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The Next Big Thing In Wire EDM

The Next Big Thing in Wire EDM

Despite the many important and critical machine improvement points over the years, wire EDM machining speeds have remained relatively flat over the past decade… until now. Find out more in this article by Makino.

Wire EDM machining technology has seen continuous development to improve the reliability and efficiency of the process. These efforts have nurtured this non-traditional machining process to grow in use to become a mainstream method of manufacturing for an increasing number of industries. From its humble beginnings that revolutionized the tool and die building process, wire EDM has matured and expanded its use to direct parts production, especially in the medical and aerospace fields.

The latest generation wire EDM machines are better in almost every way compared to their predecessors, which has helped elevate the wire EDM process to become a daily relied upon manufacturing method. In recent years, many wire EDM manufacturers have focused developments on items that address and enhance the reliability of the process. This includes items such as simplifying the control interface, improving automatic wire threading capabilities, reducing machine maintenance requirements, and reducing wire consumption costs. While these are all important and critical machine improvement points, Wire EDM machining speeds have remained relatively flat over the past decade… until now!

Makino has introduced a new wire EDM machine, the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme, that has been developed to take machining speeds to new levels of performance and efficiency. At the core of these new capabilities is the use of a larger diameter wire—0.016” (0.4mm)—elevating the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme as the fastest wire EDM machine on the planet.

Is Bigger Better?

The key benefit in using a larger diameter wire is that it allows higher power levels to be applied, which result in increased machining speeds. There is a physical limit to how much power a particular wire size can withstand (spark density—the maximum amount of power that can be applied to the electrode over a specific area), as exceeding this level will result in a wire break; although there are other factors that contribute to wire breakage. Comparing 0.016” diameter wire to the traditionally used 0.010” diameter wire, the cross-sectional area is 265 percent larger.

Comparison of Wire Size

Using a larger diameter wire alone will not necessarily achieve higher performance. A larger wire supports higher power levels, but the 0.016” diameter wire size exceeds the power output capability of most machines, as wire EDM generators are commonly configured and optimized for 0.010” diameter operation. Stated differently, a standard wire EDM generator does not have a sufficient amount of additional/reserve electrical power to apply to the cut to operate at optimum levels with 0.016” diameter wire and will therefore starve and impede the process from achieving faster speeds.

To achieve faster cutting speeds using 0.016” diameter wire, the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme machine is configured with an additional generator booster that increases the maximum average machining power from 30 A to 60 A. This booster unit increases the machine’s kVA power consumption by about 50 percent over the base U6 H.E.A.T., but this increase in power consumption is fully justified and offset by the gains in rough machining speed.

More Enhancements

The U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme builds and expands on the existing U6 H.E.A.T. machine and retains all the standard machining capabilities to achieve high accuracy and fine surface finish with wire sizes down to 0.004” (0.100mm) diameter. The “Extreme” portion entails special enhancements that focus on the operation of 0.016” diameter wire. Beyond the need for increased machining power, additional development and modifications are necessary to achieve reliable automatic wire threading with 0.016” diameter wire, which represents a severe technical challenge.

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3 Ways Advanced Machining Builds A Competitive Edge In Aerospace

3 Ways Advanced Machining Builds a Competitive Edge in Aerospace

Solutions for suppliers seeking ways to meet new productivity challenges, including increasing demand and shorter lead times. Article by Michael Palmieri, Makino.

Aerospace and defence (A&D) suppliers are feeling the heat.

Over the next five years, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are expected to increase commercial aircraft production by 21 percent. The ramp-up means suppliers face unprecedented challenges. They must find ways to satisfy demand for more components while OEMs place more pressure on them to decrease lead times and prices.

READ: Machining for the Aerospace Industry

Industry 4.0 technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and advanced machine-tool capabilities, such as 5-axis machining centres, could become more common on A&D shop floors as suppliers seek ways to keep pace with OEM demands.

These technologies can help the A&D suppliers respond to market needs faster without expanding their workforce. This white paper will explore some of these trends and the solutions that A&D suppliers need to remain competitive.

  1. Enable Faster Throughput for Complex Designs

Modern aircraft designs are forcing suppliers to rethink their current production capabilities. Older machine tools may not be equipped to manage lighter-weight, heat-resistant materials, such as titanium. Modern machining centres that are purpose-built for aerospace applications can reduce set-up times, increase accuracy and improve throughput on less-conventional designs.

