24th MetalTech set for May

The 24th edition of MetalTech, a leading machine tools and metalworking technologies exhibition in Southeast Asia, will return to the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 23-26 May 2018.

More than 2000 companies from 33 countries will participate, showcasing hundreds of machine-tool systems and products revolving around this year’s theme of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing.
Like many other advanced countries, Malaysia’s manufacturing industry is undergoing a period of rapid transformation, implementing robotic assembly lines and computer controlled processes. As a result, several exhibitors will also be showcasing complete assembly line systems, rather than individual machine tools. Furthermore, visitors will be treated to an opportunity to learn from industry heavyweights through the new live demonstration arena on the show floor, where ‘smartphone manufacturing processes’ will be the theme.
For further information www.metaltech.com.my

Five-axis search ends at XYZ

For over 30 years Peterborough-based Rivercircle has developed its business as a designer and manufacturer of special-purpose test and assembly machines, and multi-cavity rubber and plastic mould tooling. The company prides itself on being able to provide a complete service, keeping as much as possible in-house, from design, through to final mechanical and electrical assembly and testing. This strategy includes machining.

A policy of continuous investment in people and machine tools has seen Rivercircle create extensive capability, with its machine shop now populated almost in its entirety with CNC machinery. Three- and four-axis machining centres with capacity up to 1700 x 1000 x 1000 mm are complemented by turning centres, grinders and spark-erosion equipment. The one thing missing was five-axis machining capacity.
“Our investments in machining capacity had led us to ever more complex machines and we had been considering five-axis for a few years, but always struggled to justify the price versus capability argument,” explains Jonathan Theobalds, managing director at Rivercircle. “The size of machine we needed always appeared far too expensive, while the machines we felt we could justify on price just didn’t have the performance or capacity, limiting the potential gains for the business. Therefore, when we were introduced to the XYZ UMC-5X, which was in the right ball park as far as price and performance were concerned, we went for it!”
In its standard configuration, XYZ says that the UMC-5X is a highly competitive package, with its gantry-style design and rigid construction ensuring a capable machine. A team from Rivercircle visited XYZ’s headquarters in Devon to see the machine in action and talk through its potential with the company’s sales and applications teams. Given the type of work undertaken by Rivercircle, particularly on its mould tools where materials such as P20 tool steel is commonly machined, spindle performance and overall machine rigidity where vital to the purchase decision.

“There were several factors that swung in favour of the XYZ UMC-5X,” says Paul Langan, Rivercircle’s production manager. “The machine construction and design gave us the confidence that it would perform as we expected and, with our mould tool work, the high-torque (260 Nm), 15,000 rpm spindle is perfect for roughing and finishing tool steel. Another key point was the option of the Heidenhain CNC, as this is a control system that we favour here. Not having that option would have been a barrier to us placing an order. As it was, we only required one day of training to familiarise ourselves with the machine, and our CAM programming engineer, Steve Goodson, has fully embraced the move to five-axis with no further requirement for programming support from XYZ. We have also fully integrated our Mastercam software with the machine control; the post-processors were all updated during the installation of the machine, making it a seamless process.”
The XYZ UMC-5X has the option of either the Siemens 840 DSL ShopMill or Heidenhain iTNC 640 HSCI control, both of which feature traori (transformation orientation)/kinematic functions, respectively, for improved accuracy during five-axis simultaneous machining. In addition, the UMC-5X also benefits from built-in thermal-growth compensation for enhanced accuracy and repeatability, and integrated (and patented) smart machining technology for improved productivity.
Other key features of the machine are its C axis with 90 rpm rotation via direct drive, low-maintenance, high-torque motor; ±120° on the tilting A-axis, with 2.5 sec for full movement, and rigidity aided by the use of identical sized bearing at both ends of the axis; front loading for ease of access; linear scales on the X, Y and Z axes; 600 mm axis travel in X and Y (500 mm in Z); and a 600 mm table diameter with capacity to carry components up to 600 kg.
The arrival of the XYZ UMC-5X at Rivercircle will initially allow the company to improve efficiency by transferring work from three- and four-axis machines that require multiple operations. New opportunities will also be created for the subcontact side of the business.

