The 5ME cryogenic machining technology transmits liquid nitrogen through a spindle/turret and directly to the cutting edge, at -321°F.

Showing the Cooler, More Customizable Side of Cryogenic Machining

Aug. 25, 2016
5ME pitches "cryo’s" new applications, demonstrate its ability to maximize productivity, profitability Multi-patented machining process Online technology hub See and learn at IMTS 2016

Cryogenic machining is not a new concept, but it continues to fascinate even the most experienced hands in the manufacturing sector: by offsetting the temperature increase in a cutting tool by using liquid nitrogen as a flood cooling medium, it becomes possible to extend tool life while maintaining the speed and feed rates necessary to cut very hard materials, like titanium, nickel-based super alloys (e.g., Inconel), or compacted graphite iron (CGI). That such materials are critical in machining parts for high-value aerospace, exhaust system, automotive engine, and similar finished parts, merely adds to the interest in cryogenic machining.

Developer 5ME is working to make its s multi-patented cryogenic machining process more accessible, and more applicable. The technique can be implemented on machine tools available from various builders, so more installations can achieve higher cutting speeds, increase material removal rates, and prolong tool life — by transmitting liquid nitrogen at -321°F through the spindle/turret and tool body, directly to the cutting edge. Users find it increases throughput, finished-part quality, tool life, and profitability, and reduces energy consumption. It also promotes healthier, safer working conditions than are customary when applying water- or oil-based coolants.

5ME — which also develops of asset monitoring and manufacturing efficiency software —launched a new resource page online to demonstrate how its cryogenic machining technology can boost efficiency and profitability for operators of several different machine types. The webpage includes video, exclusive information, and free downloadable resources 
that highlight benefits (and dispel misconceptions) of cryogenic machining. There also are educational blog posts, and more details to inform the curious and update the experienced programmer, operator, or shop manager.

An integral part of the cryogenic machining “hub” is an infographic showing how machine shops can achieve profitable manufacturing through the 5Ms of efficiency – manpower, materials, machines, methods and money – in relation to cryogenic machining.

“By providing information and educational materials for shop owners and managers, we believe that these decision makers will have a better understanding of how 5ME’s patented cryogenic machining technology will help them increase profitability and efficiency,” said Pete Tecos, executive vice president of Marketing and Product Strategy, 5ME. “Our exclusive technology allows companies to utilize environmentally friendly methods of manufacturing while increasing processing speed and part integrity and decreasing tool wear.”

Visitors to IMTS 2016 will see live applications of the 5ME cryogenic machining method. A new Mazak, five-axis vertical machine — the VARIAXIS i-800T with cryogenic machining technology for cutting and turning titanium aerospace engine parts — will be introduced at the September event. The machine tool builder and 5ME reportedly intend to introduce cryogenic machining technology across several Mazak platforms, and will introduce a “designed for Cryo” machine tool by 2019, to coincide with Mazak’s 100-year anniversary.

Mazak’s VARIAXIS i-800T with cryogenic machining technology will be introduced at IMTS 2016 (McCormick Place, S-8300.) The five-axis VMC with a trunnion table and turning capability manufactures high-value titanium aerospace engine parts. Reportedly, 5ME and Mazak aim to launch cryogenic machining technology for several Mazak platforms, and to introduce a “designed for cryo” machine tool by 2019.

Machine tool builder Okuma will exhibit 5ME’s cryo technology on its MU-8000VL 5-Axis VMC with trunnion table and turning capability. That machine is said to be particularly suited for processing tough materials commonly used in aerospace part production, such as blisks and aero engine components. 5ME is collaborating with Okuma as well, to expand applications of the cryogenic machining process on several of its platforms, for difficult-to-machine aerospace alloys.

5ME reported that next year FFG and its US distributor, Star SU, will offer 5ME cryogenics on the Boehringer VDF lathe platform. At IMTS 2016, BlueZone cryogenic tool technology licensed by 5ME will be displayed by Star SU / Star Cutter as well as by Fullerton.

Also at IMTS, Hydromat and Sunnen will demonstrate 5ME’s new Freedom 4.0 Smart Manufacturing IoT Platform, running on their equipment with the new Freedom Gateway hardware appliance with Edge Analytics software. Okuma, Mazak, FFG MAG, Bosch Rexroth, and NUM will demonstrate Freedom 4.0 with the 5ME’s new SmartBoard (Smart Dashboards) feature. The configurable SmartBoard allows users to create to select data and establish their own dashboards, including the ability to embed images, websites, work instructions, and spec sheets.

The Freedom software suite applies the MTConnect standard and automatically extracts critical manufacturing data to produce web-based reports and analytics on asset utilization, availability, performance, quality and OEE. While it 5ME notes it is “brand-, asset-, and process-agnostic,” the software integrates with ERP, MES, maintenance, and quality business systems, and can be accessed anytime via smartphone or tablet device.