Titanium vs. Aluminium Considerations

Aluminium makes up about half of the aerospace materials market by volume. But titanium use is increasing as manufacturers seek ways to reduce weight for components in next-generation planes. Titanium is lighter than structural steels historically used and almost as strong. Aluminium and titanium present different challenges that manufacturers must take into consideration when selecting machine-tooling solutions. Aluminium requires more horsepower and high rpm while titanium requires high torque at low rpm.

READ: EDM: Past, Present and Future

Speeding-up Material Removal Rates

Suppliers need access to a variety of machine tools that can perform fast removal rates on a wide range of materials, including aluminium, stainless steel and titanium. Several key advancements in machine tooling are helping A&D suppliers address different material requirements. Some of the key technologies developed to increase productivity for titanium machining include:

Autonomic spindles that protect the spindle from excessive forces damaging the bearings. This can reduce unplanned downtime related to machine damage—which, in turn, optimizes productivity.

High-pressure, high-flow coolant systems deliver large volumes of coolant directly to the cutting zone for faster chip evacuation, increased production, and tool life.

Vibration damping systems that adjust frictional forces based on low-frequency vibration sensing, avoiding chatter and cutter damage from structure resonance in real time. Vibration damping enhances depth of cuts, which results in higher removal rates.

READ: How Digitalisation Is Transforming The Aerospace Sector

Developments in aluminium machining are also helping A&D suppliers increase productivity. This includes greater spindle power to improve processing speeds, improvements to acceleration and cutting feed rates, and large-capacity automatic tool changers that are capable of holding more than 100 tools and automatic pallet changer—which can reduce changeover and set-up times significantly.

In both aluminium and titanium, 5-axis capability is a key advantage by providing an efficient way to produce typical, complex, A&D part geometries. In addition, large-capacity tool changers and pallet changing automation can allow for unattended machining, which means less operator labour cost per part. These system features reduce machine downtime between parts and part handling between set-ups, which also lowers labour costs. The ability to reduce handling time, including moving parts from machine to machine or resetting them on new fixtures, also helps increase throughput and shrink production lead times to enable faster deliveries.

  1. Maximise Productivity to Avoid Costly Delays

Many A&D suppliers are struggling to meet demand. For instance, in November 2018 Boeing reported decreases in 737 deliveries due to supplier delays. The lead time in A&D manufacturing is already longer compared to other industries, which means suppliers can’t afford machine failures or any other issues that could result in downtime. Suppliers may need to place a greater emphasis on predictive maintenance and automation to maximise productivity.

Why Reliability Matters

On-time delivery issues are urgent enough that Boeing and Airbus are working with suppliers to ensure they’re equipped to meet expectations. In addition, unplanned downtime costs manufacturers about $50 billion annually, and equipment failure is the cause of downtime 42 percent of the time.

READ: Makino Asia’s Smart Factory Meets Sophisticated Precision Engineering Capabilities

Smarter Approaches to Efficiency

Manufacturers are implementing automation and Industry 4.0 technologies to gain visibility into machine performance issues before they lead to major repairs or failures. In the A&D sector, Industry 4.0 is bringing predictive insights to operators and technicians in several ways, including:

The ability to access charts that display alarm events, so operators and technicians can observe trends and implement corrective measures.

Access to spindle and axis monitoring technologies that record and display axis forces, loads and speeds. This data can then be used to fine-tune processes for faster cutting speeds and greater depths of cut. In addition, manufacturers can monitor critical tool data for multiple machines from one centralised location. Operators can use this data to make adjustments for enhanced tool performance and lifespan.

Camera monitoring capabilities that capture an internal view of a machine’s work zone, making it easier to solve processing errors before they impact part quality. Technicians also can receive email and text notifications of alarms, including images of the work zone. This helps service staff immediately address maintenance issues before they become costly problems.

READ: Coronavirus Hits Automotive And Aerospace Supply Chains

According to Deloitte, manufacturers that implement predictive maintenance technologies typically experience operations and MRO material cost savings of 5 percent to 10 percent, reduced inventory carrying costs, equipment uptime and availability increases of 10 percent to 20 percent, reduced maintenance planning time of 20 percent to 50 percent and overall maintenance cost reductions of five percent to ten percent.

