Mazak appoints new MD for Europe

Yamazaki Mazak has appointed Richard Smith (pictured centre) as its new managing director for all of the company’s European operations. He takes over from Marcus Burton (left), who will remain with the company in a new non-executive role. Smith, who takes up his new position this month, first joined Mazak in 1987 as a graduate production engineer, and over the past 30 years has undertaken a number of key roles in manufacturing, purchasing, customer service and product management. His most recent position was deputy group managing director Europe (operations), and before that as managing director – UK and Ireland sales division.
Smith will be supported by Bruno Munier (right), who recently assumed the role of deputy European managing director – sales. Munier joined the business from SandvikCoromant, where he worked for 19 years, reaching the position of Europe and Middle East (EMEA) president. He will be responsible for overseeing the sales and marketing strategy for Mazak’s European operating companies.
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XYZ makes first five-axis machines available

At an exclusive preview event for the press held earlier this month at the company’s headquarters in Tiverton, XYZ Machine Tools demonstrated full simultaneous machining on its new UMC-5X five-axis machining centre.
“We took our time in sourcing the UMC-5X in order to be confident that we had the right solution to five-axis machining that could meet the needs of a wide variety of customers, from those just starting out in the five-axis arena, to those already well-versed in this technology,” says managing director Nigel Atherton. “The machine is a perfect fit with our existing range in that it combines value for money with high specifications, which we know will make it attractive to XYZ customers.”
The gantry-style machine with trunnion table offers Siemens 840D slShopMill control (or HeidenhainiTNC 640 HSCI option) and Heidenhain LC183 linear scales on the X, Y and Z axes. Furthermore, direct drives for the ballscrews deliver circularity of 6-7 µm.
Among the notable design features of the 600 x 600 x 500 mm (XYZ axis travels) UMC-5X is the availability of 500 mm of Y-axis travel forward of the table surface when the table is tilted 90° towards the rear (component facing forward). This is said to be greater than many competitor machines, including those quoting the same axis travels as the UMC-5X, thus allowing larger workpieces to be machined.
Full 360° C-axis rotation of the Italian-built LCM table is achieved via a direct-drive high-torque motor, giving 90 rpm, while ±120° is available in the tilting A-axis. Traori/Kinematic functions support five-axis simultaneous machining for improved accuracy.
Loads of up to 600 kg can be supported on the 600 mm diameter table, while maximum feed rates are 36 m/min in the three linear axes. A 40-taper, 12,000 rpm, 30 kW, 239 Nm in-line Siemens spindle is offered as standard (15,000 option). Alternatively, a Kessler HSK-A63 18,000 rpm (24,000 option), 25 kW, 40 Nm motorised spindle can be fitted. Through-spindle coolant at 20 bar (70 bar option)
is supplied with both spindles.
Among a number of ‘smart machining’ functions offered as standard are tool-tip positioning control, axial accuracy control and spindle vibration supervision.
Dubbed by XYZ as ‘The Challenger’, the list price for a standard UMC-5X is £153,000 + VAT. A selection of machines to various specifications will be held in stock, although machines can be ordered to exact requirements with delivery inside four months.
“In Europe, 25% of VMCs are five-axis models,” says Mike Corbett, applications manager at XYZ. “However, although the UK lags behind countries such as Germany by volume, numbers here are rising and we want to be part of that growth.”
This ambition follows a record-breaking period at XYZ, where profit has increased in each of the previous six years. In fact, the company reports “scorching” March trading figures that could set it up for yet another “best ever year” once calculations are complete.
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Button insert milling grades introduced

Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal has released five different grades of RDMT button-style indexable inserts for carbon, alloy and stainless steels, as well as cast iron. The inserts are said to be advantageous in applications where high resistance to wear and insert fracturing is required.
Available in sizes of 8, 10, 12 and 16 mm inscribed circle, the five grades cover PVD-coated ACP100, 200 and 300, and CVD-coated ACK200 and 300 variants.
The ACP100 grade for milling steel and ACK200 for cast iron incorporate Sumitomo’s Super FF coating that the company says enables up to 1.5 times greater efficiency in machining and provides more than double the tool life of conventional grades under normal cutting conditions. Chipping resistance and adhesion strength are also said to be enhanced.
Similarly, the ACP200 and 300 grades for milling steel and ACK300 for cast iron employ Sumitomo’s Super ZX multi-layer nano-technology coating, which combines alternating 10nm thin layers of TiAN and AlCrN to deliver benefits matching those of Super FF.
The ACP200 is suitable for general milling in steel and die steels, while ACP300 is recommended for interrupted machining in stainless steel workpieces. Meanwhile, ACK300 has been developed for the general and interrupted milling of cast and ductile irons.
In a recent milling demonstration on die steel, the Sumitomo ACP200 grade increased the number of workpieces completed from 300 to 400, says the company. The machine was run at 150 m/min with 0.3 mm/tooth feed rate and 3 mm depth of cut.
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High-feed milling boosts productivity

Seco says that its high-feed range of milling tools is always being upgraded and improved. As part of this continuous improvement programme, the company has introduced two new ranges to its high-feed milling tool portfolio.
The Jabro JHF181 solid carbide end mill range provides specific high-feed geometry for machining hardened steel, super alloys and titanium. It is available in diameters ranging from 2-16mm and is suitable for machining small workpieces and cavities.
Also new is the High Feed 6 (HF6) with double-sided, six-edged inserts. The HF6 range consists of shell end mill bodies featuring fixed pockets and strong negative inserts with six cutting edges. HF6 tools have a wide application range and are suitable for the machining of ISO P and K classification materials.
“By working with Seco, manufacturers can incorporate and integrate high-feed milling into their operations and, by doing so, achieve part process times between 3 to 10 times faster than when using conventional methods,” says Mike Fleming, Seco’s sales and marketing manager.
Seco’s high-feed milling range covers a diameter range from 1 to 208 mm. Brands include Jabro, Combimaster,
Minimaster, Easy Shrink and Highfeed 2, 4 and 6.
In essence, high-feed milling involves employing shallow depths of cut using tools with large cutting radii and/or small lead angles to ensure that cutting forces, created during the machining process, are directed back towards the machine tool spindle in an axial direction. Axially-directed cutting forces provide increased tool and machining stability which, in turn, allows higher feed rates to be employed – up to 10 times the normal rate, says Seco.
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Alfa-Sys tool pre-setters released in UK

YMT’s Tooling &Workholding Division has launched the range of Alfa-Sys products for assembling and pre-setting cutting tools into the UK market. The company is now the exclusive agent for the complete Alfa-Sys portfolio, which is manufactured in Liechtenstein.
The range starts with the Alfa-Clamp tool device for the assembly of tool-holders, cutting-tool bodies and indexable inserts. This unit can be specified with 90 or 45° incremental locking points, and is secured to a bench or work surface to provide a stable tooling assembly station. Quick-change holders are matched with commonly-available spindle tapers that include BT/CAT, Capto, HSK-A, VDI and KM.
Once assembled, the cutting tool can be pre-set using one of the Alfa-Set units. The pre-setters can be bench-top or free-standing, and feature contact-free vision systems to measure the exact location of each insert, as well as the tip geometry. A TFT touch-screen provides measurement options, feedback and graphical confirmation.
“From experience, we know a tool can be pre-set in around 3 minutes using the Alfa-Set units,” says Jason Short, manager of the Tooling &Workholding Division. “Based on this, we can demonstrate savings of between £10,000 and £30,000 per year for shops running four or six machines.”
For benchtop users, the Alfa-Set 33- and 35-Swift can measure tools up to 250 mm diameter by 380 mm long for the 33-Swift, and 500 mm long for the 35-Swift. Offering additional functionality, the free-standing Alfa-Set 23/44/64 units can measure a range of tool assemblies up to 600 mm diameter and up to 900mm long.
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