Supreme connectivity, laser technology and 3D metal printing: Okuma launches new generation of machine tools

Okuma presented a new line of machine tools at the 28th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (November 17- November 22, 2016). The manufacturer’s trade innovations included state-of-the-art 5-axis vertical machining centres and a new type of intelligent multitasking machine. Among the highlights was the introduction of the world’s first multitasking machines capable of milling, turning, and grinding as well as laser-hardening and 3D metal printing.

Smart factory, just-in-time-production, varying order sizes – production and machining requirements are higher than ever. To meet those demands, Okuma’s latest machine tools take multitasking machining to the next level. The new models will be available in Europe in mid-2017
Intelligent horizontal multitasking machine
To facilitate process-intensive production in a smart factory, Okuma has added the MULTUS U5000 to its line-up of multitasking machines. Designed for machining medium and large-sized components for the aerospace, energy and infrastructure industries, the MULTUS U5000 handles even difficult-to-cut materials, such as Titanium and Inconel. With the strongest turning spindle of its class, the MULTUS U5000 achieves unrivalled machining efficiency.
In an effort to allow operators to perform gear machining in-house, Okuma has made skiving and hobbing operations available on their multitasking machines with the accompanying software package enabling faster and easier programming.
With Industry 4.0 no longer a thing of the future, the MULTUS U5000 comes equipped with the latest generation of CNC control – OSP suite – as well as Okuma’s Intelligent Technology. These applications offer supreme connectivity and allow for a seamless integration of the machine tool into an “Internet of Things”-based production environment.
“Smart Machine” for 5-axis vertical machining
Designed to stand at the heart of a smart factory, Okuma’s latest 5-Axis vertical machining centre MU-S600V is able to instantly respond to changed lead-times and accommodates production formats ranging from high-mix, low volume to mass production.
The compact MU-S600V has a very small footprint with a machine-width of 1,400 mm and is able to cut workpieces of up to 600 mm in diameter. The machine’s compact dimensions and structural design allow for outstanding ease-of-use and easier crane jobs. Its robotic table enables completely unmanned, automated operations, eliminating manual handling of parts between set-ups in different machines. Production line layouts are easily adjusted in accordance with changes in production volume.
Laser technology for process-intensive machining
Designed to be the world’s first “done-on-one”-machines, the Okuma MU-6300V LASER EX and the MULTUS U3000 LASER EX are capable of milling, turning, grinding, 3D metal printing and heat treatment for a wide range of workpiece sizes and shapes. On-machine hardening provides the solution to a major bottleneck in production: Compared to hardening by conventional heat treatment, the process is quick and causes less distortion, resulting in dramatically increased throughput. The machine tools fully support agile manufacturing and process-intensive applications.
With a high-quality TRUMPF laser beam source at its core, Okuma’s LASER EX series enables stable laser processing over long runs. The machines allow for Laser Metal Deposition – LMD – for both large-capacity and high definition additive manufacturing. 0.4 to 8.5 mm laser spot diameters enable unparalleled throughput regardless of the application. 3D moulding, coating and sectional repair of heat-resistant alloys and highly rigid materials are available on the machine as well.
Okuma’s OSP control meanwhile monitors and controls the entire process, ensuring reliable and stable additive manufacturing for products on par with forged components. The machine tools therefore meet the quality requirements of even the most demanding applications and industries such as aerospace machining.
Additional Okuma models with laser applications will be available shortly.
Okuma Europe GmbH is the Germany-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools, founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan. The company is the industry’s only single-source provider, with the CNC machine, drive, motors, encoders, spindle and CNC control all manufactured by Okuma. Okuma’s innovative and reliable technology, paired with comprehensive, localised service protection, allows users to run continuously with confidence – maximising profitability. Along with its industry-leading distribution network, Okuma facilitates quality, productivity and efficiency, empowering the customer and enabling competitive advantage in today’s demanding manufacturing environment.

BIG KAISER gewinnt den PRODEX-Award

Digitaler Ausdrehkopf der neusten Generation für Innovation in Richtung Industrie 4.0 ausgezeichnet.