A&D suppliers also are realising enhanced performance through automated machining solutions, such as pallet-stacking systems. The Makino Machining Complex (MMC2) is an automated material handling system that links Makino horizontal machining centres, pallet loaders and operators. The system provides a constant flow of parts to the machining centres, so it can operate for extended periods unattended, including overnight and on weekends. The ability to automate manual processes reduces the need for time-consuming manual tasks and increases flexibility to meet OEM demands.

  1. Bridging the Workforce Skills Gap

As machine tools become more technologically advanced, the A&D industry must confront another persistent challenge: the lack of skilled workers. In a recent industry workforce survey, 75 percent of respondents said they are concerned with the availability of key skills. “The need for talent will become even more critical in the next few years, as the baby boom generation moves beyond traditional retirement age – and the unavoidable loss at some point of their expertise and knowledge,” according to Aviation Week’s “2018 Workforce Report.” Machines that are equipped with IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart capabilities can enhance productivity for existing employees and minimise the learning curve for new hires.

The Case for a Connected Workforce

Voice-assistant technology common in the consumer world, such as Alexa and Siri, are now making their way into modern machine tools. In fact, more than 80 percent of A&D industry executives say they expect their workforce to be directly impacted by an AI-based decision within the next three years, according to an Accenture report. Voice-activated commands reduce manual interaction with the machine and helps operators translate and analyse big data. These digital assistants typically work through the use of headsets. Operators speak commands into the headsets, such as “turn the machine’s lights on,” “change tools,” or “show set-up instructions.” These voice-actuated capabilities simplify machine operation by reducing the time operators spend searching for information or performing manual tasks.

READ: Makino Strengthens Presence In Vietnam With New Technology Centre

Minimising the Learning Curve

AI also serves as a coach for operators who may not be familiar with various operating procedures, such as how to perform different maintenance tasks. For example, a worker can ask the voice assistant how to change a filter. In many cases, these intelligent machines are not replacing operators but helping the existing workforce perform their tasks more efficiently.

They’re also allowing workers to move easily from one type of machine to another without a significant learning curve because they’re not reliant on an unfamiliar machine interface. These intelligent machines may help A&D manufacturers identify and onboard skilled workers with greater ease because they require less training and experience than more traditional technology.

Looking Ahead: What’s Next for A&D Machining

High-tech machining solutions are advancing at a rapid pace. The availability of new technologies comes at a critical point for the A&D industry. Suppliers must continue to improve productivity and reduce costs amid a constantly changing environment. In addition to OEM demands, the industry faces new competitive challenges, including potential price increases for materials. For instance, A&D manufacturers are still uncertain how U.S. tariffs on aluminium and steel imports could impact prices. The potential for higher material prices puts additional pressure on suppliers as they try to meet increasing demands for lower costs per part and delivery.

Suppliers need equipment that can reduce downtime, increase productivity and minimise labour costs. Manufacturers should consider machine-tool providers with a broad portfolio of equipment built specifically for the aerospace industry. The latest machining centres can perform high-precision tasks faster than ever. Vendors with experience in the aerospace industry can help A&D suppliers evaluate their needs and select a solution that is appropriate for specific applications. Makino is continuously updating its machines with the latest technologies, including automation and IoT capabilities, to help the industry produce accurate structural and turbo machinery parts faster with less variability and at the lowest cost.

 How ATEP Slashes Titanium Machining Costs

Arconic Titanium & Engineered Products (ATEP) in Laval, Quebec, Canada, needed titanium-machining solutions to meet customer demands to lower costs and shrink delivery times. ATEP specializes in assembly and precision machining of various titanium aircraft components, including wing attachments, seat tracks and doorframes. Standard machine platforms couldn’t provide the rigidity, flexibility or control the company needed to meet its customer requirements. The company decided to install several Makino T-Series 5-axis horizontal titanium machining centres. Research engineers from ATEP determined the machines could help the company perform certain production processes three times faster than previous methods. It eventually led to a 60 percent reduction in cycle times and 30 percent reduction of tool costs.

The company also has realized benefits related to quality improvements. ATEP is a fully integrated supplier of titanium and other specialty metals products. ATEP is receiving additional business from customers who are asking the company to correct quality issues from other suppliers, according to a company executive.

 

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EDM: Past, Present And Future

EDM: Past, Present and Future

As the industry moves toward Industry 4.0, EDM machines are expected to become more intelligent as manufacturers incorporate more and more advanced functionality to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the system. Article by Makino.

