As centres of manufacturing technology appear around the world, advances in machining and automation are starting to come from areas outside the traditional technology hubs of Europe, Japan and the US. Following this pattern, exhibitions like EuroMold are recognizing and encouraging this spirit of innovation. For the 2009 event, held from December 2-5, EuroMold organizers have chosen to feature Poland as technology growth area, the show described as ‘dedicating itself to an economically soaring neighbour and to one of the key figures in Eastern Europe’.
To build and support business contacts, EuroMold will for the first time offer the international cooperative exchange ‘MoldMatch’, again with a focus on Poland. Further, Polish organisations such as the Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster (Hall 9), will exhibit for the first time, while the ‘International Synergy Exchange – Poland’ will take place during the fair.
Here are some of the companies AMS spoke to about what they will have on offer at the fair:
Uddeholm will be showing its VIDAR 1 ESR – the latest addition to the company’s product programme for plastic moulds, especially suitable for large moulds needing a polished or etched surface finish. Larger tools require material with excellent hardening qualities in order to achieve the required toughness following heat treatment.
While it is easy to machine, VIDAR 1 ESR is exceptionally tough when heat treated, resulting fewer unexpected failures. The steel fulfils the requirements for a premium W Nr 1.2343 and is available from stock up to 1,000 x 500mm cross section. The addition of this product completes the Uddeholm product programme for large moulds.
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is the industry’s premier engineering plastic. The material properties of this thermoplastic polymer make it the ideal choice for parts in the automotive sector, as well as medical technology and aerospace engineering. FKM Sintertechnik (Germany) has now put the world’s first laser sintering system into operation, capable of producing PEEK moulded parts, a move that is claimed to reduce otherwise high material costs.
The P800 laser sintering system being shown by FKM was developed specifically for production of PEEK components.
The layered generative fabrication technology used in this system represents the first low-priced production alternative to conventional methods such as injection moulding or machining. The laser sintering process is quick and fully automated, using a focused laser beam to build up solidmoulded parts in layers from loose PEEK powder. The only design limitations are dictated by the system installation space (700 x 380 x 560mm). The level of dimensional accuracy is said to be very high, with a layer thickness of only 0.12mm.
Haas Automation (Europe) is well known for its range of vertical milling machines that are specially suited to mould production. The company will be showing its range of vertical mould machining centres, offered in the following sizes:
The largest machine, the VM-6 IS A vertical mould machine, measures 64” x 32” x 30” (1,626 x 813 x 762mm), providing 30 hp (22.4 kW) at 12,000rpm, with an inline direct-drive spindle for smooth finishes. The VM-6’s 64” x 28” (1,626 x 711mm) cast-iron table features standard T-slots (7 in the Y direction and 5 in the X), as well as an array of drilled and tapped holes. With a maximum weight capacity of 4,000lbs, the standard VM-6 comes with a 24+1 side-mount tool changer that swaps tools in 2.8 seconds. Tool head speed is 540 inches-per-minute (13.7 m/min) on the X-axis and 600 ipm (15.2 m/min) on the Y- and Z-axis.
In addition to the VM-6 IS A, Haas will also be showing its Super Mini Mill 2, which features high-speed capabilities, generous travel and compact footprint.
Belying its compact size, the Super Mini Mill 2 offers extended travels of 508 x 406 x 508mm (XYZ) – a 100mm increase on each axis over the standard Haas Mini Mill. The Super Mini Mill 2 comes equipped with a 11.2 kW vector drive 10,000 rpm spindle and a 1,016 x 356mm T-slot table that provides ample room for multiple fixtures or a singleor dual-axis rotary table.
Hexagon Metrology has acquired several brands over the last few years, with the Hexagon Metrology network now featuring 11 manufacturing facilities, 52 precision centres for service and sales, and a network of 70 distribution partners on five continents. Showing at Euromold will be portable CMMs from its Leica Geosystems range - the Leica Absolute Tracker system and the Leica T-Probe, Romer portable measuring arms that give added flexibility to previously stationary measuring stations, and the Optigo white light scanner range from the CogniTens brand. This equipment range is in use at many OEMs and component suppliers, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Skoda Auto, General Motors, Tofas and Faurecia.
Industeel is a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal Group, with expertise in the production of high-quality steel plates, in carbon, alloy, stainless and other types, covering a range of diverse applications. Product is available in thicknesses measuring from three to 950mm. In the mould steel market, the company’s Superplast range offers a newly-enlarged choice of products for injection moulds and mould bases. Operating on three complementary industrial sites in France and Belgium, Industeel continues to develop specific ranges of high-quality steel products, marketing these through a network of 37 sales agencies around the world.
SSAB Tunplat will be showing its Toolox range of tool steels for mould making at the EuroMold fair. Toolox, a ready-touse, pre-hardened tool and machine steel, is said to have excellent machinability and high temperature properties, meaning production costs can be kept to a minimum. The product is delivered with expert knowledge, making it a very user-friendly material.
One product in the range is Toolox 44, a quenched and tempered tool steel with very low residual stresses. With a hardness of 45 HRC, it offers very good machinability, together with a hardness and purity which enables it to be polished and etched with superior results. Typical applications for Toolox 44 include sheet metal tools, plasticmolding tools and highly-exposed machine components.
Toolox 33 is a quenched and tempered tool steel designed to have low residual stresses – resulting in good dimensional stability. It is also characterised by its good machinability, in combination with a 300 Brinell hardness.
Typical applications include plastic moulds and machine components.
Stratasys will be showing its uPrint Personal 3D Printer, the newest addition to its Dimension range. With a 635 x 660mm footprint and a 203 x 152 x 152mm build envelope, it can easily fit on a desktop. The uPrint is fully networked and easy to set up, making it suitable for an office; a more convenient, cost-effective alternative to outsourcing 3D models.
The uPrint produces models direct from CAD drawings and uses Dimension’s proven FDM technology. It builds models with Stratasys’ ABSplus plastic, which is, on average, 40% stronger than Stratasys’ previous standard ABS. This strength makes uPrint models robust enough to use as functioning prototypes for testing form, fit and function.