Machine tool innovations in Germany
- March 20, 2003
Precision, speed and automation take centre stage at annual DMG/Mori Seiki event
Canadian manufacturers, who were among the 5000-plus people who attended the annual DMG/Mori Seiki open house in Pfronten, Germany in late January, had the chance to see one of the largest high precision machine tools in the world and some of the fastest five axis high speed machines in the industry.
Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine was invited to the open house as part of an international press delegation. The event is considered one of the largest in-house exhibitions of machine tools in the world.
During a press conference at the event in Pfronten, Dr. Rudiger Kapitza, Chairman of the Executive Board of Gildemeister, and Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of Mori Seiki stated they expect to see growth in 2013 across the world, although the most significant growth will come from North America (Canada 5.7 per cent, US 7.6 per cent and Mexico 7.1 per cent), where they expect to see growth for the company of 7.3 per cent.
While North America and Europe have been quick to pick up on new technologies offered by DMG/Mori Seiki, other parts of the world, such as China, have been slower to embrace the, notes Dr. Mori. "Machine shops are shifting technologies to more higher precision and five axis and with three to five years Chinese customers will be buying more of these types of higher end technologies."
The week-long open house is an opportunity for DMG/Mori Seiki to showcase new machines and technologies and this year's event was no exception. The company introduced six machines that made their world premieres and nine innovations.
"The event demonstrates to customers that there is constant development in the design and production of new machines and new technologies," says Daniel Medrea, managing director of DMG Canada, who Shop Metalworking Technology caught up with in Pfronten.
DMG Canada invited 16 manufacturers from across Canada.
"We want customers to have access to all of our technologies and understand how they work and why their so effective. For instance, when they see how some of our duoBlock-based machines work, they understand why the machines offer better performance, stability and accuracy. Linear drives are another example. The technology is not very popular in Canada yet because it is expensive but when customers see the speed and performance of machines with linear drives, they understand that investments in these types of machines will pay off."
Among the highlights was the new Dixi 210 P, a new joint development gantry machine from DMG and Mori Seiki that features a X, Y, Z work area of 1,800 x 2,100 x 1,250 mm and volumetric accuracy of less than 35 micrometres. The machine can handle large, heavy components with diameters up to 2,500 mm, heights of 1,250 mm and weights of 8,000 kg maximum.
New machine tool technologies always focus on addressing customer needs. In manufacturing, whether it's Canada, Europe or any other part of the world, that focus is on helping manufacturers improve productivity and become more competitive. Two technologies stood out: linear drives and automation.
The company's popular DMU eVo line of universal machining centres is one good example. The linear series machines are considerably faster than their non-linear counterparts and offer higher accuracies and faster machining speeds. This year, the company introduced a level of automation with one of the models. The DMU 40 eVo linear FD (turn-mill) is equipped with a pallet changer. One of the popular features of this machine is its compact size. Even with a pallet changer, the machine's footprint is still only 1.3 sq m larger than that of the same machine without the pallet changer.
"The DMC 80 H linear is a horizontal machining centre with full five or four axis capabilities and it's the fastest machine in the world because it has linear drives on all axes," says DMG Canada's Daniel Medrea. Designed for larger workpieces, it comes equipped with an HSK-A100 too taper and 430 Nm spindle. The machine will soon be offered with an RS12 rotary pallet magazine (with pallet dimensions of 500 x 500 mm) for great machining flexibility. It features a 2.6 second chip-to-chip time and rapid traverses of up to 80 m/min and 0.8 g of acceleration.
Many of the machine tools on display illustrated how the role of automation in machining, from material handling systems to robotic tool changing units. An example was the CTX beta 1250 TC turn mill machine equipped with a linear workpiece handling system. The WH-H TOP system includes an integrated workpiece magazine into which stacking trolleys can be inserted. Automation options include the integration of secondary work such as deburring, cleaning and measuring operations.