The electrical discharge machining (EDM) process utilises short bursts or pulses of electrical energy to erode and machine conductive materials. This process can be thought of as machining with lightning bolts, called sparks. With EDM, the number and power of each spark can be precisely controlled, thus, by modifying the amount and power of the discharge spark energy, the material removal rate, attained surface finish and resulting accuracy can be predictably and repeatedly controlled.

While EDM is commonly thought of as a slower form of metal removal compared to conventional milling and some other processes, recent advancements in EDM technology have led to significant improvements in processing times and finish quality for even the most complex and involved part geometries.

But what has now become an essential process for die/mould shops, aerospace, automotive and other manufacturers humbly began with a failure.

Brief History of EDM

In the early 1940s, two scientists in the former Soviet Union, B.R. Butinzky and N.I. Lazarenko, experimented with methods to prevent erosion of tungsten contacts caused by electrical sparking during welding. Although they didn’t find a better welding method, they discovered how to control metal erosion by immersing the electrodes in oil or water. From their research, Butinzky and Lazarenko built the first electrical discharging machine for processing metals that were difficult to machine with conventional milling, drilling or other mechanical methods such as tool steel and titanium.

Butinzky and Lazarenko drew on ideas developed by English physicist, Joseph Priestley, who wrote about the erosive effects of electricity on certain metals back in the 1770s. The Russians’ early work became known as spark machining because electrical discharges caused sparks that could be controlled to manufacture specific shapes.

Machining with Electricity

In conventional machining, the material is removed by cutting tools that turn or grind against the workpiece with a mechanical force. In the EDM process, sparks of electricity create short bursts of high energy that instantly melt and vaporise the material without making contact. Due to the non-mechanical and non-contact machining process, EDM is referred to as a “non-traditional” type of manufacturing.

The key to EDM machining is the passage of electricity from a tool (electrode) to the workpiece, which must be composed of conductive material like steel or aluminium. The tool, which can either be a small diameter wire, hollow tube, or an electrode mechanically machined into a negative version of the workpiece’s final shape, is then placed and maintained in close proximity to the workpiece during the EDM spark erosion process.

EDM technology has evolved into three distinct machining approaches:

  1. Wire EDM: Wire EDM uses a small diameter copper or brass-alloy wire to cut parts much like a band saw. Traditional uses are to make punches, dies, and inserts from hard metals for die/mold tooling applications. Uses have since expanded to include part production uses over a wide array of industries.
  2. Sinker EDM: Sinker EDM uses electrodes machined from a special graphite or copper material into the shape or contour feature needed on the final workpiece. Typically, uses include the production of small or complex cavities and forms for die/mould tooling, but have also found use in many production applications.
  3. EDM Drilling: EDM drilling uses a small diameter hollow tube electrode made from copper or brass alloys to erode holes into the workpiece. This method is typically used to prepare start holes for the wire EDM process, but have also progressed to producing small hole features found in dedicated production applications such as turbine engine components and medical devices.

Why Use EDM

One of the key advantages in EDMing is the machine’s capability to work on small corners that cannot be cleared by the milling process. Also, when it comes to precision parts, very small work pieces are prone to damage when machined with conventional cutting tools because of the excess cutting pressure. You won’t have this issue with EDM.

With conventional cutting, extremely hard materials will affect the high wear rate of the cutter. This is not the case for EDM. In fact, apart from cutting these hard pieces of materials, the EDM process also provide excellent surface finishes.

Moreover, EDM enables the processing of complex shapes that would otherwise be difficult to produce with conventional cutting tools.

Over the years, many new machine technologies have helped improve the performance of EDM systems, enabling higher cutting speeds to produce parts faster than before.

One example of the latest technologies in EDM is Makino’s U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme wire EDM, which features an industry first 0.4mm (0.016”) coated wire technology that increases rough machining rates up to 300 percent compared to traditional 0.010” brass wire, while maintaining comparable wire consumption rates of 0.6–0.7lbs/hour. As a result, the new machine is able to significantly improve rough machining speed without increasing manufacturing costs.

Addressing the Labour Skills Challenge

Despite the advancements in EDM, there continues to be challenges facing the segment. One issue is labour, in particular, the lack of skilled EDM operators.

As new technologies are being incorporated in EDM, the need for programming skills, and the setting up and operation of more complex machines with more and more functionality are increasing. This, in turn, requires more knowledge and skills needed for ordinary operators.

