Technical focus - Makino Europe Everything under control: an Austrian company goes large
Germany – With dimensions and complexity on the rise in the specialist plastic industry, companies increasingly rely on machine centres that can combine size with accuracy. Now an Austrian supplier has invested in a 5-axis system with a difference - and it’s not just the unusual controller.
Like many injection mould specialists, Bergs Kunststofftechnik in Ennsdorf, Austria relies on its machine centres for high speed and precision. Its customers come from the furniture, automotive, and sporting goods industries and require injection moulded parts ranging in weight from 1 g to 1.5 kg. Bergs Kunststofftechnik is also a major supplier of ski tips made of two-component parts and of ski binding plates to Fischer and Blizzard.
The need for speed for complex contours
For its toolmaking department, the firm needed to decrease processing times, create high-quality surfaces and reduce manual rework. Service costs were rising fast and the shortcomings of the existing 5-axis machining centre had never really been dealt with during its three years of service.
Keen to make a change, the company bought a Makino 5-axis D500 machining centre. Although the system has only been in operation since May 2015 and is still being tried out, the results seem to have impressed managing director Andreas Bergs: "Since we mill so many 3D contours, the concept is tailor-made for us. The machine has the speed required for the contour, is stable and works with the highest precision. Unlike our previous 5-axis machining centre, Makino required no service during this period. We called the hotline twice, but only because our operator was on holiday, and both times we received help immediately. We are planning to automate in the near future and the D500 can deal with the combination of electrodes and mould inserts."