BIG KAISER, ein Weltmarktführer für hochwertige Präzisionswerkzeuge und Systeme für die metallverarbeitende Industrie, wurde für die innovative Entwicklung seines digitalen Wireless-Präzisionsausdrehsystems EWD EVO, das mit großen Schritten in Richtung Industrie 4.0 geht, mit dem diesjährigen PRODEX-Award ausgezeichnet.

Der PRODEX-Award ist der wichtigste Industriepreis der Schweiz. Er wird für Innnovationen oder wesentliche Verbesserungen in den Bereichen Werkzeuge, Werkzeugmaschinen und Fertigungsmesstechnik vergeben. Neben dem Innovationsgehalt war für die Jury auch die Bedeutung für die Fertigungsindustrie und die Originalität ausschlaggebend.

„Ich freue mich sehr, dass BIG KAISER mit einer so angesehenen Auszeichnung für unserem digitalen Ausdrehkopf EWD EVO und seine Vorreiterrolle auf dem Weg zu Industrie 4.0 anerkannt wurde“, sagt Peter Elmer, CEO von BIG KAISER. „Dank unserer langjährigen Erfahrung in der Elektrotechnik ist BIG KAISER ideal positioniert, um bei digitalen Entwicklungen für Werkzeugmaschinen des 21. Jahrhunderts die Führung zu übernehmen.“

Der PRODEX-Award 2016 bestätigt, dass der Standort Schweiz Technologie von Weltklasse zu bieten hat“, fährt Elmer fort. „Gleich zwei in der Schweiz entwickelte Innovationen konnten sich unter den ersten Drei platzieren, mit einem japanischen Unternehmen als Zweitplatziertem.“

Der Ausdrehkopf EWD EVO verbindet sich drahtlos mit der benutzerfreundlichen App für Smartphone und Tablet von BIG KAISER, um die Überwachung und Konfiguration des Ausdrehkopfs zu erleichtern. Das erlaubt Bedienern das Ablesen der Veränderungen im Drehdurchmesser und hilft ihnen, die optimalen Schnittparameter zu bestimmen. Die App speichert außerdem sämtliche früheren Einstellungen aller Werkzeuge, die mit ihr synchronisiert wurden – essenzielle Informationen für die Umsetzung von Smart Manufacturing im Unternehmen.

Die PRODEX ist eine führende internationale Fachmesse für Werkzeugmaschinen, Werkzeuge und Fertigungsmesstechnik, die vom 15. bis 18. November 2016 in der Messe Basel stattgefunden hat.

Swiss Plastics 2017: Arburg heralds a “golden” electric era

Arburg will present the cost-efficient automated manufacturing of quality parts at Swiss Plastics 2017, to be held in Lucerne (Switzerland) from 24 to 26 January 2017. An Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric from the new electric entry-level machine series will produce a connector as an example of a technical moulded part for the electrical industry on the Arburg stand C1061 in Hall 1. Thanks to its consistent standardisation, the machine offers an excellent price/performance ratio. A Multilift Select linear robotic system will perform the handling tasks.

570 E, 370 E, EDRIVE, Perspektive
570 E, 370 E, EDRIVE, Perspektive


“Our customers in Switzerland are increasingly turning to electric injection moulding technology. Most of the machines we supply have electric drives,” explains Marcel Spadini, Arburg Subsidiary Manager in Switzerland. The high-end machines are available for high-performance and special applications in the shape of the high-end electric Alldrive series, which can be adapted individually to the application at hand. Arburg also introduced the “Golden Electric” machine series onto the market in spring 2016 to enable cost-efficient entry into electric injection moulding manufacturing. Like their successful “Golden Edition” hydraulic counterparts, the new electric machines offer an excellent price/performance ratio thanks to consistent standardisation, e.g. a fixed combination of distance between tie-bars, clamping force and injection unit size.

High-performance, precise, energy efficient

The Allrounder Golden Electric is available in four sizes with clamping forces from 600 to 2,000 kN.

The double five-point toggle ensures fast, high-performance cycles. The play-free spindle drives operate with high precision. The position-regulated screw ensures high moulded part quality. The new electric machine series also features liquid-cooled motors and servo inverters and also offers benefits in terms of energy efficiency, short dry cycle times and high reproducibility. Compared to hydraulic standard machines, the high efficiency of the servo motors, continuous power adaptation and energy recovery during braking achieve energy savings of up to 55 percent. The machines are also easy to maintain thanks to swivelling injection units, plug-in cylinder modules and further improved lubrication and cooling.

