Given the scope of exhibitors at IMTS 2016, and the number of attendees expected (over 114,000 for the previous event in 2014), it’s not surprising that many of the world’s top developers of manufacturing technology will choose the September stage to debut their latest offerings. New CAD and CAM programs will be demonstrated, new network functions will be revealed, and new tooling will be available. Most visibly, new milling, turning, and cutting machines will be unveiled.
Some of these will be new names to many IMTS attendees, like the SmartDriveComau 800L horizontal machining center, or the FZH400 5-axis HMC from F. Zimmermann GmbH; others will be new capabilities offered by familiar brand names, like GF Machining Solutions’ new AgieCharmilles CUT 2000 X advanced wire EDM system.
Some of the most influential new technologies will be found as part of larger development programs — advanced capabilities that serve as access points for shops seeking new capabilities, or production programs seeking new levels of performance.
That is certainly the case for Mazak Corp., which will demonstrate a wide portfolio of new machine designs and production process capabilities — as is its custom for a large-scale event like IMTS 2016.
Among the new machine tools Mazak will unveil at IMTS will be its Variaxis i-800T multi-tasking machine developed to improve milling operations and boost productivity – in particular for manufacturers supplying aerospace programs.
With full five-axis milling and turning capabilities and integrated liquid nitrogen cryogenics technology, this new MTM reportedly will provide high processing efficiency for complex aerospace components, and also prevent “the detrimental white layers” that are common when machining parts from aerospace materials like titanium, nickel, Invar (FeNi36 / 64FeNi), etc.
Mazak will demonstrate the Variaxis i-800T cutting an aerospace jet-engine blisk. The machine will be fixed with an 80-tool magazine for uninterrupted productivity and a 10,000-rpm, CAT-50 spindle for milling speed and power. The machine’s trunnion-style tilting table and multi-tasking capability will mean that users can reduce the inaccuracies that occur when moving parts across multiple workstations, eliminate work-in-process inventory, and increase overall throughput.
With the availability of cryogenics, the Variaxis i-800T also will increase cutting tool life and eliminate the part surface white layers.
Mazak’s cryogenics freeze cutting tools from the inside out and keep their cutting tips/edges in a frozen state as the workpiece remains at ambient. The result of this is that “absolutely zero heat” or thermal affects transfer into the workpiece, and these critical parts will maintain their base material integrity.
The system also facilitates faster machining speeds and feeds, helps prevent burrs, and contributes to overall cost-per-part reduction because processes to remove white layers become unnecessary.
“As with all Mazak technology, we developed the Variaxis i-800T with cryogenics to accomplish one key objective – further improve the performance and productivity of our customer’s overall part processing operations,” explained Dan Janka, executive vice president at Mazak. “And we collaborated with cryogenics pioneer company 5ME to ensure our particular system would truly enhance machining operations and benefit our customers. And we’ve succeeded.”
Janka added that aerospace manufacturers stand to save millions of dollars with the elimination of the processes, intense labor and capital equipment currently involved with the removal of white layers from parts after they have been machined.