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COVID-19 Disrupts Planning, Not Advanced Technology

Jim Lorincz
By Jim Lorincz Contributing Editor, SME Media

Metal removal innovation searches for quality, productivity and versatility

The new-generation Cincom L212X, featuring the all-axis simultaneous Cincom System M70 Control as well as a 15,000-rpm main spindle.

The impact of disruptive technology and the benefits of Industry 4.0 digitization of controls, machines and processes have been fully embraced by the metal removal segment of advanced manufacturing. No one, however, could have foreseen how far reaching the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic would be on global supply chains, including trade shows. However, new technology and innovative applications continue to grow. The following is a sampling of opinions and product news on metal cutting technology.

Getting to the Other Side of the Bridge

The COVID-19 pandemic is only the latest in a series of challenges that manufacturing has faced. In April, Jim King, president and COO of Okuma America Corp., Charlotte, N.C., recounted some of the challenges the U.S. has faced and what can be learned from them. The following is an excerpt from that statement.

“As I think back through my career, there were many challenging events and hurdles along the way. But the coronavirus global pandemic is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. In times of crisis, looking back on lessons learned can be helpful as we find our way forward.” King recalled being out of the country in Canada when the 9/11 attacks occurred and having to spend the night until 2 a.m. in his car at the Blue Water Bridge crossing from Ontario to Michigan until the border was opened, allowing him to return to the U.S. and home.

“Fast forward to the financial crisis of 2008/2009, when a different vulnerability was exposed, followed by a similar transformational cycle,” King said. “Prior to that time, most Americans never questioned the viability of banks. But as banks failed and people lost their homes, it became clear that even the wealthiest nation on earth was not immune to financial disaster. The eventual outcome was that we addressed the weaknesses in our system and implemented solid banking regulations and healthier lending practices. Processes and systems were improved, and culturally we changed.”

Today, Okuma America is responding to the COVID-19 crisis like many of its peers. “First and foremost, we’re taking the utmost care of our employees, customers, distributors and partners,” he said. “Beyond that, we’re finding ways to enhance our processes. We’re spending more time on training, and using technology far more than ever before. Our distributors are ramping up virtual sales calls and setting up cameras in their showrooms to do virtual demos. Ultimately, having these processes in place will compress the time and resources needed to sell our products and services. I believe this operational ‘new normal’ will continue after the current situation ends, resulting in higher efficiency for all of us.”

In addition to its array of horizontal and vertical machining centers and turning machines, Okuma is introducing ARMROID and STANDROID next-generation robot systems. ARMROID is built into the machine tool to automate a variety of production applications. STANDROID is a standalone robot system that provides automation in high-mix, low- to medium-volume production. The ROID series integrates machine tools and complements Okuma’s automation solutions, including automatic pallet changers, gantry loaders and robotic cells.

Three New Laser Technology Products

Trumpf Inc., Farmington, Conn., is debuting new products from its laser technology, laser marking, and additive manufacturing portfolios. Trumpf’s new TruLaser Station 7000 features a larger work area with a similar footprint as the previous model, full 3D motion with coordinated access for complex welding and cutting, the addition of offline programming for greater production flexibility, and the integration of a vision sensor system, VisionLine Detect, which enables high process reliability of laser welds. Trumpf is also highlighting its new TruMark 6030, suitable for permanent laser marking and engraving. The new marker has the focus adjustment feature to perform marking on complex 3D surfaces.

The TruPrint 2000 metal AM system offers a combination of process speed and build volume.

The new TruPrint 2000 metal additive manufacturing system is another Trumpf highlight, offering a combination of process speed and build volume. While early interest has been in medical and aerospace applications, the multi-laser processing and feature size capabilities, along with the inert powder preparation, supports a wide range of materials.

New Tool Grinding, Laser Cutting Technologies

The LaserSmart LS510 for laser cutting diamond tooling is the newest addition to Rollomatic’s lineup of precision tool grinding and cutting machines. The LaserSmart LS510 is said to deliver four times faster feed rates without compromising cutting edge quality and surface finish. The machine produces a maximum radius on the cutting edge below 0.5 µm. In addition, a defined radius of 3, 6 and 9 µm can also be produced consistently. LaserSmart is designed to produce high-performance polycrystalline diamond (PCD), cubic boron nitride (CBN), and chemical vapor deposited (CVD) cutting tools more efficiently than spark erosion and polish grinding, according to the company.

