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Machine Tool Builders Showcase New Levels of Productivity at EMO Hannover

By Dave Arnesen Contributing Editor

At EMO Hannover 2017 there were many new cutting tool products showcased, plus there were new cutting tool developments for approximately 130,000 attendees to learn about.

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Greenleaf Corporation’s XSYTIN-1.

Greenleaf Corp. introduced its XSYTIN-1, a new, phase-toughened ceramic insert grade, complementing its line of ceramic insert cutting tools. According to the company, XSYTIN-1 is engineered to machine more materials than any other ceramic grade in the industry today. It is designed to mill, turn and groove the most difficult materials on the market at extreme feed rates with the high surface footage of ceramic inserts. XSYTIN-1 is available now in a wide variety of ANSI/ISO geometries.

The strongest ceramic insert grade ever produced by Greenleaf, XSYTIN-1 is ideal for use in interrupted cuts, removal of scale, roughing, semi-finish and finish cuts in heat-resistant superalloy materials, cast irons, nodular irons, ductile irons, steel alloys and stainless steels. The structure of this new phase-toughened ceramic exhibits wear resistance and thermal shock resistance, which makes XSYTIN-1 a very predictable, high-performance product. The company, where it has introduced the grade to users, was able to provide significant savings in tool cost.

XSYTIN-1 is said to revolutionize the ceramic cutting tool market by expanding into application areas where, until now, ceramics have not been an option and significantly improves the areas where ceramics have been traditionally applied.

With the Walter Cut MX, Tübingen-based Walter AG has designed a tool for grooving and parting off that retains attributes from earlier systems while eliminating weaknesses. Its indexable inserts each have four precision-ground cutting edges, the three chip former types GD8, CF5 and RF5, and new Tiger·tec Silver PVD cutting tool materials. The self-aligning, tangential clamping system and the dowel pin location in the insert seat provide stability, which in turn allows for high repeat accuracy and process reliability. They also prevent the inserts from being incorrectly fitted.

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The Walter Cut MX.

The chip control offered by the CF5 sintered chip former geometry makes it a good choice for many users. Cutting depths of up to 6 mm and cutting widths of between 0.8 and 3.25 mm are available in Walter’s standard range. The efficiency of the system means only one type of cutting insert is required for both the left- and the right-hand tool holder.

Mapal presented a new series of cutting materials for ISO indexable inserts, as well as “press-to-size” inserts for the boring of steel, stainless steel and heat-resistant cast steel, to be used in turbochargers, for example. Combination tools and the new ISO indexable inserts allow users to achieve better cost-effectiveness, resulting in a clear reduction of the cost-per-part.

For the new ISO indexable inserts, Mapal has not only developed optimum coatings on their in-house coating line, but also optimized the carbide substrate of the inserts and the edge rounding for machining. PVD- or CVD-coated cutting materials can be used. CVD-coated ISO indexable inserts are the standard for all boring processes offering high wear resistance. They offer the potential for a significant increase in cutting speed and productivity, even in dry machining applications. PVD-coated cutting materials are available for extremely challenging conditions, such as interrupted cuts or unstable machine ratios.

In both cast iron machining and steel machining, significantly better results are achieved when boring with the new ISO indexable inserts than with those previously used. In cast iron machining, a new series of cutting materials mean an increase in tool life of up to 100% (depending on the application). When machining steel and turbochargers, the increase is, on average, 50% greater. In production, cost-per-part is reduced accordingly.

Builders Add Capability to Machines

Faster and more precise, the new compact DZ08 FX Precision+ by Chiron is designed for efficient 5-axis machining. The double-spindle machine works with five simultaneously controlled axes and linear direct drives in the X/Y/Z axes. These drives provide faster spindle acceleration. Compared to the previous model, this machining center is said to produce aluminum components 20% to 50% faster. The two milling spindles, each with 14 kW of power, accelerate to 40,000 rpm in only 1.9 sec. In rapid feed, they reach a speed of 75 m/min (X/Y) and 100 m/min (Z). The results are chip-to-chip times of about 3.0 sec. and a tool change in about 0.8 sec.

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Okuma’s MU-S600V machine concept.

Okuma’s new MU-S600V machine concept uses only a single agile machine instead of a variety of machine tools previously required for production of diverse products manufactured in low quantities. Changes in production batch size as well as single to multi-machine setup changes are easily accommodated.

With a machine width of 1,400 mm, the ultra-compact MU-S600V can be connected to a potentially infinite number of additional units to form an intelligent, highly automated production line. Manufacturers are free to design a production line layout to meet the specific demands of their production. After each processing step, the workpiece is passed on from one unit to the next via the machine’s robotic table. This transfer is performed entirely without external automation equipment or manual interference. MU-S600V enables high-performance multi-surface 5-face machining of workpieces up to 600 mm. Its 115/11 kW spindle handles steel, aluminum, heat-resistant castings and other metals.

