AUTUMN FAIRS: Better payback from benchmark technology

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Autumn trade fairs are traditionally the time when technology and service providers in the machine tool industry serve up their latest wares. This year, Makino launches a number of new machines that offer users an outstanding return on investment through higher productivity.

F8/F9: a machine of extremes

A new vertical machining centre (VMCs) from Makino, the F8/F9, is big and strong, yet accurate at the same time. The size and strength of the F8/F9 is illustrated by a few key characteristics: 17,000 kg in weight, a 2,500 kg payload, an 800 mm Y-axis stroke, roller guides, permanent support and guidance of all axes (no floating axis), a short force loop (only 600 mm from spindle to Z-axis supports and guides), and a 10,000 rpm 426 Nm spindle. All this leads to low vibration levels in performing powerful cutting operations and stability in machining difficult-to-cut materials. The accuracy of the machining performance is based on several related factors: the thermosymmetric design, core-cooled ball F8/F9: easy access to the spindle and the part F8: the vertical machining centre with front doors open screws and an optional corecooled 20,000 rpm spindle, resulting in thermal stability, which ensures sustained accuracy during long hours of machining and minimizes spindle growth in a Z-axis direction.

Balanced benefits

This excellent balance of strength, size and accuracy brings key benefits for the user. The F8/F9 performs demanding roughing and boring operations at high MRRs while still reducing cutter consumption and the problems caused by chip clogging. The fact that jobs can be completely or nearly finished on an F8/F9 is a formula for enhanced productivity. After all, the good surface quality of finished pieces, minimal blending error between different tools, high pitch accuracy and certain ±5 μm accuracy in parting lines reduce or eliminate the need for further manual operations. Moreover, he ergonomic design of the F8/F9 reduces noncutting times and facilitates loading and unloading of large parts, inspection of parts and tools, and access for manual operations. Last but not least, the combination of strength, size and accuracy means the F8/F9 is a highly flexible VMC suitable for a wide variety of applications, such as plastic injection moulding, cold and hot forging, mould base machining and parts machining, as well as materials, e.g. steel, stainless steel and titanium.

U3: cost-effective wire EDM

The latest addition to Makino‘s wire EDM portfolio, the U3, boasts a unique 0.4μm/3-pass capability that speeds up punch and die cutting: under standard machining conditions the Makino U3 delivers a surface finish of Ra 0.4 μm with just three passes. That naturally reduces machining time and also lowers the cost of consumables as less wire is required.

The U3 comes with numerous features to speed up wire EDM operations. The Pico Precision Guides automatically thread initial start holes as small as 0.4 mm in diameter with minimal risk of failure while a high-pressure twinjet system and improved pecking feed system deliver even more accurate, high-speed wire threading. By melting the wire to form a burrless pointed tip, the thermal cutter further improves the reliability of wire threading. What is more, the U3’s new guide maintenance system eliminates the need for lengthy realignment procedures if guides have to be reinstalled. A machine of this quality – with the same fixed-table design concept as Makino‘s well-known UP Series – offers an excellent return on investment for shops specialising in precision metal tooling or die stamping.

Upgraded a61nx-5E

Designed to boost productivity by reducing work-setting operations, the new a61nx-5E horizontal machining centre (HMC) is particularly suited to machining aircraft parts, e.g. complex impeller blades, and high-performance aluminium cutting. Makino has added a 4th and a 5th direct drive axis to the successful a61nx and introduced a new automated pallet changer to make horizontal work settings possible in a rotary table 5-axis HMC. The standard specs version is designed for high-accuracy cutting, the aluminium specs option for high-performance aluminium cutting with a high-power 24,000 rpm, 80 kW spindle achieving an MRR of up to 5,000 cm3/min. Another spindle option – 14,000 rpm, 240 Nm – is extremely suitable for machining titanium, and in particular aerospace parts.

Besides high speed and accuracy, the machine‘s other outstanding features are its ergonomic design, reassuring reliability and power-saving Eco mode. The new machine concept not only enables it to be operated more easily and quickly but also allows for larger workpieces and longer-length tools. At the same time, the latest Pro.5 High Performance Control unit comes with an improved touchscreen and icons for faster input, and a tool data screen for simple tool management. The machine‘s reliability is based, among other things, on the spindle head‘s washing coolant and flat surface to prevent chip contamination during automatic tool changing, and a choice of two disposal devices for optimum chip evacuation. Last but far from least, the machine‘s standard Eco mode reduces power consumption by up to 30%.

A strikingly small HMC

Visitors to the Makino booth will be surprised at how small this HMC is. Most would expect a machine of this size to be a VMC. But now Makino has broken the mould by developing an HMC of unparalleled compactness (WxDxH: 1,110 x 2,000 x 2,150 mm; footprint 2.2 m2). Since this new machine benefits from the superior chip evacuation of HMCs, it is ideal for parts‘ production, especially as it offers four table options to suit a wide range of components. High machine dynamics and excellent accuracy are the machine‘s strengths. The cutting performance has been tested in alu- minium at 335 cc/min. and in S55/C steel at 40 cc/min. The repeatability of the linear axis has been measured at ±0.002 mm and the indexing repeat- ability of the rotary axis at ±2 sec. In other words, the machine‘s unmatched compactness, machining accuracy, cutting capability and competitive price make it a very interesting proposition for series production of automotive or industrial components and high-precision parts for the medical and watch industries – particularly as the machine‘s easy accessibility makes various automation configurations possible.

EDBV3 & A4-A20: aerospace highlights

Though not on view at the autumn fairs, one newcomer to the Makino portfo lio, the EDBV3, will particularly interest jet engine manufacturers. Designed as a more efficient solution for drilling cooling holes and fanshape machining in blades and vanes, the travelEDBV3 combines a number of new technologies that reduce machining time in such operations – by drilling cooling holes seven times faster than existing EDM drilling technology – and make continuous single setup machining possible. The result is an innovative, efficiency-enhancing sinker EDM machine that will enable manufacturers to meet the growing demand for jet engines.

What is more, Makino‘s new generation of large-size HMCs, the A4-A20, is ideally suited for producing highquality aluminium structural parts for the aerospace industry. The key features are enhanced machine dynamics with axes acceleration of 0.8 g, a powerful spindle (120 kW) and a modular design with X-axis travel ranging from 4 to 20 metres.

For further information on all these technologies please consult your local Makino representative, visit the Makino booth at one of the autumn fairs, or contact us at

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