMaster spindle and either Celos and Siemens CNC or Heidenhain CNC. The CLX 350 universal turning center features more than 50 customer-specific options, including new technology cycles for easy tool monitoring.
DMG Mori has founded a start-up company, ISTOS (Düsseldorf), to expand its digitization expertise to support its customers and companies outside of the machine tool industry in handling digital transformation. ISTOS stands for Innovative Software Technologies for Open Solutions. For DMG Mori customers, ISTOS will be the connecting link from an open network across all machines to an integrated digital factory. Basis for digital integration is Celos, DMG Mori’s app-based control and operations software. With a current share of 85% in ISTOS, DMG Mori is creating an open structure for further partners and encouraging strategic investment resulting in digital alliances, possibly even across sectors. The ISTOS team currently comprises 15 experienced IoT experts.
Since the first of the year, DMG Mori AG has been managing its home market of Germany, which also includes the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian and Chinese markets. DMG Mori Co. Ltd. is responsible for its home market of Japan, which also includes the US and the remaining regions in Asia and the Americas.
DMG Mori has closed Dixi in Le Locle, Switzerland, its Shanghai factory, and has decided to sell Tobler in Louves, and transferred Chiba to IGA. The highest manufacturing accuracy that produced Dixi jig boring machines has been captured in µmPrecision technology that is available in three models.
A long-established partnership between DMG Mori and Haimer has gotten even closer. Haimer has acquired the Microset GmbH tool presetting technology from DMG Mori and since January 1 the company has been known as Haimer Microset GmbH. All DMG Mori Technology and Solution Centers as well as suppliers’ works throughout the world will be equipped exclusively by Haimer with products in the field of tool presetting, balancing, and shrinking, including shrink chucks and toolrooms.
A new Medical Excellence Center in Seebach will provide integrated manufacturing solutions and technology support, including customized developments and consultation as well as training courses and seminars. Processes and machining using ultrasonics and lasers, as well as five-axis simultaneous machining, will be developed for materials as diverse as titanium, cobalt chrome, and ceramics.
US Manufacturing Strengthens
US manufacturing strengthened in February, attaining its best level in 30 months, the Institute for Supply Management said.
The Tempe, AZ-based group said in a monthly report that its PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, rose to 57.7% last month from 56% in January. It was the highest PMI since August 2014, when the index reached 57.9%. February was also the sixth consecutive monthly increase for the index.
“I don’t see why we can’t continue this kind of pace over the next several months,” Bradley Holcomb, chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said on a conference call with reporters.
The PMI was bolstered by gains in orders and manufacturing output. The group’s New Orders Index was 65.1%, the highest since December 2013 and its Production Index was 62.9%, the highest since March 2011.
The ISM report is based on a survey of 350 purchasing and supply executives in 18 industries. A reading above 50% indicates expansion and below 50% contraction. The PMI has been above 50% for 11 of the past 12 months and averaged 52.8% during that period.
For the February PMI, 17 of the 18 surveyed industries reported expansion, including textiles, machinery, primary metals, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, miscellaneous manufacturing and petroleum and coal products. The only industry reporting contraction was furniture.
“We continue to see strength around the auto industry,” said Steve Menaker, industry leader for consulting firm RSM US (Chicago). There is, he said, “at least the feel of sustained demand for automobiles.” The energy sector may improve “as oil prices firm up,” Menaker said.
ISM said 16 of the 18 industries reported gains in new orders, including primary metals, machinery transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, miscellaneous manufacturing and petroleum and coal products. No industry reported a decrease in orders last month, the group said.
With the Production Index, 14 industries had higher output, including machinery, primary metals, transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, miscellaneous manufacturing and petroleum and coal products.
The group’s Employment Index softened last month but was still in positive territory. The index was 54.2%, down from 56.1% in January. ISM said 10 industries had job gains, including machinery and petroleum and coal products. Five industries reported job cuts, including miscellaneous manufacturing and transportation equipment.
—Senior Editor Bill Koenig
BIG Kaiser Forms Technical Alliance with Team Penske
BIG Kaiser (Hoffman Estates, IL) said it has formed a technical alliance with NASCAR’s Team Penske. As the “Official Performance Technical Partner of Team Penske,” BIG Kaiser said it will bring its most advanced technology to Team Penske in order to maximize production capacity.
BIG Kaiser will provide Team Penske with its latest CNC toolholding, presetting and boring equipment for use within the team’s machining department that produces elements used on its Ford Fusions racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and its Ford Mustangs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The high-precision boring equipment will significantly increase precision while reducing time and waste of machined parts, BIG Kaiser said in a statement.
Ricardo, LIFT Announce Project
Ricardo Defense Systems LLC (Van Buren Township, MI) and Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT; Detroit), a Manufacturing USA institute, announced the launch of a $7.5 million joint project to address persistent rollover issues related to the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).
The initiative’s goal is to limit risk to soldiers’ wellbeing and ensure mission successes by identifying and deploying a new reliable alternative to documented braking and stability problems in the current HMMWV configuration.
Ricardo has developed a modified commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ABS (Antilock Braking System)/ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system for the HMMWV. The system includes ABS/ESC functionality and improved brake calipers, pads and rotors—the system may reduce fatal rollovers by up to 74%.
LIFT will help support further development of the Ricardo system while also examining lightweighting system components with advanced casting techniques and metal matrix parts. Every pound saved equates to improved mobility performance, fuel economy and logistics trail.
Makino Acquires Global EDM Supplies
Makino Inc. (Mason, OH) agreed to acquire EDM consumables supplier Global EDM Supplies. Makino said in a statement the transaction will expand the company’s SST Consumables business.
“We are very pleased to continue our growth in the consumables business through the merger of Global EDM Supplies,” Don Lane, CEO of Makino Inc., said in the statement.
Headquartered in the same city as Makino, Global EDM Supplies is a supplier of top-quality EDM technologies and turnkey application solutions.
Ford to Build Wind Tunnel Complex
Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) said it will begin construction this year of a $200 million wind tunnel complex as part of efforts to improve design of its vehicles.
The wind tunnel operations will be contained in a building of about 135,000 ft2 (12,500 m2) on a 13-acre site in Allen Park, MI, near the automaker’s headquarters and other testing facilities.
The new complex will include a rolling road aerodynamic tunnel; a simulation facility with airflow up to 200 mph (322 km/h); and a climate chamber.
Renishaw to Move to New HQ
Renishaw Inc. is preparing to move into a new 133,000 ft2 (12,356 m2) office and warehouse facility in West Dundee, IL, about 40 miles from Chicago.
The two-story facility will be the company’s new North American headquarters, but also includes space for product development, testing, warehousing and distribution, according to a statement. It includes the company’s new US Additive Manufacturing Solutions Center, part of Renishaw’s network of global Solutions Centers, opening over the next year.
The centers are designed to provide venues where the additive manufacturing adoption process can be accelerated. “We can give companies cost-effective, hands-on experience of metal additive manufacturing, combined with application engineering support to optimize their design, and postprocessing capabilities to ensure that it performs as it should,” David McMurtry, chairman and CEO of Renishaw, said in the statement.
Renishaw plans to be fully relocated by October.