Innovative solutions for dental part machining

In Barcelona earlier this month, leading decision-makers in the medical technology industry discovered what the future may look like at special event ‘The Mini Factory: Medtech’, Tornos’ exclusive and immersive experience presented a wide range of manufacturing solutions from foremost medical technology market partners.

This exclusive three-day, invitation-only event brought together decision-makers from the medical technology sector and market leaders in the fast-growing medical manufacturing segment. In a unique venue – the Tuset Manhattan, a renovated industrial building located on Carrer Aragó in the heart of Barcelona – guests discovered the complete manufacturing process around a specific dental part.

Thanks to Tornos and 13 reference partners representing the entire medical technology manufacturing process, guests enjoyed full immersion in part creation, from the initial scan of the patient’s tooth and conversion into a 3D model, through to the complete machining process – including peripherals, tools, materials and consumables -quality control and surface treatment.

A Tornos Swiss GT 26 with B axis and Swiss DT 26/6 HP took centre stage at this first event. The company says that its latest-generation Swiss DT and Swiss GT are new allies of manufacturers seeking to exceed their own expectations, be extremely competitive and have a solution that evolves in line with their own business strategies.

Guided tours provided an up-close look at the various stages of the manufacturing process, with participating partners providing detailed presentations of their respective solutions for medical technology manufacturing. The Mini Factory: Medtech was possible, in part, through Tornos’ close relationships with leading suppliers of peripheral solutions. Tornos plans to extend this unique concept to other industries and markets in the coming months.
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Automation supports contract machinist’s growth

Contract machining specialist Unicut Precision Engineering of Welwyn Garden City reportsan increase in annual turnover from £3m in 2016 to £8m currently, underpinned by investment of £1.7m in new production and inspection equipment over the past two years.
Around half of this investment went on two more Cincom sliding-head lathes and two additional Miyano fixed-head lathes from Citizen Machinery UK, bringing the totals of the bar-fed lathes on site to 24 and 11 respectively. The remaining funds supported the purchase of three new items of inspection equipment and an extension to the automatic pallet storage and retrieval system, linking three five-axis machining centres on site.

Regarding turning, which currently accounts for 85% of Unicut’s turnover, Jason Nicholson, owner and managing director, says that standardisation on Citizen lathes with their user-friendly, intuitive Mitsubishi controls greatly helps to mitigate the current shortage of skilled setter-operators. Use of this CNC system throughout the factory also speeds the training of staff and allows operators to swap easily between machines.

Programs are normally prepared offline with Esprit CADCAM and via Citizen Machinery’s own Alkart CNC Wizard programming aid. The latter guides operators through creation of part programs with the help of a built-in code library for machining processes, reducing the amount of time spent typing in G and M codes and consulting manuals or other programs.

Unicut’s latest turning centre additions are two 65 mm bar capacity Miyano BNE-65MYY models, each featuring a pair of Y-axis turrets and the latest Mitsubishi 15-inch touchscreen control. These machines joined five smaller fixed-head lathes in the same series to form a seven-machine cell for producing hydraulic and pneumatic components in volumes up to 10,000-off.
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New models launched by Hyundai Wia

Hyundai Wia is revealing a number of new products for next-generation machining, including several turning centres, multi-tasking machines and multi-axis turning centres. Hyundai Wia machine tools are available in the UK from TW Ward CNC Machinery.

For instance, regarding turning centres, Hyundai Wia is launching the SE2600 that offers both high-speed and complex machining capabilities. The SE2600 series comprises the SE2600, SE2600M, SE2600Y and SE2600SY models, all of which feature a 10-inch spindle for machining short-length materials, along with SE2600L, SE2600LM, SE2600LY and SE2600LSY for machining materials longer in length.

The series is available at a price range that is more competitive than other products that offer the same capacity, and offer a higher travel speed for improved productivity through high-speed machining. Furthermore, all models feature roller bearing-type LM guides, which deliver superior rigidity over previous models. There is even a model equipped with sub-spindle and Yaxis, which previously did not exist in the company’s range of high-speed 10-inch spindle machine tools, offering a solution that can achieve both high added value and complex machining.

Hyundai Wiais also significantly expanding its multi-tasking machine line-up for high added value product machining. The company’s new XM seriesmulti-tasking machines combine the structure of both turning centres and machining centres. The XM series features XM2600, XM2600S and XM2600ST models, which feature a 10-inch spindle, and the XM3100, XM3100Sand XM3100ST, which have a 12-inch spindle.

In addition, Hyundai Wia is planning to launch its LM2200TTSYY and LM2200TTSYYCmulti-axis turning centresbefore the end of 2023. The LM2200TTSYY and LM2200TTSYYC are multi-axis turning centres that feature 8-inch and 10-inch spindles respectively, and come equipped with two spindles, turrets and a Yaxis.
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Lontra takes advantage of ‘green’ machine tools

There is an unusual parallel between a new, low-pressure air compressor (blower) manufactured by entrepreneurial British firm Lontra and the Japanese-built turn-mill centre from Okuma that machines one of the fundamental components of the Lontra LP2. Both pieces of equipment are engineered to deliver maximum environmental sustainability during operation and both harness Industry 4.0 connectivity to make them even more efficient. Okuma’s UK and Ireland sales agent NCMT describes the multi-tasking turn-milling application.

An Okuma Multus B550 turn-milling centre performs finish-machining operations on the blower rotor, a high-value component critical to LP2 operation. Adrian Pratt, manufacturing engineer at Lontra, says: “We approached NCMT for a turnkey solution. There are not many factories globally that have the machinery or skillset to manufacture a part like this. The Okuma is a very clever, multi-tasking machine that has the size, robustness and technology to machine our large, heavy rotors accurately and repeatably in fewer set-ups. The repeatability aspect is very important as we need to keep all the rotational parts concentric.”

He continues: ” We can machine multiple features in one go on the Multus B550, allowing us to meet the high drawing tolerances by avoiding repeated re-fixturing of the rotor. Without this advanced equipment, we would need 10 operations to complete the rotor component. With the aid of Okuma machinery, we’ve successfully reduced the number of operations by half, further cementing our commitment to lean, smart and sustainable manufacturing practices and continual improvement.”

Greig Underwood, NCMT’s regional sales manager, adds: “What interests me about this installation is the alignment between Lontra and Okuma in their commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices, as well as their shared focus on energy-saving designs for their respective product solutions.”
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College hosts landmark Haas facility

West Nottinghamshire College (WNC) has become the UK’s first Gene Haas Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, bringing a major investment in engineering facilities and training programmes for students, apprentices and employers.The link-up will see the college awarded £500,000 to develop its engineering facilities and employer-focused curriculum, aimed at growing the number of skilled manufacturers in the local area and beyond.

The money will fund improvements to the college’s Engineering Innovation Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield, by remodelling the building to dedicate a larger area of its groundfloor to manufacturing, automation and robotics. WNC will also construct a new mezzanine floor containing classrooms overlooking the existing open-plan workshop space.In addition, the college will rebrand the building, which currently boasts six Haas CNC machines used by engineering students and apprentices, as the Gene Haas Centre for Advanced Manufacturing.
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