20 February 2020

MACH 2020 – Makino preview – Hall 19, stand 130

High-speed, 5-axis machining centre

MACH 2020 will mark the UK launch of the D200Z 5-axis, vertical-spindle machining centre from Japanese machine tool builder, Makino, which is represented exclusively in the UK and Ireland by NCMT (www.ncmt.co.uk). On stand 130 in Hall 19 the machine will be demonstrated cycling through a ball-bar test to show the high degree of volumetric accuracy achievable, as is shown in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaxA7y5saIk

From roughing to high-speed finishing of multi-faceted and 3D contoured geometries, the D200Z boosts productivity of complex dies and moulds typically found in the automotive, injection moulding, packaging, medical and optics markets. The machine’s speed and precision provide a solid foundation for responsive, high-speed metal-cutting and for the production of outstanding surface finishes that reduce or eliminate hand polishing.

The 30,000 rpm spindle and integral, direct-drive table provides quick, precise, full 5-axis machining. This capability combines with high-speed SGI.5 motion control software in the Makino Professional 6 CNC to maintain the tightest tolerances and quality requirements and ensure accurate blending of 3D surfaces, even during simultaneous 5-axis motion. All of these attributes are essential in the manufacture of modern dies, moulds and components of intricate geometry.

Designed to maximise working volume and load capacity, the compact D200Z accommodates workpiece sizes up to 300 mm in diameter, 210 mm tall and weighing up to 75 kg. The X, Y, Z axis travels of 350 mm, 300 mm and 250 mm respectively feature rapid traverse and cutting feed rates of 60 m/min. The machine utilises a lightweight B-axis structure with 0 to +180 degrees of tilt at 100 rpm. Both the B-axis and 150 rpm, 360-degree C-axis table feature direct-drive motors for accurate, high-speed operation.

Wide base castings and core-cooled ballscrews serve as a platform for enhancing overall process stability. The HSK-E50 spindle is designed with a core and jacket cooling system to control thermal growth, deflection and vibration during high-speed machining operations. As a result, the machine extends tool life in addition to providing exceptional surface finishes.

With flexible tool capacities and automation capabilities, such as the 100-tool capacity magazine with automatic tool changer and multi-pallet system, the D200Z can achieve utilisation rates of more than 80 per cent for high levels of throughput and fast return on investment.

Two other Makino vertical machining centres will feature on the NCMT stand – the 3-axis F5, also intended for mould and die work and the 5-axis DA300, which will be demonstrated producing an impeller.

In evidence also will be the manufacturer’s Industry 4.0 package of software tools, MPmax, for real-time process monitoring and data management. With the ability to connect a multiple-machine network to a centralised computer, it allows manufacturers to retrieve, store and analyse high volumes of data in real-time, enabling detection of and reaction to bottlenecks on the fly, whether it relates to underperformance or process errors.

EDM machines – Makino

World’s fastest wire EDM machine

New also from Makino will be a wire-cut electric discharge machining (EDM) centre, the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME, which uses the largest diameter wire – 0.4 mm – of any machine on the market. The wire is coated and distinct from the 0.25 mm uncoated brass wire that is commonly used in industry. The extra wire thickness together with the use of a second, booster generator in the machine allows two to three times higher feed rates and heavier-duty machining coupled with a slower unspool speed, so there is no increase in wire consumption rate. The demonstration on the NCMT stand will be roughing the fir-tree root form of a turbine blade, assisted by dual pumps delivering high flushing pressure and volume.

Part of Makino’s popular U-Series wire EDM machine platform, the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME uses a new Bedra copper core wire with a double layer coating having controlled zinc donation. It has been optimised for use with Makino’s generator and is exclusive to the new machine, promoting fast cutting at a reduced wire speed, leading to lower manufacturing costs. Areas of application include aerospace and medical component machining, separating additively manufactured parts, machining tall moulds and dies and tackling tough nickel alloys.

The U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME also features Makino’s HyperDrive Extreme wire control to raise speed and performance. The system employs servo motor tensioning that provides both jet and jet-less auto threading modes and expands the range and stability of wire tension to overcome the difficult job of reliably threading high tensile strength and therefore stiff 16-micron wire.

The machine has a cutting conditions library developed to provide an optimum combination of speed, accuracy, surface finish and wire consumption for both sealed and poor flush applications. Settings for two-pass machining have been developed to provide optimal productivity.

Additionally, to reduce maintenance costs, the machine features long-life energisers that dramatically extend the service life of this consumable. To improve ease of use and productivity, the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME has the intuitive Hyper-i twin-screen control that includes advanced functions to support the needs of operators at all skill levels.
The machine is delivered as standard with HyperConnect Industry 4.0 network connectivity for remote machine monitoring and interlinking of all manufacturing information. It is also Athena voice-enabled, allowing hands-free control and simplifying training for novice operators.

A video on the U6 H.E.A.T. EXTREME is available at:


Two further Makino EDM machines will be on show. A second wire-cut machine, the U3i with fourth axis, which is also new to MACH having been shown for the first time at EMO 2019, will be demonstrated producing a medical part. The machine features jet-less threading and the same HyperDrive Extreme wire drive system as described above. Diverse automation options are available including a collaborative robot (cobot) for loading and unloading.

There will also be an EDAF3 die sinking EDM machine equipped with an Erowa Compact 80 magazine for storing and automatically loading and unloading electrodes and components. It will be shown machining root form pockets and the seal slot on a turbine blade.

Adhesive workholding – Blue Photon

Completing the exhibits on the stand will be a photo-activated adhesive system from the US, Blue Photon, for which NCMT is the sole European agent. The method is ideal for securing awkwardly shaped parts to allow maximum access to tools for tight-tolerance machining or inspection.

The process involves applying an adhesive that is cured by ultraviolet light via an LED spot curing system. After machining is complete, the adhesive contact points can be sheared to free the workpiece by rotating the gripper pins in the fixture plate with a spanner. The residual adhesive can subsequently be removed by the application of hot water.

Use of the technique is predicted to grow due to its ability to hold components securely with a shear resistance of up to 200 kg per gripper point while allowing cutters excellent all-round access for machining on five sides. Unlike magnetic clamping systems, it can be used to secure non-ferrous metallic parts including ceramics and composites.

Blue Photon is ideal, for example, for clamping a turbine blade to enable the fir-tree and wedge face on the root as well as the shroud end features to be machined in one hit without tolerance build-up. Traditionally, due to clamp interference, multiple operations are required. A novel turbine blade fixture incorporating four gripper inserts has been designed by NCMT that, once adhesive has been applied and cured, holds a blade securely by one side of the aerofoil.

Tests have shown that the clamping force produced by the fixture can easily withstand the requirements of machining. Material removal rate actually exceeded that achieved when the blade was mechanically clamped, as in the latter case the pressure had to be limited to avoid component distortion and marking. Other advantages of Blue Photon clamping are good damping properties to suppress chatter, reduced cost of fixtures for holding complex parts and elimination of locating lugs on castings.


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