The use of a full six-axis robot system provides a high degree of flexibility for the LaserSmart LS510, according to the manufacturer.

Rollomatic’s VirtualGrindPro software, which runs the multi-axis GrindSmart series of tool and cutter grinding machines, has extended its tool diversity with the incorporation of tool geometries such as inserts, boring bars, rotary burs, taps and more. A new 3D simulator 7.0 features increased calculation speed and optimized rendering quality and “center of mass” calculation for balanced tool design.

The SharpSmart model NP50 has been enhanced with new features and upgrades. The patented option for pinch grinding non-round parts has been improved and now offers higher accuracy and speed. The non-round process includes full pinch/peel grinding, ensuring tight tolerances, high form accuracy and low TIR, according to Rollomatic. The capability is especially important for thin and long parts, oblong punches, form punches, squares out of center, corner radiuses and other shapes produced by this method.

Automated, High-Production Transfer Technology

Hydromat multi-spindle rotary transfer machines are well-known for their longevity in low- to high-volume parts production. Modular designs provide versatility and flexibility with CNC and non-CNC toolspindle units, rigidly mounted around a precision cast base with high-precision machining of all critical surfaces, according to the company.

The new Eclipse 12-100 is a ground-up redesign of the Hydromat multi-spindle rotary transfer machine concept with all new components. It features a heavy-duty, cast iron machine frame 2 m in diameter, nearly twice as large as the traditional 12-station Hydromat machine.

The machine platform features robot load/unload with auto inverting for six-sided machining capability on both bar and blank loading applications and an integrated chip management and coolant system. Each of the 12 tool spindle modules features three-axis or four-axis capability with all-electric servo spindles and components, such as heavy-duty linear guideways for high accuracy, and large bearing diameters for extra stability.

This multi-station transfer technology enables load and unload processes on station one and simultaneous machining on the other 11 stations. This makes the Eclipse 12-100 ideal for medium- to high-volume production of complex workpieces requiring multiple operations, complex cuts, and where tight tolerances are critical, according to Hydromat.

Next Gen Swiss-Style CNC Lathes

Marubeni Citizen-Cincom (MCC), Allendale, N.J., is introducing the M532 VIII, the newest version of the Citizen Cincom M series turret-style Swiss turning center. It features 32-mm capacity with the capability to increase to 38 mm. The standard 12 cutting axis capability includes a B axis for angular drilling and contour milling. In addition, the 10-station turret with half index capability provides 20 positions.

MCC is also showcasing the new-generation Cincom L212X, featuring the all-axis simultaneous Cincom System M70 Control (Mitsubishi Meldas 70LPC-VU) as well as a 15,000-rpm main spindle. The machine also features a Y2 axis on the back spindle, which expands the range of usable tools. In addition, maximum spindle speed has been increased to 12,000 rpm, which shortens acceleration/deceleration times.

Both of these machines employ Citizen’s user-friendly editing function, which utilizes multi-line, multi-axis programming along with superimposed and synchronized control.

Upgraded Front Facing Twin Spindle Lathe

Fuji Machine, Vernon Hills, Illinois, is highlighting its newly designed CSD-300II front facing, twin-spindle lathe, the latest generation of its CSD Series. The CSD-300II has faster robot traverse and turret indexing speeds than its predecessor. Turret index times are as low as 0.19 sec, robot cycle times 17.9 sec and loading times 4.8 sec.

Operation and changeover are easier and more efficient with the CSD-300II. The horizontal lathe is equipped with a new dual-gantry robot and the latest FANUC controls. In addition, the CSD-300II features an improved custom HMI and a single integrated FANUC control panel that allows for setup of both the machine and robot. A clamp/unclamp switch for the robot chuck and the robot’s centralized lubrication system are included as standard.

