Category Archives: Machines

Okuma launches two-spindle smart CNC lathe 2SP-2500H

Okuma adds the 2SP-2500H CNC lathe to its line of a smart machines. The innovative front-facing twin spindles provide significantly higher levels of productivity and far greater reliability in mass production, especially for automotive parts. The compact automation-ready machine provides excellent floor space utilisation and integrates two lathes into one unit with a standard loader for continuous front and back work.

The latest entry in Okuma’s 2SP-H Series of two-spindle CNC lathes is designed to provide consistent quality in mass production while increasing efficiency through process-intensive machining and automation. The lathe enables stable unattended production over long runs via a high-speed loader feeding blanks. Due to the machine’s unique design, the loader is able to enter the 2SP-2500H regardless of the turret’s position. Since turret retraction is not necessary, workpiece transport and changeover times are greatly reduced.

With 5,000min-1, the lathe’s turning spindle offers the fastest spindle speed of its class. The 2SP-2500H offers unrivalled floor space utilisation with the smallest-in-class machine width of 2,200 mm. Despite its compact dimensions, the machine features an impressive maximum turning diameter of 250 mm.

The 2SP-2500H is 20% faster than previous models. With a maximum spindle speed of 6,000min-1 and a doubled max motor output of 7.1 kW, the machine’s milling capabilities are on par with that of a small machining centre. Other applications include powerful face milling, drilling and tapping.

Okuma’s Intelligent Technology application Thermo-Friendly Concept minimises thermal deformation and enables supreme accuracy. A tool life calculator predicts the remaining time before an exchange is required and prevents cutting edge breakage, thus reducing costs.

High-performing transfer machine

The TFL 400 rotary transfer machine has been designed for a large production volume.

The TFL 400 features a three-position revolving tool change system, is equipped with a HSK 63 taper and can also be equipped to house facing heads as well. It is described as highly reliable and capable of changing the tool without chip or coolant contamination from adjacent machining units. Available with six to twelve work stations, whereby one or two of them can be used to load and unload workpieces, the transfer machine features a rotary table that ranges from 2,000 to 2,400 mm in diameter according to the number of stations. It is fitted with a rotating clamping fixture for each station, with an innovative rotation system that ensures faster rotation times than the direct-drive solution. In addition, as the Italian exhibitors point out, maximum positioning accuracy and stiffness during machining is effectively ensured through a triple Hirth coupling. Its excellent reliability and performance is said to make the TFL 400 a technologically more advanced machine in comparison to the competition available during recent years.

Powerful solution for three- to five-axis precision machining

With the Picomax 75, Fehlmann announces a powerful solution for three- to five-axis machining. The machine construction, the Z-axis travel, the geometry and the control unit are designed for five-axis operation with the company’s dividing and swiveling units.

The robust Picomax 75 is designed to increase efficiency wherever the highest precision and highest machining performance are called for.

Up to five axes are fully integrated in the control system. This combination is said to ensure optimum access and precision in five-, four- and three-axis machining. The Picomax 75 can also be ordered as a pure three-axis milling machine, whereby fourth and fifth axes can be retrofitted if required at any time. As is pointed out, the machine is easily accessible from the front, also in combination with the optionally available automatic parts handling.

At EMO Hannover 2017 the exhibit will be equipped with a six-axis articulated-arm robot to enable the handling of blanks without pallets. Thanks to the automatic, flexible re-clamping of parts by the robot, an all-over machining of workpieces is possible without operator intervention. Workpieces can be produced with fully automated manufacturing and emerge completely finished from the machining process.

Tornos continues to perform well

The Tornos Group performed very well in the first half of 2017. After a somewhat sluggish start to the year, demand for all product lines picked up significantly in every region from March onwards.

The Tornos Group improved all the key business figures in the half-year financial statements markedly. Order intake for the first half of 2017 was up by a total of around 65% on the figure for the equivalent prior-year period (and even by 98% in the machines business), the backlog rose by around 75% compared with the end of 2016, and net sales were also considerably higher than in the same period of the previous year. Tornos is back in profit with EBIT of CHF 1.7 million and a net result of CHF 0.3 million. The Group expects the annual financial statements to show positive EBIT and a positive net result. In the first half of 2017, the Tornos Group posted total net sales of CHF 82.1 million (first half of 2016: CHF 69.8 million, +17.5%) and order intake of CHF 103.2 million (first half of 2016: CHF 62.6 million, +64.7%). In the machines business, Tornos even managed to increase order intake by 98%. The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2017 came to CHF 1.7 million (first half of 2016: CHF -2.4 million), and the net result was CHF 0.3 million (first half of 2016: CHF – 3.5 million).