As reported by EMO, Okuma had more than 400 inquiries by day two of the show, and this trend has continued very nicely,” commented Norbert Teeuwen, president and COO at Okuma Europe GmbH (the European subsidiary of Okuma Corporation, Japan).”

Turn-Mill Advances

One highlight from STAMA at EMO was the MT 838 TWIN 2-spindle mill-turn center. Shown milling and turning turbocharger housings, the double-spindle machine with two U-axes completed the cycle rapidly, reducing cycle time by 25%. The 38 series mills with 65 kW, a torque of 400 Nm at up to 10,000 rpm. The machine offered a small footprint and high chip-cutting capacity with large HSK-A100 toolholders. The tool magazine with 40 or 64 places handles a tool weighing up to 18 kg – with constant chip-to-chip times of only 3.3 sec. This machine was an example of doing more in one clamping; the two spindles doubling production while saving cost compared to two-single spindle machines. This capability density is what production users are increasingly seeking from machine builders.

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Dr. Markus Flik, CEO of Chiron Group.

“The market is evolving due to enhanced requirements regarding productivity, flexibility, tighter tolerances, said Dr. Markus Flik CEO of Chiron Group. “Customers are faced with unpredictable volumes, and so demand greater flexibility in production systems including repurposing of existing machining centers, to include automation, which is where we have been dedicating resources.” Up to ¾ of Chiron business is turnkey installations, mainly with 5-axis machining, so that only one clamping is required.

“As to i4.0, we look at what will provide the customer a tangible benefit, such as greater flexibility, higher productivity, quality and uptime. We are monitoring over 250 installations through our DATALine platform. It is important that we do not get carried away by what is technically feasible, but keep our eye on what is going to provide tangible benefits to the customer.”

6-Sided Complete Machining

With the smallest footprint in its class—16.3 m²—DMG introduced the productive NTX 2500 with a main spindle (10” chuck) with 4,000 rpm and max. 599 Nm, optionally also available with 8” and 12” chuck equipped with the compactMASTER Turn & Mill spindle with length of 350 mm and torque of 122 Nm, the machine is capable of multi-tasking with the direct drive B-axis for 5-axis simultaneous machining of complex workpieces. The new machine combines high process stability and flexibility with a work area of 675 mm in the X-axis and +/- 150 mm in the Y-axis.

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The DMG NTX 2500.

The new Mikron Mill P 500 U introduced by Georg Fischer at EMO 2017 is designed for continuous machining of complex forms and tough materials while shortening process time for precision parts manufacturing for aerospace and automotive mold making. The machine was part of an interactive process flow demonstrating the production of automotive lighting. The solution included a six-axis Fanuc robot.

The Mikron Mill P 500 U provides 1.7 g acceleration, 36 kW high-speed spindle, rotary tilting table capacity of up to 600 kg. It can accommodate workpiece diameters up to 707 mm. Incremental, direct angle measuring systems mounted on the swiveling and circular axes guarantee high positioning and repeat accuracy. Automation solutions include direct robot loading of pallets to the table.

Turning Innovations

“The CTX 2500 | 700k is certainly the most stable as well the most powerful machine we have built in this class in the last 25 years at Gildemeister Drehmaschinen GmbH”, confirms Managing Director Harry Junger. For the first time, grooving up to a width of 12 mm and solid drilling with Ø 80 mm will be able to be carried out with process reliability.

With ø 366 mm turning diameter and 705 mm turning length in the case of the CTX 2500|700k, the new turning center offers enough space for a broad range of tools. The chuck size for the standard model is 250 mm with a bar capacity of 76 mm. The travel paths in the X-, Y- and Z-axis are 260 x 100 x 795 mm.

EMO 2017 also saw the world premiere of Tornos’ new SwissDECO 36 multitasking single-spindle lathe, designed for use in automotive, medical and dental, electronics and aeronautics due to its multiple machining and tooling solutions. Direct benefits of the SwissDECO, are optimized programming tools and ergonomics to speed up parts programming and shorten machine preparation and setup. This 36 mm production turning machine integrates a 12-position turret.

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Index’s turn-mill center, the G200.

Index demonstrated its 8-spindle multispindle CNC automatic lathe, which can completely machine even very complex parts in one operation. And, there are up to two pivoting synchronized spindles, each able to work on up to seven rear end machining tools. A new feature is that two rear end machining tools can work simultaneously on the workpiece. This can be used as a highly productive double four-spindle production solution. If the user makes this choice, he has in effect two four-spindle machines available of which each provides a synchronized spindle for rear end machining. Each cycle can then produce two finish-machined components from the machine, which cuts the production cycle time in half.

