Hybrid Machining Taking multitasking machining to the next level

Author / Editor: Barbara Schulz / Barbara Schulz

Japan - Turning, multitasking or 5-axis machining are terms Okuma has long been known for in the manufacturing world. Now, the Japan-based machine tool maker introduces a machine that "can do it all in one": milling, turning, grinding, laser-hardening and 3D metal printing.

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The Okuma MU-6300V Laser EX allows for laser metal deposition – LMD – for both large-capacity and high definition additive manufacturing.
The Okuma MU-6300V Laser EX allows for laser metal deposition – LMD – for both large-capacity and high definition additive manufacturing.
(Source: Okuma)

At the 28th Japan International Machine Tool Fair in November last year Okuma presented a new line of machine tools, designed to meet the industry's demands in regard to just-in-time-production, smart factory and varying order sizes, including high-mix, low-volume production as found in the tool and mould-making industry. The manufacturer’s trade innovations included state-of-the-art 5-axis vertical machining centres and a new type of intelligent multitasking machine. Among the highlights was the introduction of the world’s first multitasking machines capable of milling, turning, and grinding as well as laser-hardening and 3D metal printing. The new models will be available in Europe in mid-2017.

Designed to be the world’s first “done-on-one”-machines, the Okuma MU-6300 V Laser EX and the Multus U 3000 Laser EX are capable of milling, turning, grinding, 3D metal printing and heat treatment for a wide range of workpiece sizes and shapes. According to Okuma, on-machine hardening provides the solution to a major bottleneck in production: Compared to hardening by conventional heat treatment, the process is quick and causes less distortion, resulting in dramatically increased throughput, Okuma claims. The machine tools are said to fully support agile manufacturing and process-intensive applications.

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Enabling stable laser processing over long runs

With a high-quality Trumpf laser beam source at its core, Okuma’s Laser EX series enables stable laser processing over long runs. The machines allow for laser metal deposition – LMD – for both large-capacity and high definition additive manufacturing. Moreover, 0.4 to 8.5 mm laser spot diameters enable unparalleled throughput regardless of the application. 3D moulding, coating and sectional repair of heat-resistant alloys and highly rigid materials are available on the machine as well, Okuma adds.

Okuma’s OSP control meanwhile monitors and controls the entire process, ensuring reliable and stable additive manufacturing for products on par with forged components. The machine tools therefore meet the quality requirements of even the most demanding applications and industries such as aerospace machining.

Additional Okuma models with laser applications will be available shortly.

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