The 13th World Fair for Moldmaking and Tooling, Design and Application Development, which took place at the end of last year in Germany, represented the entire production cycle from design to prototyping to series production
A significant increase in exhibitors to EuroMold 2006 saw the organisers open Hall 5.1 at Frankfurt’s Exhibition Centre for the first time at the end of November last year. The additional 54 companies brought total exhibitor space to 80,050 square metres, an increase of nearly 3,000 square metres on the last show, and the breadth of expertise they brought covered the entire automotive production process.
For the ninth year the EuroMold Awards for Excellence and Innovation were presented, with the Golden Award going to WSN Werkzeug Sondermaschinen Neuhaus for the development of an acupuncture needle dispenser. The Silver Award was given to Alfred Hermann for its development of the “Bodybuddy” an innovative vehicle, moved by the muscle power of its driver. Leonhardt Graveurbetriebe, in cooperation with Mold Masters Europa, was awarded the Bronze Award, for its ceramic first-cut sealing in a hotrunner injector nozzle.
CGTech is now including an enhanced library of machines and controls with Vericut 6.0, its software for simulating and verifying CNC machine programmes.
This library, known as the Showroom, is automatically created during installation of Vericut 6.0. The Showroom contains models of machine tools from such manufacturers as DMG, Fadal, Haas, Hermle, Makino, Mori Seiki, and Okuma.
CGTech’s software developers concentrated considerable effort on updating and adding new functionality for the most popular CNC controls, including Siemens 840D, Heidenhain 530 and Mill-Plus, Fanuc, and Mazak controls
D-M-E’s 4mm indexable mould dating insert (MDI) facilitates reliable production dating of hardto- fit, small parts. It miniaturises a patented insert design that provides the industry’s only snap-in-place indexing. The insert is frontremovable, allowing the inner year arrow to be changed easily from the front of the mould without removing the outer month wheel.
Also on show, D-M-E’s new Polivalve valve-gate hot runner systems are designed to provide high-quality moulding of special shapes or multi-cavity parts in applications where the volume of melt can vary significantly. The systems facilitate injection flow in simultaneous or sequential filling, enabling parts with unusual or complex hard-to-fill geometries to be created and multiple parts of different shapes and sizes to be moulded in one cycle.
Replacing all 2D methods with 3D mould design software offers significant cost- and time-saving advantages of accelerating downstream machining and assembly operations. The software allows skilled workers to be more productive, through automating routine operations, so that high-quality tools can be produced more quickly and cost-effectively.
Delcam reports that its customers have been delighted by a move to full 3D design and moulding simply because tools can be made reliably rather than being delayed due to 2D errors.
EOS is a manufacturer of laser sintering systems and is focusing on eManufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-efficient production of parts directly from electronic data. Visitors experienced a completely new range of systems for plastic laser-sintering as well as new materials for Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS).
The highlight of the show for EOS was the world premiere of FORMIGA P 100, an entirely new machine for the production of plastic parts.
EOS launched several new titanium alloys along with the material EOS MaragingSteel MS1. The titanium alloys open up applications in the aerospace and medical industries, especially for implants. EOS MaragingSteel MS1, a martensite-hardening steel, offers a significant quality boost – in particular for series tooling. The material is a highperformance 18 maraging 300 steel (type 1.2709) and offers the highest strength.
The high-speed, fast-cycling Fanuc Alpha T21iE vertical machining centre (VMC) can machine in up to five axes simultaneously, eliminating delays in floor-to-floor time, and expansion into a productive machining cell using robotic loading. Available in three models, the new machine has a 10,000-rpm directcoupled BT30 spindle with a 24,000-rpm high-speed option. It is specified with a rapid traverse of 54m/min with optimised axis motion technology involving ultrafast acceleration and deceleration.
This VMC incorporates a totally new Fanuc FS-31iA5 control, which adds nano-interpolation, A1 contour control II, and NURBS smoothing and interpolation. Nano-interpolation and feedback via an ultra-precision 16- million-pulses-per-revolution encoder, yields extremely smooth movements.
Additionally, a nano-smoothing option enables any original free-form curved surfaces to be interpolated in nanometres, bringing the resulting cut as close as possible to the original designation. Thermal-displacement compensation helps to maintain accuracy and repeatability within 2μm.
Machining out-of-round forms in mould and die production used to be very complicated. The process involved a variety of surface and jig grinding machines, and the multiple clampings made it impossible to achieve specified angle and geometric tolerances quickly.
Now, however, the S31 HSM universal cylindrical grinding machine from Fritz Studer can handle all aspects of such production. The machine’s c-axis facilitates grinding even complex out-ofround workpieces.