Ultimately, continuous investment in the latest design and manufacturing technologies with integrated CAD/CAM systems enable full 3-D machining of complex forms to be undertaken. The addition of an XYZ UMC-5X vertical machining centre brings high-precision, high-speed, simultaneous five-axis machining to Rivercircle’s capabilities
“Whether it is for our own production, or for subcontract work, we operate in a very competitive sector supplying first and second tier customers in the automotive, transport, pharmaceutical, construction and petrochemical sectors, among others,” says Theobalds. “Lead-times are often short, so we have to be able to meet our delivery promises at the right quality and at the right price. This move to five-axis machining with the XYZ UMC-5X will enhance our ability to meet customer demands. The support we had from XYZ prior to placing the order and the competitive price for such a capable machine made this transition straightforward.”
For further information www.xyzmachinetools.com

Latest bending innovations from Prima

A number of new technologies and solutions by Prima Power had their world premiere at the Blechexpo in Germany last November, including the company’s LPBB (Laser cutting – Punching – Buffering – Bending) manufacturing line. The LPBB features fibre-laser cutting, punching and automatic bending enhanced with LSR loading and stacking robot technology.

Prima Power’s EBe5-3 included in the LPBB system is an automatic servo-electric bending machine with a maximum bending length of 2750 mm. The machine is equipped with PCD picking and centring device, BTD bend-turning device, a single wagon for standard pallet with new part-stacking function, and a new lifting door designed to reduce the machine footprint. Among main innovations, Tulus HMI software presents optimised tool change, a monitoring view function to follow the process flow step by step, as well as a new interpolation function that generates new angle correction parameters to bend parts with thicknesses and bending lengths that do not correspond to the values saved in the database.
Also on show was the eP-1030 servo-electric press brake, which is now available with the new version of the bending follower option, allowing simpler and faster positioning of big and heavy parts that cannot be handled by a single operator. The eP-press can also be equipped with a flattening table to increase productivity and facilitate the operation. Wila-style upper and lower hydraulic tool clamping by Prima Power and an Iris Plus device for the real-time correction of angles complete the machine.
For further information www.primapower.com

CAD enhanced for smart manufacturing

LVD has released a new version of its CADMAN programming and shop management software. The v8.5 release includes enhancements for every CADMAN module, such as an improved dashboard for more intuitive use, and extends the software’s integration capabilities to include the next generation of LVD’s Touch-P punch-press control, as well as non-LVD cutting and punching equipment.

Beyond its new look and feel, there are major updates such as improved bend solution identification in CADMAN-B bend CAM software, including tool pre-selection based on active catalogue(s). Furthermore, CADMAN-B is now available for use with LVD’s Synchro-Form press brakes. Synchro-Form is the next generation of adaptive bending system designed specifically for the forming of XXL profiles.
The company’s Touch-B control software, which can be used in combination with CADMAN-B, is also improved. Here, the time between
bending parts is now said to be optimised, resulting in a significantly higher press
brake speed.
CADMAN-L and CADMAN-P CAD/CAM software modules have been upgraded with advanced nesting capabilities for laser cutting and punching. New functions such as ‘minimal heat impact’ when finishing parts one by one, as well as material thickness defined parameters, ensure more smooth and automatic preparation for laser cutting. For punching, smart functionality such as ‘avoid hits with form tools’ and ‘punch with form tools last’ ensure reliable punching preparation. In the common module, parts can be detected automatically or manually in a multiple-part drawing.
Finally, CADMAN-SDI (Smart Drawing Importer), makes generating accurate cost estimates from imported CAD files easier and more accurate with a greater number of built-in cost drivers that help fabricators identify their indirect manufacturing costs.
For further information www.lvdgroup.com

Compact, ergonomic, productive press brake

Amada has unveiled its new compact press brake. The HFE-5012M2 is designed with user ergonomics and high productivity in mind when bending small parts of medium complexity. The machine provides 50 tonnes of bending force and a working width of 1270 mm.

HFE M2 5012, presse plieuse, prise de vues le 15 novembre 2017, usine de Chateau du Loir.
(photo by Patrick Berger)

Due to the performance of the upper beam, combined with the velocity and flexibility of the new back gauge, efficiency is said to be a primary attribute of the HFE-5012M2. The open height of the frame has been increased, resulting in an optimised solution for all tooling types, and allowing for deeper box bending. Furthermore, the new, narrower lower beam increases process flexibility and combines ergonomics with crowning precision, while the back gauge with active security provides both better productivity and safety with its high-speed motion yet low-impact force.
Amada’s HFE-5012M2 has been equipped with several features designed specifically to support the comfort of the operator, including: a reclining and adjustable table; an ergonomic chair with adjustable height and back-rest inclination; a retractable foot rest; six drawers (located at a convenient height) equipped with tooling and inserts; and a workplace lighting kit.
The HFE-5012M2 is the first in a series of bending machines developed to more carefully consider actual working environments, aiding the operator’s daily activity with the benefits of comfort and enhanced productivity.
For further information www.amada.co.uk