One way of addressing this is the introduction of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications for EDMs to reduce the otherwise long learning curve required by the system, enhance user experience and efficiency, and reduce machine downtime.

Makino’s expanded Hyper-i Control family and Remote Monitoring features intuitive, intelligent, and interactive functions that utilise familiar smartphone/tablet functionality that provide operators with a powerful and user-friendly interface.

Its unified control system for both wire and sinker EDM machines provides operators with enhanced functions to improve productivity, regardless of operator skill level. The large 24” class HD touch-screen display provides a commanding view for the operator and utilises intuitive and familiar touch Pinch/Swipe/Drag operations similar to smartphones and tablets.

Straightforward machine operation is accomplished on the Hyper-i Control with a three-step process of Program/Setup/Run flow, and there are many helpful intelligent tools and functions for the operator that provide greater convenience and flexibility, such as the standard full-function advanced Handbox. In addition, digital onboard electronic manuals, instructional training videos, and the advanced E-Tech Doctor help functions provide the operator with practical resources at their fingertips to remain highly productive.

Another EDM technology from Makino is the HyperConnect application, which facilitates machine-to-machine connectivity. HyperConnect is a suite of IIoT applications for EDMs that enhances user experience and efficiency and reduces machine downtime. They are available on all Makino EDMs equipped with Hyper-i control systems. Some of the features of HyperConnect are as follows:

  • The app enables shop managers and operators to monitor and control EDM processes from any PC, smart device, or other Hyper-i control systems on the network. It has four primary connectivity features for shop personnel to monitor, plan, and troubleshoot EDM operations.
  • EDM Mail relays machine status information to operators via email during unattended operation to help reduce downtime and support multitasking abilities. It delivers periodic, timed interval updates of a machine’s operating conditions and alerts operators of a machine stoppage.
  • Machine Viewer is an application that permits networked access to the control’s NC operation screens, which allows operators to remotely view the machine control and process information from any office environment PC or enabled smart device.
  • Machine-to-Machine Viewer gives operators remote access to view and control a networked EDM from another machine, preventing unnecessary foot traffic across the shop floor.
  • PC Viewer provides operators with remote access to all software on a networked PC directly via the control and includes accessibility to any CAD/CAM software, specialized shop tracking software, and Microsoft Office applications.

Future of EDM

It’s been a long time since the discovery of EDM for metalworking. As the industry moves toward the fourth industrial revolution, EMD machines are expected to become more intelligent as manufacturers incorporate more and more advanced functionality to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the system.

One way “intelligence” is being added to the machine is through voice-enabled machine interaction. It is just like your iPhone’s Siri—but instead of asking for directions or calling a certain person in your address book, you are giving instructions to a machine regarding the processing or machining of a particular workpiece.

Makino is the first adopter of ATHENA, the first ever voice-operated assistant technology created specifically for manufacturing work. Developed by iTSpeeX, ATHENA is designed to enable operators of all skill levels by simplifying human interactions with industrial machines. For example, with one voice request, ATHENA can search through a machine’s maintenance manual and display the needed information right at the machine.

This will give operators more ease of control and will not just save time in training and onboarding new machinists, but also in giving experienced machinists the information they need when and where they need it.

 

Read more:

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Global Metal Cutting Tools Outlook

 

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Makino Strengthens Presence In Vietnam With New Technology Centre

Makino Strengthens Presence In Vietnam With New Technology Centre

Machine tools and solutions provider Makino recently opened its Ho Chi Minh City Technology Centre in Vietnam. Located in the Saigon High Tech Park over an area of 4,700 square metres, the two-storey technology centre houses a showroom, training facility, parts centre and offices.

Neo Eng Chong, CEO and President of Makino Asia, said, “Opening the Makino Vietnam Technology Centre supports Makino’s strategy and our commitment to strengthen our support to customers, both before and after sales,  and share our expertise to the precision engineering industry with turnkey solutions and technology knowledge transfer.”

The Makino Vietnam Technical Centre boasts machines with high-speed milling and EDM applications to bring technology closer to customers in Vietnam. The new centre will support technology and knowledge transfer, training facility, local service support and application engineering solution.

Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Country Manager of Makino Vietnam, said, “Makino’s pride is always on quality and service, to provide a holistic customer experience to all customers. The Makino Vietnam Technical Centre serves to demonstrate the latest machining technology and solutions from Makino, as well as from our technology partners.  Customers will benefit from our one-stop solution for every size and industry.”