Ideally suited to high-quality technical parts

The entry-level electric machines are mainly used in the cost-efficient and reproducible manufacturing of high-quality electric parts. Arburg will demonstrate this at the Swiss Plastics 2017 with a PP moulded part for the electrical industry: an Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric with a clamping force of 1,000 kN and a size 290 injection unit will produce 16 connectors for size M12 Skintop® screw fittings in a cycle time of 18 seconds. These fittings are used to fasten, centre and seal cables and also include a strain relief feature. The moulded part weight is two grams. A linear Multilift Select robotic system will perform the handling tasks.

Cost-efficient automation solution

The Multilift Select is the entry-level model among the linear robotic systems from Arburg. It features servo-electric drives and is fully integrated in the Selogica machine control system. For the operator this means: only one data set, a familiar approach during programming and perfect synchronisation of robotic system and machine. Moreover, the teach-in function means that the Multilift Select is extremely easy to program. The advantages of this strategy are evident. Programming times and conversion procedures are efficiently shortened, handling sequences are more reliable overall and training expenses are much lower.

Renishaw additive manufacturing expertise revives Hawker Typhoon

Global engineering technologies company Renishaw has helped bring a national treasure back to Gloucester. Using original 1938 drawings, the company worked with the Jet Age Museum to additively manufacture (3D print) four sets of unusual cockpit brackets for a Hawker Typhoon aircraft, built almost exclusively in the UK city during the 1940s.  


Using original drawings from 1938, Renishaw’s engineers modelled each bracket from scratch using a computer-aided design (CAD) system. After prototyping in plastic polycarbonate, the company produced the final parts using a Renishaw AM250 additive manufacturing machine, which like the original brackets were recreated in an aluminium alloy.

“Reconstructing the brackets with traditional manufacturing technologies such as CNC machining was not feasible, so we suggested using additive manufacturing,” explained Joshua Whitmore, Development Technician at Renishaw. “The design flexibility of additive manufacturing allowed us to create and produce the cockpit brackets quickly and efficiently. It was inspiring to see the latest additive manufacturing technology being used to recreate a part of history.”

The Jet Age Museum rescued the Typhoon from a scrap yard in the early 90s and has been working on the restoration project of returning the aircraft to its original home ever since.

“There are currently no working Hawker Typhoons in existence and complete aircrafts are extremely rare,” explained Trevor Davies, Typhoon Sponsor Coordinator for the Jet Age Museum.

“Renishaw has helped to bring a rare piece of heritage back to the area. We cannot put a price on what the company has done for the Typhoon, the museum and the local community. The aircraft will stand as inspiration to younger generations in the area for years to come. Without Renishaw’s additive manufacturing capabilities, we would not have been able to reproduce the brackets as authentic parts of the restoration.”

For a full case study and videos about the project, see

Tombstone Module: One Of 50 Edgecam Updates

 The new 2017 release of Edgecam introduces a Tombstone module for assembling pre-existing parts on a defined mounting device.


A simple dialog window enables users to add pre-machined part files, specifying the positions they are to be mounted on a tombstone or other multi-component work-holding device. Once they are assembled, Edgecam automatically merges and rationalises all machining sequences by tool or index position and optimising the NC output into sub-routines. Edgecam Brand Manager John Buehler says: “This new feature offers huge time savings, as users no longer have to manually carry out the load, insert, merge and rationalize commands.”

There are just under 50 items of new and enhanced functionality in Edgecam 2017 R1, covering turning, milling, wire EDM, machine configurations, and user experience.

Amongst the updates, Edgecam’s Code Wizard includes two highly significant enhancements in terms of machine tool configurations for lathes. When specifying Turret Type, the code wizard now supports Linear configuration. On this type of turret tools are mounted in a linear fashion, across either the X, Y or Z axis. “This arrangement is largely used on Swiss-type machines, but in other normal configurations, too.”

Radially and axial mounted tools are also supported, in both single and multiple spindle environments.

