June 27, 2023
During May and June, FA-related manufacturers held private shows (PS) in Japan. Due to the pandemic, many companies held PS for the first time in several years. They showcased products that proactively incorporate customer requests to solve problems on the production site. Many visitors gathered to see the latest technologies from each company first-hand.
Support users with remote diagnostics
Mitsubishi Electric held the “Mitsubishi Electric Premium Fair 2023 in East Japan” at its Mechatronics Solution Center in Saitama City on June 1 and 2. The event, which required pre-registration, attracted a total of 205 visitors over the two days. Seminars on the latest technologies and other events were held at the venue, as well as a meet-and-greet session with visitors.
In addition to electric discharge machines (EDMs) and laser cutting machines, NC equipment and sample workpieces were on display. The “MP2400” wire EDM machine drew particular attention from visitors. It has high machining accuracy and is suitable for machining ultra-hard materials. The machine is equipped with “Maisart”, a self-developed artificial intelligence (AI), which recognizes the distance between the workpiece and the nozzle, changes in plate thickness, and other factors to control the amount of machining.
A demonstration of machining using the “ML3015GX-F60” fiber laser cutting machine was also given, highlighting the machine’s high productivity. In addition to the machine’s capabilities, remote service for equipment diagnosis was also proposed. By connecting the user’s machine to Mitsubishi Electric’s service center, the machine’s operating status can be monitored. “With remote diagnosis, we can provide remote support to users who have trouble setting laser processing conditions. We can solve the problem more quickly than by visiting the site and reduce machine downtime,” said the manager of the group in charge of the service. The company is considering offering this remote diagnostic service as part of a package with regular equipment maintenance.
TAKISAWA held the “2023 TAKISAWA Machine Fair in Okayama” at its headquarters in Okayama City for two days on June 9 and 10, attracting a total of 522 visitors over the two days. This was the first time in two years that the company held a PS. A factory tour was also organized.
At the event, the “TM-4000IIY2” multitasking machine and the “TT-2600IIG,” a 2-spindle parallel CNC lathe with gantry loader, were introduced to customers for the first time. In addition, the “TCN-2100G ECO,” a CNC lathe with a hydraulic-free specification, and an optional workpiece washer for the “TR-20W” robot system were exhibited for reference.
The TM-4000IIY2 is an upgraded model of the “TM-4000Y2” and is suitable for processing bar materials. It is equipped with the same touch-screen operation panel as the “TM Series”. To eliminate operating errors caused by accidental contact or incorrect pressing, the sheet keys and button keys have been removed, and their functions have been integrated into the touch panel. The visuals have also been redesigned to match the company’s new brand image.
The TT-2600IIG is an updated model of the “TT-2600G” with a completely redesigned control panel and a new look. In addition, the width and thickness of the X-axis telescopic cover have been increased, making it more resistant to foreign objects entering through the gaps in the cover.
A section manager of the Domestic Sales Promotion Section of the Domestic Sales Department said, “Many customers have reported that the control panel had many buttons and was difficult to use. The control panel has been redesigned to be more user-friendly.”
Focus on new OS experience
Matsuura Machinery (Fukui City, President: Katsutoshi Matsuura) held a three-day PS at its headquarters plant from May 23 to 25. It was the first time in four years that the event was held in person, and about 200 people attended over the three days.
The theme of this year’s event was “Easy Unmanned Operation with 5 Axes and Multiple Pallets”. The venue was divided into a main hall and a side hall. In the main hall, six models of vertical 5-axis machining centers (MCs), the mainstay of the event, were exhibited. By combining them with the company’s self-developed pallet changer, the company proposed process integration and long-hour unmanned operation. In the sub-venue, the vertical 5-axis MC, a 5-axis multitasking MC with turning function, and a metal 3D printer were also introduced.
The main highlight of the PS was the new operating system (OS), which was presented at last year’s 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF2022). The user interface has been redesigned for the first time in 10 years and improved to provide all the information necessary for unmanned operation, such as machining schedules and tool life, at a glance. Yuto Matsuura, director of the company, said, “We incorporated 10 years worth of user requests into the OS renewal. Although it was still in the concept stage when it was unveiled at JIMTOF 2022, our focus at this PS was to let visitors experience the ease of use of the new OS.”
Also on display was the “Smart Line,” which was newly installed at the headquarters plant late last year. The line, which automates each process from the machining of castings to transport, deburring and cleaning, attracted great interest from visitors.
Extend the scope of automation
HASEGAWA MACHINE WORKS (Saitama City, President: Toru Hasegawa) held its PS from June 12 to 14 at its Shirakawa Plant in Nishigo, Fukushima Prefecture. About 400 people attended the three-day event.
At the event, a “C42” turret lathe combined with collaborative robots and other equipment attracted a lot of attention. “We have been proposing automation using gantry loaders for a long time. In the midst of a shift to high-mix, low-volume production with fewer high-volume products, we want to expand the range of our automation proposals,” said Hiroaki Hasegawa, director and sales manager of the company.
With the “P15” gang-type lathe, the company proposed two technologies for chip refinement. The first is “vibration cutting,” in which a servo motor vibrates the cutting edge of the tool to shred the chips. The other is “ultra-high pressure coolant”. The coolant is applied to the machining point from near the cutting edge to break up the chips. Generally, coolant pressure exceeding 14 MPa is considered “ultra-high pressure,” but the company has developed technology to inject coolant at 30 MPa in cooperation with Tokupi (Yao City, Osaka Prefecture; President: Chikara Morigo), a pump manufacturer. President Hasegawa said, “Chips are the main cause of machining problems. Providing chip management technology is one of the ways we can support automation. Both vibration cutting and ultra-high pressure coolant have their advantages and disadvantages, so we intend to propose solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”
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