 

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Makino Asia’s Smart Factory Meets Sophisticated Precision Engineering Capabilities

Makino Asia’s Smart Factory Meets Sophisticated Precision Engineering Capabilities

Makino Asia, a leading provider of machine tools used across various industries including automotive, aerospace, medical, semiconductor and electronics, has recently showcased its smart factory at its regional headquarters in Singapore. The facility is designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality products and sophisticated precision engineering capabilities in Asia by adopting Industry 4.0 and the principles of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The smart factory consists of an assembly factory and state-of-the-art machining factory, leveraging seamless automation and digital technologies to achieve high levels of productivity and connectivity between its robots, machines and other peripheral systems.

The combined facility is expected to increase machine production capacity to almost double its previous capacity. The new machining factory and existing assembly factory are connected by a link bridge for staff, and a canopy area for the transfer of materials between the two factories using automated guided forklifts (AGF).

The facility is also fitted with energy-saving and efficient solutions: green energy from installed solar panels within the compound helps to generate about 2,400 megawatt hours of energy annually. This is equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road, avoiding 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over the same period. In the machining factory, a chilled ceiling system is used to ensure maximum energy efficiency of its air-conditioning system while maintaining high quality, reliability and optimum performance of Makino Asia’s manufacturing operations.

Neo Eng Chong, CEO and President of Makino Asia said, “Makino strives for a ‘Quality First’ mindset across the organisation, from the manufacturing of our products to the development of our people and the business. We are extremely proud of our expanded smart facility in Singapore that will enable Makino Asia to better support our Customers in the region and Singapore’s vision to become a global Advanced Manufacturing hub.”

He added, “The automation and digitalisation of the entire facility serves as a way for us to achieve increased productivity, capacity or energy efficiency. More importantly, it embodies our vision to provide more than just machines for our Customers, by providing the most effective and efficient solutions that meet their needs. The establishment of the IoT Centre to provide real-time support is another milestone to enrich partnerships with our valued Customers.”

The monitoring and tracking of machine conditions in real-time enables Makino Asia to provide proactive and predictive services to Customers. This ensures optimum machine performance at all times so that Customers are able to consistently deliver high quality products.

Lim Swee Nian, Assistant Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board said, “Global precision engineering manufacturing leaders are accelerating the adoption and deployment of Advanced Manufacturing technologies from Singapore, to better serve the evolving needs of their Customers. We are pleased that Makino will be deepening its 45-year presence in Singapore through the launch of its digital transformation journey. As Makino Asia focuses on building its Industry 4.0 capabilities to develop and scale new solutions, we are confident that it will create value-added roles and upskilling opportunities for Singapore to succeed in the digital manufacturing economy.”

Makino Asia embarked on its digital transformation journey in 2016 with a plan to invest around S$100 million over five years to expand and boost the capabilities of its facility in Singapore. The company also established two new departments focused on automation and digitalisation to catalyse digital transformation in the company.

Besides having “smart” machines and solutions, Makino is committed to upskilling all its employees to keep up with fast and ever-changing developments in the manufacturing landscape. Makino Asia’s new and current employees undergo a Workforce Transformation program focused on equipping them with automation skills, digital literacy skills and safety skillsets. The courses are mandatory for all employees to keep abreast of the digital technologies being used to manage automated equipment.

The manufacturing sector in Singapore remains a key pillar of Singapore’s economy. It accounts for around 21 percent of Singapore’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 14 percent of the total workforce. Rapid technological advancements and digitalisation are changing the face of manufacturing. Developments in Advanced Manufacturing presents opportunities for companies to leverage on new technologies to drive productivity and growth.

 

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Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine

Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine

The Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine EDM machine offers an ideal mix of high-speed machining, high accuracy and surface finish capability to efficiently tackle any job.

Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine now comes in a new design with feed rates up to 5,000 mm per min in the X and Y axis. The Z axis also has a jump speed of 20 m per min, and the machines also have 80 A peak current in standard.

Operators can also program flushing pressure, fine flow rate adjustment, an inverter controlled pump, and an accurate pressure gauge. The operator panel also has flick, pan, pinch, spread and swipe functionality in smartphone and tablet style.