Profile Grinder Suitable for Heavy-Duty Operation

Metal Removal 4.jpg

The FMG-B1224 profile grinding machine combines a traveling column’s rigidity and low center of gravity with an all-new SMART iControl 15" (38.1-cm) high-color touch screen. The machine is suitable for heavy-duty grinding loads, delivering flexibility and micro finishes of 3 RMS or better. The PC-based SMART iControl’s computing power enhances the HMI for maximum precision. Conversational programming makes learning and operating the FMG-B1224 simple, according to the manufacturer. A TaskLink function permits users to create their own grinding programs, achieving complex grinding tasks with only one combined cycle.
Chevalier Machinery
562-903-1929 /






Compact Robot

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Features of the new Erowa Robot Easy 800 include compact design, a high degree of reconfigurability, and a transfer capacity of up to 800 kg. Workpieces with a maximum weight of 800 kg and size of up to 850 x 1,000 mm in diameter can be loaded onto a machine tool safely and reliably. The workpiece magazine can be configured with up to 12 magazine positions when using the Erowa MTS 400 pallets (400 x 460 mm) and has a total maximum capacity of 7 tons. The Robot Easy 800 only requires 20 ft2 (1.9 m2 ) of floor space while having a transfer axis reach of 2,000 mm from the robot’s outer edge.
Erowa Technology Inc.
847-290-0295 /

Digital Machine Tool Experience

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Mazak has launched a new, three-pronged, holistic digital customer experience, featuring an interactive tour of its Kentucky campus, Virtual Technology Center and All Axes LIVE, an ongoing series of online events where attendees gain access to new Mazak technology. The first installment of All Axes LIVE will see Mazak launch the new VARIAXIS C-600 five-axis machining center with its MAZATROL SmoothAi CNC, as well as new automation solutions. Following the launch of its series of All Axes LIVE events, Mazak will roll out its Virtual Technology Center and Interactive 360 Kentucky Campus Tour. The Virtual Technology Center will feature a rotating lineup of machines, automation systems and digital technology, as well as the ability to request quotes, schedule in-person visits, and connect with Mazak experts.
Mazak Corp.
859-342-1700 /

New Range of Tsugami Machines

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In 2020, Tsugami/Rem Sales released a number of new models to the North American market, including the Tsugami S205/S206-II (pictured) with 20-mm capacity, 47 tool positions, a modular tool zone, and eight backworking live tools, among other features. Also new is the Tsugami B0325V-II, offering a 32-mm capacity vertical tool post, 25 tool positions, a modular tool zone and four backworking tools. Another 2020 introduction, the Tsugami TMA8F, offers 65-mm capacity, full five-axis machining capability, 4-GB data server, and a high-speed ATC, among other features. Finally, the Tsugami VA3 offers a 20,000-rpm spindle; 20+1 position high-speed ATC; 48 m/min X, Y and Z axes rapid traverse rate; and fourth axis control, among other features.
Tsugami/Rem Sales
860-687-3400 /

Toolroom Machining Center

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In production operations, the Toolroom Machining Center from TRAK is a full-featured, three-axis machining center for low-volume production. With the flip of a switch, the machining center enters Toolroom Ops mode. At this point, the VMC works like the company’s TRAK DPM, but with an enclosure that keeps chips and coolant contained. Powered by the company’s ProtoTRAK RMX conversational control platform, the new TRAK VMC maintains popular features such as DXF conversion, tool path visualization, and TRAKing.
TRAK Machine Tools
800-367-3165 /

Next-Generation Gundrilling Machines

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UNE Series gundrilling machines are designed to simplify gundrilling. With five models built from two frame sizes, the UNE Series can drill hole diameters from 1.4 to 40 mm and depths to 3,000 mm. The single main-spindle servo motor delivers the necessary horsepower for two-spindle machines. When power is applied in single-spindle mode, however, shops can produce larger-diameter holes. The UNE Series features a programmable, flow-based coolant delivery system designed to provide the right amount of coolant to the tool’s cutting edge.
262-252-3802 /

Model Machining Cells

GF Machining Solutions has developed three “total manufacturing solutions” models. Cell 1—Additive and subtractive manufacturing workflow, is a three-machine cell comprised of the DMP Flex 350, AgieCharmilles CUT AM 500, and Mikron MILL S 400 U for fast, optimized hybrid part-production operations. Cell 2—Lights-out automation is composed of the AgieCharmilles FORM S 350 die-sinking EDM, AgieCharmilles LASER S 1000 U laser texturing platform, and Mikron MILL P 500 three-axis vertical machining center. In Cell 3 —Standalone robot, the AgieCharmilles CUT P 550 Pro wire EDM solution is paired with a System 3R WorkPartner 1+, an automation solution that makes it easy for manufacturers to start with a single magazine and add one or two as required, according to the manufacturer.
GF Machining Solutions
(800) 282-1336 /

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