Another new feature is a sliding spindle or material, providing support for machines where the tool is static but the material slides in and out of the chuck or collet. “Again, this is similar to Swiss-type machines,” says John Buehler.

Having supported probing on mills for many years, the latest release of Edgecam introduces the same technology in the turning and mill-turn environment. Renishaw and m & h probing systems are supported, as well as a new Probe category in the Toolstore. Users can choose from a list of seven command cycles, all fully supported in the machine simulator.

Several background enhancements not only improve picking/highlighting when working with solid files, but show improvements in speed and part file manipulation. These enhancements come about through improvements to Edgecam’s own internal engine, and by upgrading the OpenGL 3.3 technology.

The Update Fixture command has been enhanced to include optimised Indexing moves. “Previously, users had to pick a safe Index position for the whole sequence. Edgecam 2017 R1 removes this limitation, by automatically checking and correcting all Index Moves against stock and fixtures.”

Additional updates have been made to the Rough Groove cycle…this time to include canned cycle support, through a Canned Cycle check-box. A further enhancement in the Turning environment sees most Turning Cam dialogs upgraded featuring pictures to define cycle functionality, which John Buehler says will be especially useful to new and infrequent users.

Users working with multiple components will gain significant benefits from two new features in the Insert Component command. “It’s now possible to insert separate machining sequences – whereas in the past all sequences had to be inserted, which, in certain set-ups, wasn’t necessary.” Also, CPL datum can now be selected from a simple drop-down menu.

The new release includes three specific enhancements for wire users – transformation, Fanuc technology, and Wireframe Feature Finder. The previous of Edgecam introduced the Transform command, and this latest version evolves the Translate function within that, by adding two further significant time saving Transform commands: Rotate and Mirror, which also supports sub-routine output. And the new software also supports Fanuc α-C600Ia in the Technology tables.

The new Wireframe Feature finder command caters specifically for users working with 2D/3D wireframe CAD data. It removes the need to rely on Linked and Taper Profile commands, making it easier to work with intricate profile shapes.

The need to create stock to run the Machine Simulator has now been removed. A new command in the Preferences section now defaults Edgecam to create stock automatically. When the system detects the absence of stock, it copies the component solid model, converting it to stock. “This offers significant time savings where the user simply wants to check a finishing cycle, or is working with Probing cycles.”

Three new pieces of functionality have been added to the Profiling cycle. Cut Increment Stand Off, under the Links tab, gives control of the cutter’s position during passes. The Helical function now has a Supress Helical Clean Up Pass Offset option in the Multiple Passes function determines the order of cuts. The Multiple Passes function now offers Cut By Offset, which allows the user to determine the manner in which the toolpath is distributed.

Numerous new features have been added to the Workflow and Planning Board automated machining commands, leading to toolpaths being generated faster. Strategies are now applied to both Main and Sub Spindles in the Turning environment, instead of only in Main, meaning the strategies now support the Spindle Set-Up command by transferring the workpiece from the Main to the Sub Spindle. And the introduction of Hole Finish Method in the Options dialog now allows Reaming to be specified as a method of finishing a hole feature by checking the hole’s finish attribute. A new Use Current Tool check-box in the Machine Feature option can force the strategy to use the current turning tool or milling cutter.

Session details have been added to Setup Browser and Rotational Handle on Dynamic CPL Marker within the Turning environment. John Buehler says these are ease of use enhancements. “Specifically with turning, users will notice that the CPL Marker looks simpler by just displaying the X and Z markers. The new marker can be used to dynamically rotate, pan and translate the component. The Set-Up window has been split into two distinct panels – Session, which displays environment and material information, and Set-Up dealing with datum and positioning. And when loading multiple parts the Set-Up window will individualise each solid model and automatically add a new CPL datum, meaning each model can be scrutinised individually, and datum altered.

There is no longer any need to program Rapid To Toolchange and Rapid To Home commands when working with turning and mill-turn machines, as this can now be set as the default.

And finally, a new option of Mating Location has been added when CPLs are created, signifying a machining sequence datum…along with Machine Location when inserting components. The main benefit of this is to filter out unnecessary CPL datum while using the Insert command, Index command or the new Tombstone function.     