As an international project partner, Hasco Hasenclever supports its customers with help in refining the product idea and then on through production start-up. Besides advisory service, technical application support and service during sampling, Hasco offers Hot Base customised moulding system solutions. Each Hot Base project is a unique package of innovative hot runner technology, an extensive range of mould standards, and tailor-made high-precision moulds. Finally, Hasco provides project and supply management on a global level.
Hasco provides complete mould tool assemblies with additional machining and hot runner systems. The company is organised as a system supplier for mould standards and is able to offer a global level of service. Its product range comprises 80,000 individual parts.
Following its corporate strategy of focusing on cutting-edge high-speed machining (HSM) technology, the machine tool manufacturer Huron Graffenstaden SAS has recently introduced the KX 50 fiveaxis machining centre for the processing of medium-size workpieces weighing as much as six tonnes.
This efficient, high-performance production unit is designed for five-face machining of such materials as steel, aluminum, and cast iron, including both roughing and finishing work. Applications for its use include the machining of plastics moulds, metal-casting dies, cutting tools, and drawing tools.
Missler Software has entered into a strategic collaboration with Huron Graffenstaden SAS to generate postprocessors to drive Huron’s milling machines and thus better fulfill customer needs for productivity improvement. This is only the latest stage of a longstanding relationship between the French companies.
Missler’s TopSolid’Cam CAM system is well suited to drive Huron machines by virtue of its strong performance in the areas of five-axis positioning, 3D machining, continuous five-axis machining, and simulation of the machine environment.
The increasing demand for economical high-speed, lowrigidity BT30 spindle–type machining centres and lowresistance, high-precision cutting tools that can make high-efficiency machining possible even with lower-rigidity machines, inspired Mitsubishi Materials to launch the APX3000 multifunctional index-able end-mill cutter two years ago.
The APX4000 multifunctional indexable end-mill cutter, available in Europe from Mitsubishi Carbide, expands the APX series. The APX4000 includes inserts that are capable of larger depths of cut, up to 15mm, compared with a maximum of 10mm for the APX3000. In addition, the strength of the insert is greater because it is a third thicker – 4.8 mm versus 3.6 mm.
The NVD6000 DCG (“Driven at the Center of Gravity” technology), high-precision vertical machining centre (VMC) for tool and mould machining, manufactured by Mori Seiki, provides a medium-size machining centre that can perform high-speed machining with no tooltip vibration and high final surface quality, regardless of conditions. DCG technology enables the machine to deliver high contouring accuracy and long tool life, as well as a good surface finish. The machine features y-axis travel of 600mm, and its travels of 900mm in the x-axis and 450mm in the z-axis are well suited for mould and die production.
This VMC is equipped with a BT40 tool shank. A 20,000rpm spindle is standard, but one with a maximum speed of 30,000 rpm is available as an option. The machine has storage capacity for 20 tools, expandable to 40 or 60. Tool-changing time is 1.2 seconds.
Renishaw plc has added the RELM high-accuracy linear scale to its SiGNUM range of intelligent encoders. The encoders offer reliable high-speed, non-contact performance and such advanced features as the In-Trac autophase optical reference mark and dynamic signal processing. The system comprises the SR read head, a silicon interface, and the 20-μmpitch RELM scale. This scale incorporates Renishaw’s In-Trac optical reference mark, which provides a bi-directionally repeatable datum point across the entire speed and temperature range without increasing overall system width. This is available at either the scale midpoint or 20 mm from the scale end. Dual optical limits provide end-of-travel indication. Comprehensive SiGNUM software optimises setup and real-time system diagnostics via a PC’s USB port.
The Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB took part in EuroMold for the first time. Its division SSAB Oxelösund presented the company’s new-generation Toolox products, which hold the distinction of being the world’s hardest pre-hardened tool steels. Toolox 33 and Toolox 44 tool steels, despite their hardness and dimensional stability, are also readily machinable by means of everyday tools and machinery. Toolox 44 is supplied hardened and tempered at 45 HRc.
Trumpf exhibited its new eight kilowatt disk laser – TruDisk 8002. The disk laser is known for its characteristic high electrical efficiency and high beam quality at multikilowatt laser output. The TruDisk 8002 can process any material, even highly reflective materials like copper or aluminium are processed without difficulties. It is able to weld 10mm deep in construction steel with a welding speed of 1 metre per minute. At an increased welding speed of 20 metres per minute it can still weld 3mm deep. Its high processing speed offers several productivity advantages such as shorter cycle times or higher throughput. The TruDisk 8002 is especially suited for challenging welding tasks on thick sheet metal.
Böhler Uddeholm Deutschland showed Uddeholm Unimax, a new universal tool steel. It has an exceptional combination of high ductility and high hardness it is perfect when moulding plastic details that cause hard wear on the mould. Unimax is a strong alternative when moulding difficult parts and bigger details. In fact, the superior properties become even more evident the bigger the mould is and the more difficult the part produced.