Get inspired at MACH 2024

MACH 2024 (NEC, Birmingham, 15-19 April) is the perfect platform to discover cutting-edge
manufacturing technologies and solutions, providing visitors with an opportunity to
experience the latest industry advancements. This five-day event features the largest
display of working machinery in a single venue, allowing visitors to make informed
investment decisions by seeing before they buy.

Alongside a comprehensive display of live working machines and innovative manufacturing
solutions, visitors to the exhibition can discover how their businesses can sustainably adopt
new technology and techniques to improve productivity, efficiency and reduce waste. They
will also learn how to adopt new processes and techniques at MACH Knowledge Hubs –
from automation to additive, through AI and data, to sustainable manufacturing. Readers
will find a round-up of some key exhibitors further on in this issue.
For further information

GM CNC launches Victor VMT turn-mill

When it comes to one-hit machining, the new VMT series of multi-tasking turn-mill centres from Victor has a lot to offer. Available in the UK from GM CNC, the VMT range features 15kW twin built-in turning spindles and a 22kW swivelling B-axis milling spindle. Available in four variants – the VMT-X200, VMT-X260, VMT-X360 and VMT-X400 – the series is suitable for everything from the unmanned machining of small complex parts to the heavy-duty machining of large components.

As standard, the VMT range features a FANUC 0i-TF CNC, hydraulic chuck with soft jaws, chip conveyor, a Renishaw automatic tool presetter, through-spindle coolant and a hybrid lubrication system. Optionsincludes a steady rest, bar-feed interface, part catcher, automatic doors, sub-spindle and more. A Meehanite cast base provides a platform for elevated cutting parameters and improved tool life.

From a specification perspective, the VMT-X200 and VMT-X260 are 8 and 10-inch chuck machines with a 660mm swing-over-bed and a maximum turning length and turning diameter of 1376and 1075mm respectively. Serving the spacious work envelope are two 15kW/4200rpm turning spindles on the VMT-X200 and a 22kW/3500rpm main spindle and 15kW sub-spindle on the 75mm bar capacity VMT-X260.

For larger components, GM CNC offers the 12-inch chuck, 3000rpm VMT-X360 and the colossal 15-inch chuck VMT-X400.Both provide 30kW spindle power and a bar capacity of 91mm (106mm optional). The largest machines in the range provide an 1120mm swing-over-bed and a maximum turning length and turning diameter of 2148and 2100mm. All machines demonstrate flexibility through the 12,000rpm 15/18.5/22kW high-winding B-axis milling spindle that can rotate through -30/+210° with an indexing resolution of just 0.001°.

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Stratasys to test 3D prints on the moon

Stratasys, a specialist in polymer 3D printing solutions, will provide 3D-printed materials for an upcoming lunar mission to test their performance on the surface of the moon. The experiments are part of Aegis Aerospace’s first Space Science & Technology Evaluation Facility mission (SSTEF-1), which focuses on technology development for space infrastructure and capabilities for the moon and near-earth space. The Stratasys experiments are sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

In this moon mission, Stratasys will provide 3D-printed samples that will be brought to the lunar surface by an unmanned lander in a carrier structure 3D-printed by Stratasys. Three materials will be the focus of two different experiments. The first assesses the performance of a sample coupon part made with Stratasys’ Antero 800NA FDM filament filled with tungsten. The second passive experiment will see how 3D-printed materials perform in space.

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Find, specify and purchase new equipment

MACH 2024 (NEC, Birmingham, 15-19 April) is where production engineers, decision makers and buyers go to find, specify and purchase new machine tools and other manufacturing technologies. This year, the show pledges to be the destination of choice for companies looking to adopt and invest in the digital revolution.

MACH showcases live, digital production systems under one roof, providing a venue where visitors and exhibitors can discuss and complete hundreds of millions of pounds worth of business. Attracting 26,000 visitors and over 600 exhibitors, please see MTI’s MACH exhibition preview further on in this issue. It outlines some of the key technologies to look out for at this year’s event. Further technologies will feature in MTI’s MACH show issue on 8 April.

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Global leap in nuclear welding technology

Completion of the first full-sized SMR (small modular reactor) nuclear vessel demonstrator at Sheffield Forgemasters signals a global leap forward in welding technology. The company is pioneering the industrialisation of local electron-beam welding (LEBW), with complete weld-assembly of the vessel marking a pivotal moment in welding development. It takes less than 24 hours to complete four, thick, nuclear-grade welds, typically requiring a year of work to complete.

With a diameter of 3 m and a wall thickness of 200 mm, the construction of the vessel showcases the reliability and capabilities of LEBW, setting a new standard for the weld-joining of thick-walled components, previously unrivalled in a demonstrator model. Sheffield Forgemasters says it is using LEBW for the first time at this scale, with 100% success and no defects.

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