Flexible Lithium-ion rechargeable battery for smartcards, wearables and IoT devices

Panasonic presents innovative flexible batteries that withstand bending and twisting with no loss of function.



At electronica 2016 Panasonic will present innovative, highly flexible Lithium-ion batteries: they can withstand repeated bending with a radius of 25 mm or twisting with a maximum angle of 25 degrees, with no loss of function. The batteries are extremely thin with a height of only 0.55 millimetres, which makes them ideal for use in smartcards and wearable devices.


The durable construction allows use of the innovative rechargeable batteries in diverse applications: batteries in card devices, for example, must be able to withstand bending without becoming defective. Flexibility is also an advantage in wearable devices such as smart watches, since it allows them to be adjusted to the individual user. “Comparable Lithium-ion batteries cannot fulfil these requirements”, according to Takuyuki Okano, Chief Engineer at Panasonic. “Repeated bending of the batteries not only reduces the charge capacity and the life of the battery, but also has a severe impact on their safety.” The new flexible rechargeable battery from Panasonic features excellent quality and is designed for safe and long-lasting operation. In stress tests it retains 99 % of the original capacity even after one thousand bends and twists.


The battery features a stacked electrode construction. A newly designed internal structure and an innovative laminated outer layer ensure that the battery does not leak or overheat during repeated bending and twisting. This rugged construction makes the battery ideal for use in smartwatches and smart clothes in direct contact with the body.


The flexible Lithium-ion battery is currently still in the development phase; serial production is scheduled to start in 2018. The three models planned so far have charge capacities between 17.5 mAh and 60 mAh with a weight of only 0.7 to 1.9 grams.

In high demand: Participation documents for GrindTec 2018 already available in November 2016 / Exhibition areas in Augsburg are extended

The trend is clear: increasing numbers of GrindTec exhibitors, but also new companies, are showing great interest in making sure of their participation at the world’s leading platform for grinding technology very early on.


Numerous companies had contacted the project management for this reason in recent weeks and months. Because of this, the GrindTec event organizer AFAG has decided to send out the participation documents this November. Parallel to this they will also be offered on the homepage as a download.


AFAG optimally prepared for further growth of the GrindTec

The recent 2016 GrindTec was also able to shine with three best achievements: 577 exhibitors, 17,950 visitors and 42,000m² of exhibition area – it set new records in these fundamental criteria. The event manager AFAG assumes that these records will already be history at the coming exhibition. A temporary exhibition hall will accommodate the expected growth. This hall is perfectly integrated in the visitors’ tour by means of single passage from hall 3.


Excellent results for GrindTec exhibitors

The backdrop of the excellent results of the exhibitors makes it easy to understand the continual growth of the GrindTec. The Gelszus exhibition market research in Dortmund thus obtained the following results within the framework of a representative survey at the GrindTec 2016: 64% assessed their participation at the exhibition as “very good” or “good”, a further 28% were “satisfied”. The estimation of business after the exhibition is als extremely positive: 74% have “very good” or “good” expectations and for a further 20% they are “satisfactory”.

Order Exhibition GrindTec: 2,700 visitors place orders

GrindTec visitors are assessed very highly by the exhibitors. Almost all the visitors are experts in the field of grinding technology; added to this is the high decision-making competency. 85% are “sole or joint decision-makers” or at least “advisory participants”. For the majority of them (57%) the visit is to prepare or secure an investment, 15% signed an order. This means a minimum of 2,700 orders, an average of at least 4.7 per exhibitor! A total of 66% of visitors said they had made contacts at the GrindTec 2016 which could lead to orders after the exhibition.

More guests from Asia

Almost a third (31%) of GrindTec visitors come from abroad. Neighbouring European countries still dominate here, but the increasing interest shown particularly by Asia is conspicuous. Approximately 1,300 visitors from Asia were registered, and China’s representation was the highest here. Guests from a total of almost 60 nations had come to Augsburg, which was also a new record.

Here’s to the next round: GrindTec 2018 from 14 to 17 March

The participation documents will be sent to the exhibitors in the coming days; they are also available as a download on the GrindTec homepage: . As the exhibitor papers are being offered two months earlier this time, the exhibition hall planning is also being moved forward to Mai 2017. As always, the project management advises registration as early as possible so that position requests can be considered earlier.