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Thursday, August 28, 2014

IMTS 2014 Preview: Exhibitors Begin Promoting New Equipment

Early announcements of new equipment that will be on display at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS 2014) are beginning to appear. The biennial show, Sept. 8-13, will occupy McCormick Place in Chicago, showing the latest developments in metal production systems, automation, software, process technology, and related areas.

Among the companies releasing information about new equipment so far are Kitamura Machinery of Wheeling, Ill., which is showing the Mycenter-HX500G horizontal machining center (HMC) for medium and large parts; OMAX Corp. of Kent, Wash., with the MAXIEM line of five abrasive waterjet cutting machines; and Quaker Chemical Corp. of Conshohocken, Pa., which has developed a smartphone app for monitoring metalworking fluids — reportedly the first time this is being addressed by a mobile app.

Overall, 1,900 exhibitors are expected at the trade show, which in 2012 drew more than 100,000 attendees.

The Mycenter-HX500G, part of Kitamura’s G-Series line, is a 4-axis, high-speed, high-precision HMC that can be ordered in one of two spindle configurations: 40 or 50 taper.

The 40-taper spindle is for aluminum parts, as well as metal parts with high-precision cutting and finishing needs. The dual-contact spindle operates at 20,000 rpm.

The 50-taper spindle is for heavy-duty machining. Also a dual-contact spindle, it operates at 12,000 rpm and generates 432.2 ft-lb of cutting torque.

The Mycenter-HX500G from Kitamura is a 4-axis horizontal machining center designed for speed and precision.

The Mycenter-HX500G from Kitamura is a 4-axis horizontal machining center designed for speed and precision.

Both spindles feature a four-step geared-head design that yields benefits including high rigidity and energy efficiency, according to Kitamura. The company says the spindles yield kilowatt-hour (read: energy) savings of 40-50 percent.

The machining system has a table size of 19.7 by 19.7 in, and X-, Y-, and Z-axis travels of, respectively, 34.3, 31.5, and 36.6 in.

The HMC stores 50 tools, but the automatic changing system can be upgraded to store 200 tools. Tool-change time for the 40-taper spindle is as little as 1.8 s, and the 50-taper spindle takes 3 s.

The HMC is equipped with twin ball screws and motors in the X and Y axes and linear scale feedback on all axes for maximum stability. The feed rate maxes out at 2,362 ipm. Full-stroke positioning accuracy is +/- 0.000079in, and repeatability is +/- 0.000039 in. The unit’s fourth-axis rotary table permits 360-deg cutting.

The HX-500G uses box way construction, which improves rigidity and damping characteristics, according to Kitamura. The machines are assembled in Japan, where production includes hand-scraping. It is a technique that increases the fit of components, eliminating gaps and other imperfections that could affect cutting accuracy.

The machining system uses an Arumatik-Mi controller. Kitamura says a fifth axis can be installed if needed.

Waterjet Cutting Units Have Advanced Features

MAXIEM waterjet cutting machines are enhanced versions of OMAX’s JetMachining Centers. Features of the new models include 5-axis cutting and taper compensation, updated linear drives, the company’s advanced Intelli-TRAX digital linear encoder with 1-micron resolution feedback to the motor control, a new Z-axis core with optional multi-axis cutting heads, and self-leveling base legs.

MAXIEM waterjet cutting machines from OMAX can be upgraded from standard equipment as needs change.

MAXIEM waterjet cutting machines from OMAX can be upgraded from standard equipment as needs change.

The MAXIEM machines come in five models: 0707, 1515, 1530, 2030, and 2040. The X-Y cutting travels range from 2.6 ft by 2.5 ft on the 0707 machine to 13.8 ft by 6.6 ft on the 2040 model. OMAX says the line has some of the smallest heights in the industry: 8.8 ft for both the 2030 and 2040, 9 ft for the 0707, and 10.5 ft for both the 1515 and 1530.

The midrange 1530 machine provides representative insight into the MAXIEM line’s capabilities and equipment features. The unit has an X-Y cutting travel of 10 ft by 5.2 ft, Z-axis travel of 12 in, and table size of 12.2 ft by 5.7 ft. Cutting speed is 500 ipm, with repeatability of +/-0.002 in.

MAXIEM machines have 50,000-psi pumps with variable-frequency drives for cutting-pressure control. OMAX says the pumps, which come in 20-, 30-, and 40-hp models, deliver more cutting power per kilowatt than most intensifier pumps.

Other features of the units include rapid water-level control, a collision-sensing terrain follower, variable-speed solids removal, and bulk abrasive delivery systems.

Each model is a “core machine,” meaning shops can specify options for current needs and upgrade the equipment as production requirements change.

App Keeps Track of Metalworking Fluid pH and Usage

Quaker Chemical's CoolanTool app tracks and analyzes metalworking fluid usage.

Quaker Chemical’s CoolanTool app tracks and analyzes metalworking fluid usage.

With the CoolanTool app from Quaker Chemical, users capture and track data pertaining to the use of soluble cutting fluids in their CNC machines. The app, in English, Chinese, and Russian, records concentration and pH data, graphically displays tracking results, and shares information between departments.

The goal of the app, Quaker says, is to analyze trends that affect the use and condition of metalworking fluids and calculate consumption and top-up volumes. The company believes the app will be an effective troubleshooting guide that helps shops optimize machine performance and increase productivity.


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