In the first half of 2017 the Tornos Group generated positive free cash flow of CHF 10.1 million, thanks partly to a substantial reduction in net working capital since the start of the year. The Group had experienced a cash drain of CHF 9.1 million in the first half of 2016. The number of people employed by the Tornos Group (in full-time equivalents) rose slightly, from 631 at the end of 2016 to 641 at the end of June 2017.

Market position improves considerably
Streamlining and expanding the product range enabled the Tornos Group to strengthen its position considerably in the various market segments and regions in the first half of 2017. Order intake improved markedly in all regions. During the past year, the automotive industry – the most important market for Tornos – suffered from uncertainties and great reluctance to invest. Confidence returned to this market in the first few months of 2017 and demand for capital goods increased sharply, especially in the higher-price segment. The market segments of medical and dental technology and electronics also saw demand for high-value capital goods increase significantly in the first half of 2017. It is only in the watchmaking industry that no turnaround has yet been perceived.

Demand for high-end products rises strongly
Having already boosted sales of machines in the medium-price segment in the second half of 2016, the Tornos Group achieved very gratifying sales in the highend multispindle segment in the first half of 2017. This was largely attributable to the newly launched MultiSwiss models, which can be used for manufacturing parts with a diameter of up to 32 millimetres. In June 2017, Tornos delivered the 200th machine from the MultiSwiss range, which was launched in 2011. Tornos also intends to add extremely innovative high-end machines to its Swisstype automatic lathe (single-spindle) product range. These will be unveiled to an interested specialist audience at EMO Hannover, the industry’s leading trade show, in September 2017.

Systematic implementation of the flexibility strategy
As part of its flexibility strategy, the Tornos Group began outsourcing a substantial portion of component manufacture to third parties at the beginning of 2015 via targeted global supply chain management. These activities will be stepped up in the second half of 2017. At the same time, the Tornos Group will invest in ultra-modern manufacturing technologies in order to be able to produce its key components and small series more efficiently.

Outlook for the second half of the year
The overall economic prospects and the forecasts for the Swiss mechanical engineering industry are all positive for the second half of the year. Thanks to its streamlined product range which is ideally tailored to the needs of its customers, Tornos is well equipped to continue to benefit from the revival in demand in the core markets. The Group also expects positive EBIT and a positive net result for
the 2017 business year.

Angular contact ball bearings in many variants

Depending on the application, IBC provides a variety of high-precision angular contact ball bearings in various sizes and with different design features.

Angular contact ball bearings are offered by IBC in various designs.

The high-precision angular contact ball bearings from IBC have been developed for all kinds of rolling bearing applications. Either individually or in combination, they are reportedly produced to meet the highest requirements placed in the areas of reliability, stiffness, rotational speed and running accuracy.

The large number of types allows spindle manufacturers from different branches or special machine builders to optimize their spindles according to the aspects most important to them. The angular contact ball bearings can be supplied with contact angles of 15°, 25°, 30°, 40° and 60° and with different rolling element diameters as well as with rolling elements made of steel or ceramics. According to the manufacturers, this kind of bearing has raceways in the inner and outer ring, which are displaced with respect to each other in the direction of the bearing axis. This means that the products are suitable for radial and axial loads.

The German company points out that it offers a broad spectrum of other bearing series to meet specific needs. This wide range of products enables the bearing user to achieve higher performance at a lower cost.

Okuma Europe hosts successful aerospace-themed open house

CNC machine tools manufacturer Okuma welcomed 200 international customers from the aerospace industry to their Aerospace Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Paris this February. The open house included live machining of aerospace components using the latest technologies, such as a newly developed swarf milling function for difficult-to-cut materials.

In keeping with the company’s strong Industry 4.0-focus, all of the machines on display were network-connected to mimic production in a smart-factory. Okuma will demonstrate additional aerospace solutions during a dedicated Lunch & Learn event in the Paris ACE to complement their Paris Air Show presence (June 19 -June 25).

Okuma’s three Aerospace Centres of Excellence in Japan, the USA and Paris are dedicated to provide cutting-edge machining solutions for the industry as well as a proving and testing ground for aerospace manufacturers around the world. During the open house at Okuma’s Paris Aerospace Centre of Excellence, Okuma illustrated their approach to cutting aerospace components live on their extensive fleet of machines. To integrate Okuma products into an IIoT-based production environment, each machine status was trackable via a central monitor.