Index also introduced its new turn-mill center, the G200, a compact machine offering potentially up to 30% greater productivity — in the same footprint as the earlier generation. The redesign of the machine resulted in an increase of the maximum turning length to 660 mm, a higher performance milling spindle, and expanded live tool complement as well as the XPanel with i4.0 readiness. The machine offers flexibility and high-speed machining of both bar stock and chuck parts complete in one setup.

Production Systems

FFG showcased its solutions for producing higher efficiency combustion engines. The Specht machines from Mag, originally designed as high-performance machines for use in agile systems, have been enhanced with several functions to meet current automotive powertrain requirements. Both single and dual spindle models can be equipped with linear drives and a proprietary feed-out spindle. This configuration allows for various high technology special applications. Two of these were demonstrated at EMO: integrated honing and fine machining of coated cylinder liners and interpolation turning of turbo charger housings. The pre-machining and finish machining is performed on a Specht 600L with linear drives. The process was developed by Mag and Sturm in cooperation with several automotive OEMs, allows for significant weight reduction and improved engine performance compared to conventional cylinder liners.

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Specht’s model size 800.

The newly developed turbo charger machining process, presented on a Specht 500 DUO with pallet changer, is said to reduce cost per part. By replacing milling processes with interpolation turning wherever feasible, tool wear can be reduced by up to ten times. This process is possible with the linear axes and feed out spindle function on the dual spindle Specht. Another world premiere from the Specht series was the model size 800, for flexible high-performance machining of commercial vehicle cylinder blocks and heads.

The FFG group also developed a shaft machining cell with a vertical turning center, a coldforming machine, and a gear manufacturing center. These are connected via robot and equipped with several auxiliary functions, from integrated measuring and quality testing to chamfering and deburring. FFG is strategically developing the field of shaft and flange machining, adding its system engineering and automation expertise

Emag combined electromobility and Industry 4.0 in its stand to show how the companies of Emag are “facilitators” of technological change. For example, they had complete solutions available for the efficient production of the main components of electric drive systems. The group also demonstrated high-performance machines in operation, including world-firsts in the areas of turning operation, laser welding/joining and gear cutting. The Emag Group is also accelerating the digitalization of its production technology to establish intelligent factories. The stand had a dedicated area where visitors could test essential Industry 4.0 solutions. A main focus is the consistent usability of the software, designed to simplify the control, monitoring and analysis of production.

Gear production

Liebherr introduced the newly developed LC 280 α gear hobbing machine,” combining Liebherr quality with maximum flexibility and short delivery times. “Recently, the gear market has been experiencing a trend towards outsourcing,” reported Dr. Ing. Hansjörg Geiser, manager of development and design, Gear Cutting Machines. As a result of this shift, many suppliers are receiving orders for the soft machining of gears. With the LC 280 α, Liebherr has developed a new generation of gear hobbing machines for such short-lead time requests.

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Liebherr’s LC 280 α gear hobbing machine.

The LC 280 α was developed precisely to provide the ability to machine gears and shafts with a workpiece diameter up to 280 mm and a shaft length up to 500 mm, wet or dry machining. The hob head was also redesigned for increased flexibility and productivity, handling workpieces up to a module of 5 mm with spindle speed increased by 50% to 2250 rpm compared with the previous model.

Grinding

With the MFP 51 5-axis grinding machine Mägerle presented a new grinding center at EMO said to set new standards in terms of flexibility and equipment features.

In its basic version, the machine comes with an integrated tool changer in a gantry design with 66 positions. The scalable tool magazine can be flexibly loaded with various grinding wheels, diamond rolls, measuring probes and tools for drilling and milling operations.

Very short process times are achieved with the 12,000-rpm spindle and the overhead dresser integrated into the grinding support. The grinding wheels and diamond dressing rolls are simultaneously exchanged with a double gripper for the individual machining steps. The compact tool holding fixtures allow an efficient grinding process and the continuously dressed grinding wheel enables high removal rates with high profile accuracy over long cuts.

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Mägerle’s a new grinding center.

Another premier, the software, StuderWINfocus together with Fanuc control is said to provide a flexible scope of use. According to the company, the customer can design his program as flexibly as possible using micro functions and with STUDER standard grinding cycles, he has even more convenience and support. The uniform control platform guarantees program consistency on all machines running Windows operating systems whether the program is programmed directly on the CNC or generated offline with StuderGrind.

The conversion to the new control in the new S11 cylindrical grinding machine provides even more advantages for users of the compact production cylindrical grinding machine. Up to now, they were only able to work at grinding wheel speeds of 50 m/s (in exceptional cases max. 80 m/s). Today, with the combination of a Fanuc Control and StuderGrind, machining is possible with CBN grinding wheels and grinding speeds of up to 140 m/s. A new high-speed spindle has been designed especially for the S11. The S11 achieves an extremely high abrasion performance in a minimum amount of space.

The S11 is capable of typical C-axis applications such as thread and form grinding using a new version of the workhead with C-axis function in combination with the software modules StuderThread or StuderForm.

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