The world’s premier machine tool exhibition, EMO returns to the Hannover exhibition centre this year. Organised by German machine tool association, VDW, this biennial event takes place from 18-23 September 2023 and features metalworking, and associated technology from around the world.
This year’s EMO theme is ‘Innovative manufacturing’ and a key focus will be how digitalisation and sustainability are impacting manufacturing. Aerospace Manufacturing previews some of the latest metalworking technology that will be on display.
We begin our round-up with Starrag (hall 12, stand B50). The company says it is set to revolutionise titanium machining performances with its new STC 1250 HD horizontal machining centre, the first machine in its large-capacity class with hydrostatic guideways for zero friction/non-stick/slip movements.
The STC 1250 HD provides users with superior roughing times, reduced energy consumption rates during machining of 33%, and more dynamic finishing and therefore more precise parts courtesy of higher acceleration and jerk rates plus frictionless/no micro-vibration in the X axis. Hydrostatic guideways also mean reduced maintenance demands compared to conventional box guideways.
The STC 1250 HD will be on view at EMO alongside a representative selection of Starrag products from the Berthiez, Bumotec, Dörries, Droop+Rein, Ecospeed, Heckert, Scharmann, SIP and Starrag ranges.
Moving on, US firm, Blue Photon (hall 5, stand B84) has designed a new, photo-activated adhesive workholding system, comprising patented grippers and inserts, intended for use with stabiliser systems marketed by Big Daishowa and others that add extra rigidity to tall components while they are being machined.
The Workholding Stabiliser System will be launched at EMO on the Blue Photon stand. Representatives from European sales agent NCMT will be on hand throughout the exhibition to help with live demonstrations and answer questions.
The workholding system comprises a Blue Photon stabiliser puck, an adjustable stabiliser arm and a base mount, for which there are multiple options including T-slot, threaded hole and magnetic. The puck is positioned in an optimal location on the workpiece to provide maximum extra support during machining by transferring some of the cutting force to the machine table and structure.
Also at EMO, DMG Mori (hall 2) will present a new Machining Transformation (MX) framework based on four innovative technology and solution pillars: Process Integration, Automation, Digital Transformation and Green Transformation. Under the title DMG MORI City, the company will introduce holistic production concepts for applications in multiple industries based on cutting-edge machine tool technology, from universal and production CNC turning machines to 5-axis milling and mill-turn centres to additive manufacturing (AM) platforms.
The 39 machines and 20 automation solutions on show include the CTX beta 450 TC turn and mill centre, the CTX 450 and CTX 550 universal lathes, and the INH 63, a horizontal-spindle 5-axis machining centre. A modular PH Cell 800 pallet handling system and the UH-AMR 2000, an autonomous robot for material and tool handling will also be on show. Elsewhere in DMG MORI City, the CTX beta 450 TC turn-mill centre will provide a good example of process integration.
Elsewhere, WFL Millturn Technologies (hall 13, stand B51) will present two turning-boring-milling machines at EMO: the M50 MILLTURN/3,000mm and the M80X MILLTURN/4,500mm. Both machines feature a new design and are equipped with Sinumerik ONE. A mobile robot installed on an automated guided vehicle (AGV) is set to be another highlight of the event. It will demonstrate how to load and remove tools and workpieces.
The M80X MILLTURN with 4,500mm machining length and 1,000mm turning diameter is equipped with a grinding attachment and a vibration-damped Silent Tools Plus boring bar. Visitors can see what the machine can do for themselves with live demonstrations. On the M50 MILLTURN/3,000mm, WFL will provide a live demonstration of the machining of turbine blades and fir tree, and an impeller.
The demonstration of a mobile robot installed on an AGV is set to be one of the highlights at the WFL stand. It will show how it picks up chuck parts and tools from the warehouse and deposits them on the AGV. The mobile robot will then travel to the machine and, using a camera, scan the QR code to determine its exact position. The workpiece and tool are loaded and then removed again. For tools, there is an HSK-63 gripper and a Baruffaldi tool turret with Eppinger Quicklock tool holder system for automatic tool changes on the tool turret.
All things additive
Meanwhile, Renishaw (hall 6, stand B32) will demonstrate its additive manufacturing capabilities and how they integrate into the end-to-end process chain, as well as insight into how to use AM to support the future of business and sustainability.