Technical Specifications

The Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine is loaded with machining technologies that deliver optimum productivity for every application. Makino EDF Series Sinker Machine proprietary generator and adaptive power control technologies ensure efficient machining while achieving the highest level of accuracy and surface integrity. Dedicated settings such as HyperCut, SuperSpark™ IV and ArcFree empower the operator with practical tools to accomplish a wide variety of work. The powerful yet user-friendly Hyper-i control system complements and elevates the capability of the EDAF2 into a streamlined package that delivers a paradigm shift in efficiency and productivity to all operations.

Table: 550 × 350 mm
X: 350 mm Y: 250 mm Z: 250 mm

Makino.MaximumWorkpieceWeight

Tank Size  –  700 x 500 x 300 mm

Max Electrode Weight  –  75 kgs

 

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Makino: A120nx Horizontal Machining Centre

Makino: a120nx Horizontal Machining Centre

The a120nx is Makino’s largest machining platform within the nx-series, and is built to for oversized structural components for industrial equipment, diesel engines and semiconductor manufacturing.

It has X, Y and Z axis travels of 1,900 mm, 1,600 mm and 1,700 mm, respectively, and the machine’s standard large pallet size of one m by one m provides capacity for parts weighing up to 5,000 kg. The machine’s automatic pallet changer switches from one pallet to the next in 37 seconds.

Capable of storing up to 204 tools of wide-ranging sizes and designs in an automatic tool changer, it accommodates tools up to 90 cm, 35 cm in diameter, and weighing up to 35 kg.

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Makino: D300 5-axis Vertical Machining Centre

Makino: D300 5-axis Vertical Machining Centre

This 5-axis machining centre is designed specifically for small, complex, 3-D contouring of high-quality part production as typically seen in aerospace machining, medical manufacturing, high-end job shop and die/mould applications.

The D300 worktable offers a work area diameter of 300mm, accommodating workpiece sizes up to 450mm by 270mm and 120kg. The machine provides X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 300mm, 500mm and 350mm, respectively, at feed rates of up to 60,000mm per minute. Rotary table axes offer rotational motion of 240 degrees (± 120 degrees) on the A-axis and a full 360-degree (continuous rotation) on the C-axis.

The machine comes equipped with a 15,000-rpm HSK-A63 spindle with 120Nm (42Nm continuous) of torque for flexible, high-speed machining of various workpiece materials including steel, aluminium and titanium. Optional spindle configurations include a 20,000-rpm HSK-A63 spindle and 30,000-rpm HSK-F63 spindle.

Makino uses direct-drive motor technology in the D300’s C-axis rotary table and A-axis trunnion for positioning accuracy and repeatability. The ultra-high-torque direct-drive motors also provide quality acceleration and rotary speed characteristics that can reduce cycle times of complex 5-axis simultaneous machining applications by up to 60 percent.

The D300 axis configuration is designed to deliver added precision performance. The length of the trunnion assembly runs parallel to the X-axis motion only, making the trunnion assembly deflection-free during quick axis motion for greater accuracy than traditional 5-axis configurations.

The machine features roller linear guides across all linear axes for rigidity and stiffness while maintaining productive rapid and feed rates. Y- and Z-axes are located above the worktable, with the X-axis located under the table to ensure a cantilever-free design and high positioning accuracies.

It employs the Makino Professional 5 Control, which provides a Windows CE graphical user interface (GUI) with touch-screen access, and the networking and storage capabilities of a data centre. This data centre features a flexible, user-friendly program and data management for quick, seamless changes from one setup to the next. Its built-in Ethernet networking capability offers ready integration to off-machine program storage.

Also featured in the D300 is the next-generation Super Geometric Intelligence (SGI.4) software developed specifically for high feed rate, tight-tolerance machining of complex, 3-D contoured shapes involving continuous tiny blocks of NC data that ensures production rates faster than standard CNC systems, while maintaining high accuracy. SGI.4 helps deliver the lowest cycle times and costs achievable by reducing machining cycle times on dies, complex cavities, and cores and medical parts by as much as 40 percent when compared to most other control technologies.

The tool centre point (TCP) control allows programming based on the tool tip so that tool-compensation features can be applied. Further TCP developments also improve the cutter path to achieve greater surface quality. Dedicated user-friendly screens simplify the overall application of 5-axis machining, and easy-to-apply functions prevent interference between the spindle and trunnion during automatic operation to improve risk-free production.

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