Starrag at Paris Air Show

From the largest structural parts to the smallest workpieces, including blades and blisks, and in all materials, especially aluminium and titanium, Starrag’s display at the Paris Air Show (17-23 June) will demonstrate how the company can provide machining solutions for the global aerospace market.

Underpinned by guaranteed uptimes (up to 96%) and low piece-part costs, whether the need is for a large-capacity Ecospeed five-axis machining centre or the smaller capacity five-axis Heckert 500 X and STC 800 X machining centres – and including the dedicated blade (LX) and blisk (NB) machines – Starrag says it has expertise in meeting all machining demands in a cost-effective and productive manner.
With a large product range of machines available under the Starrag brand – Berthiez, Bumotec, Dörries, Droop+Rein, Ecospeed, Heckert, Scharmann, SIP and Starrag – and what the company describes as a “world lead” in Industry 4.0 strategies, the Starrag stand will be manned by like-minded experts who have only one thing on their minds – the mantra of ‘engineering precisely what you value’.
The Paris Air Show follows on from another aerospace event that took place last week, when Starrag joined forces with tooling expert Kennametal to present an informative ‘Optimised Titanium and Inconel Machining’ event at the AMRC in Sheffield, UK. A variety of technical presentations were staged, along with demonstrations of best-practice machining involving Inconel and titanium workpieces. For example, pocketing routines on titanium were performed using a Starrag STC 1250 machining centre.
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Four/five-axis machine from B+W

Burkhardt + Weber (B+W) has launched a horizontal-spindle model, the MCC 800, to sit alongside the smaller MCC 630 that was introduced in 2017. Availability in the UK is through sole sales and service agent, Kingsbury.

The stiffness and power of B+W’s heavy-duty MCX range has been incorporated into the compact MCC models. In the case of the latest 800 mm (optionally 1000 mm) pallet machine, the company says it has created a rigid and powerful metal-cutting centre for producing prismatic components weighing up to 2.5 tonne (including the fixture).
B+W’s four-axis machine, including C-axis rotary table, has twin pallets and a 1400 x 1200 x 1400 or 1600 mm working envelope, and a footprint of 8.8 x 3.5 x 3.8 m. MCC series models are also the first standard machines to enter series production at the company’s Reutlingen factory in southern Germany, which until now has built machining centres to customer order.
The MCC 800 can deliver 1300 Nm of torque continuously if a 41 kW gear-driven spindle is chosen instead of a 30 kW/300 Nm motor spindle. There is a further alternative of a +45/-110° tilting spindle of identical power that adds a fifth CNC axis. Spindle speed is up to 6000 rpm, optionally 10,000 rpm, while an ISO50 tool interface can be specified instead of the standard HSK-A100. The tool changer, which has few moving parts, serves a tool magazine with 64 pockets that can be expanded to 320 on request.
Productivity is promoted by a cutting feed force of 17.5 kN and 7 m/s2 acceleration to 60 m/min rapids in the linear axes, which are fitted with linear scales for feeding positional data back to the Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl control.
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NTG chooses XYZ for five-axis capability

Since its formation in 1979, Newcastle Tool & Gauge (NTG) has adapted to change. Originally a tool room manufacturing press tools for local industry, NTG has evolved into a precision engineering machine shop.

Along the way, the company has gained a reputation as a preferred supplier to customers across a range of sectors, including oil and gas, power generation, subsea, and thermoforming. As its customer profile continues to change, so does its requirements for machine tools, and during 2018 NTG identified a need for simultaneous five-axis machining.
“A group of us visited MACH 2018 with the brief to look at every five-axis option,” says Mark Withycombe, operations manager. “We all came back from that trip of the same opinion – that the XYZ UMC-5X was the right option for us.”
Among the key features that drew the team to this conclusion were the use of a trunnion table that provided the weight-carrying capacity needed as well as ease of access for loading. Overall
build quality also impressed, especially when matched to the competitive price.
With the UMC-5X now installed, the initial expectations of the team at NTG are being fully met, with the build quality and accuracy of the machine helping to reduce cycle times. One particular job that would normally have taken six operations to complete, is now down to two, while the cycle time has been halved.
“The move to five-axis simultaneous machining with the XYZ UMC-5X is a first for us and it has definitely opened up new opportunities, with the capability of the machine allowing us to machine parts that we couldn’t have considered before,” says
Bryan Larvin, works manager.
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Die-caster to install automated mill-turn cell

Andover-based aluminium die-casting company MRT Castings uses robotic systems in its foundry, but until now automation has not featured in the company’s machine shop, apart from a twin-pallet changer on machining centres from the Japanese manufacturer Brother, supplied through sole agent Whitehouse Machine Tools.

This situation is due to change following an order placed by MRT’s managing director Phil Rawnson at the Southern Manufacturing show in February for a Brother Speedio M140X2 mill-turn centre with Feedio robotic component handling system. The Feedio unit supplies raw material automatically to the machine and returns finished components. MRT’s new cell, which will be the first five-axis machining capacity on site, is due to be operational this month.
Rawnson says: “We had been looking to introduce automation into our machine shop for several years, as we see it as the future for our company. At present we operate a day shift with a few hours’ overtime in the early morning and evening. The Brother cell will add to this by allowing us to run lights-out for up to eight hours, depending
on component size and cycle times, as well as unattended during the day. We expect it to have a big impact on our productivity.”
The plug-and-play Feedio automation unit communicates with the machining centre via a Profibus interface. Feedio is supplied with a six-axis ABB robot and the manufacturer’s smart teach pendant incorporating a customised Speedio page.
MRT’s first family of components to be produced on the new automated equipment will be a selection of aluminium bodies for a range of LED light fittings.
Rawnson concludes: “We plan to target a wide range of different components for production in the new mill-turn cell.”
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Okuma launches MCR-S machining centre

The Okuma MCR-S (Super) double-column machining centre, which is particularly suited to the machining of press dies, is being released in the UK via agent NCMT. Importantly, the machine also unites subtractive and additive manufacturing methods, allowing for process-intensive production.

Okuma’s MCR-S possesses a cast-iron double-column structure that is equipped with Okuma’s ‘Thermo-Friendly’ concept. As a result, any unnecessary heating-up can be prevented, while thermal deformations are compensated. When manufacturing press dies, this factor is especially important because the machining process can often take days or even weeks, making it vulnerable to changes in temperature.
Using a swivel image sensor that rotates relative to the indexing angle of the tool means that accurate measurements of cutting-edge position can be provided, improving accuracy even further. This sensor also helps to ensure traceability by recording the captured images.
MCR-S machines possess a heavy-duty cutting capacity, reaching a chip removal rate of 710 cm3/min when face milling. Average continuous feed rates of 20 m/min for the X and Y axes, and 10 m/min for the Z axis, contribute to the machine’s productivity. In addition, the ServoNavi application autonomously maximises table acceleration according to component weight.
For process-intensive manufacturing, the machining centre is equipped with a laser that allows for additive manufacturing via laser metal deposition (LMD). This way, subtractive and additive manufacturing methods are combined in one machine, enabling manufactures to not only produce complex parts, but to repair defective workpieces. The laser can also be used for surface treatments, such as laser hardening.
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