The company’s stand will feature its ultra-high productivity, multi-laser additive manufacturing system, the RenAM 500Q. The system features four high-power 500W lasers, each able to access the whole powder bed surface simultaneously, helping to achieve significantly higher build rates, improve productivity and lower the cost per part. The system also facilitates build data collection, which manufacturers can use to optimise the manufacturing process and validate that the process and parts meet relevant criteria.
AM offers scope for reducing both material usage and the potential to decrease the carbon footprint of components, without compromising on quality. Most powder not used in the manufacturing process can be collected and recycled, whilst design for AM allows latticing and lightweighting of parts which is not possible with traditional techniques.
A new CNC system, the OSP-P500, will be launched by Japanese machine tool builder, Okuma (hall 15, stand B36) at EMO. The smart machine control, which is manufactured in-house, combines highly productive and precise machining with ease of use, energy efficiency and safety features to protect against cyberattacks.
Initially, 5-axis machining centres in Okuma's MU-V series and the MULTUS series of multitasking turn-milling machines will be equipped with the new machine control. NCMT, the sales agent for Okuma in the UK and Ireland, advises that this latest CNC system has twice the computing power of conventional machine controls, shortening cycle times by up to 15%. It is particularly suited to high-speed machining applications for achieving quality surface finishes.
The control is equipped with an on-machine Digital Twin to facilitate high-precision simulation of machining processes, reducing set-up times and speeding production. By performing these simulations on the machine itself, production can start immediately afterwards. Alternatively, with Digital Twin on a PC, simulation can be carried out offline while production is in progress on the machine.
In the same hall, Mazak (hall 15, stand B14) will showcase a total of 19 machines and 12 automation systems to include both machine tool and laser technologies, live cutting demonstrations, advanced software solutions and the latest developments in its Smooth Ai control software.
Mazak will demonstrate entry-level machines that increase productivity, profitability and competitiveness at an affordable price as a key theme, particularly for machine users new to Mazak technology. The entry-level machines, built in the UK and specifically developed for European machine tool users, include the CV5-500 5-axis machining centre and the new VCE-500 vertical machining centre that combine exceptional productivity with a highly competitive price point. In addition, the stand will also display a high-performance turning centre from the QTE range of machines.
Mazak will also include new machining solutions for rapidly growing industries, such as EV battery manufacturing, showcasing the new FSW-460V, a hybrid machine principally designed for automated friction stir welding while maintaining metalcutting capabilities. A new VCN series vertical machining centre equipped with high performance machining and the Mazak Ultraspindle to suit modern high-speed machining techniques will also be exhibited.
Visitors will also be able to view more information about Mazak iCONNECT, a new digital service for existing Mazak customers that has a suite of free services, including product manuals and e-learning, along with a Machine-2-Mazak (M2M) subscription service.
Let’s get connected
Finally, CGTech (hall 9, stand B24) will use EMO to launch the new VERICUT Version 9.4. Under the motto ‘Get connected’, CGTech says it provides outstanding features and functions with the current version, which offer immediate added value in the day-to-day business of metalcutting production.
The new CNC Machine Monitoring module focuses on increasing connectivity across the manufacturing workflow, enabling organisations to do more with the resources they already have. Via VERICUT, the real events on the shopfloor can be streamed live in real-time to monitor what the machines in the workshop are doing. In this way, it is possible to check which NC program or subprogram is currently running, how the movements of the machine axes and spindle activity are currently present, or which tool is loaded.
With the new CNC Precheck - a standalone app - machine operators can ensure that key points of the machine setup correspond to the data checked in VERICUT, without tying up a VERICUT license. Any differences, which may lead to problems, can then be investigates and corrected before any actual machining takes place.
The new improved VERICUT Reviewer is very practical as everyone in the company, including machinists, engineers, quality assurance, can check NC programs before they run on the real CNC machine, and without tying up a VERICUT license. All that is required is the free downloadable Reviewer app.
All VERICUT users, even those without the Force module, can benefit from the enhancements to optimisation in VERICUT 9.4. Streamlined setup and the settings provided by VERICUT Tool Data gives users an opportunity to quickly optimise their NC programs, without having to search for starting values when it comes to materials and cutting tool parameters.
Lastly, VERICUT 9.4 offers improved support of Multi-ToolStations (MTS), a new ToolsUnited interface (access to tool and cutting data from over 40 tool manufacturers) and improved tool data (extension to include HSS and ceramic milling cutters as well as knurled milling cutters).