Comprehensive machining expertise
Workpieces included turbine discs and aluminium impellers as well as parts made from difficult-to-cut materials, such as titanium blisks machined on Okuma’s 5-axis machining centre MU-6300V. To meet even the highest machining demands, Okuma has partnered with other renowned industry experts. A new swarf milling technology was developed in cooperation with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, whose line of barrel tools was especially designed for machining aerospace components. CAM solutions developer Open Mind presented their latest production solutions for the aerospace industry. The performance package hyperMILL MAXX Machining includes three modules for efficient roughing, finishing and drilling. The roughing module offers numerous cycles for milling in trochoidal tool paths, resulting in fast and reliable HPC machining. With the innovative CAM strategy “5axis tangent plane machining” time savings of up to 90 percent can be achieved.

By utilising Sandvik Coromant’s InvoMilling 1.0 software, Okuma’s intelligent multitasking machine MULTUS U3000 proved to be on par with dedicated gear cutting machines, machining spur gears and a variety of different gear profiles on-site.

While cutting an aluminium flat track on an Okuma horizontal machining centre MB-4000H, tool monitoring control TMAC by Blum Novotest was shown to monitor the machine’s spindle, ensuring process efficiency and security. Okuma also employed a roughness gauging touch probe by Blum in their machining demonstrations. Zoller displayed their state-of-the-art measuring devices for superior precision in aerospace machining.

Intelligent Technology for aerospace machining
Among the demonstrations of Okuma’s line of Intelligent Technology applications, the threading function Machining Navi T-g was used to machine threaded drive shafts on Okuma’s LB3000 EX II lathe. The manufacturer’s 5-Axis Auto Tuning System was shown to provide highly accurate on-site tuning even when cutting demanding materials such as titanium.

Over the course of three days, Okuma welcomed 200 guests from all over Europe to see their latest aerospace machining solutions in action. One-on-one discussions with the Okuma experts and their partners rounded off the event.

CECIMO commits to contribute to a new european industrial strategy

Mr Luigi Galdabini, President of CECIMO and Managing Director of Galdabini SPA, was one of the renowned panellist at the first European Industry Day that took place on 28 February 2017. He supported SMEs’ view and reported the challenges that the industry faces accessing new technologies. This intervention was in line with the “Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy” signed by 125 European manufacturing associations, which calls the European Institutions to define and implement an ambitious European industrial strategy.

CECIMO voices the needs of manufacturing SMEs in the First European Industry Day
CECIMO welcomes the first European Industry Day that was organized by the European Commission and saw the participation of high-level policy makers, including Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Carlos Moedas. The event brought together hundreds of stakeholders from across Europe to discuss issues of high importance for the European industrialists.

The European machine tool industry was represented by Mr Luigi Galdabini, President of CECIMO and Managing Director of Galdabini SPA in the European Industry Day. As debater in the high-level panel on SME access to technologies, Mr Galdabini highlighted that cross-border collaboration between machine tool builders and technology centres is essential, but severe bottlenecks, hampering the competitiveness of industry, exist. “If European machine tool builders want to keep up with market trends, they need to be increasingly agile, develop new solutions that match the changing needs of machine tool users, and focus on incremental innovation, offering continuously improved goods and services to customers. Consequently, technology centres spread across Europe can join forces with manufacturing SMEs and help them in responding to these evolving demands. At strategic level, MT builders need more policy instruments that foster the link between research and business, and they also call for incentives, which underpin cross-border collaboration in Europe and support the internationalisation of manufacturing SMEs” added Mr Galdabini.

Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy
CECIMO and other 124 European manufacturing associations launched a week ago a Joint-Declaration that calls the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement an ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy. “CECIMO finds very positive that the European Commission organises the first European Industry Day. Nevertheless, to safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe, the Commission needs to follow up what stakeholders have been voicing and to come up with a comprehensive action plan focusing on the strengths of our businesses” stated Mr Filip Geerts, CECIMO Director General.

The Joint-Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy highlights that, while competitors from across the world puts industry at the very top of their political agendas, develop and implement well-thought strategies, the EU falls behind its industrial policy targets. “There has been no better time to reaffirm Europe’s commitment to manufacturing, innovation and jobs. European associations representing 125 manufacturing sectors are ready to offer their cooperation to the European Institutions” points out Mr Geerts.

CECIMO is the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries. We bring together 15 national associations of machine tool builders, which represent approximately 1500 industrial enterprises in Europe (EU + EFTA + Turkey), over 80% of which are SMEs. CECIMO covers 98% of the total machine tool production in Europe and about 39% worldwide. It accounts for more than 150,000 employees and a turnover of nearly €24 billion in 2015. More than three quarters of CECIMO production is shipped abroad, whereas half of it is exported outside Europe.