Mach 2022 Turning and machining: Ready for the Smart Factory

Source: Press release

With a new turn-milling centre, Okuma will make a trade fair debut in the UK. The range presented at the stand of the Japanese company also comprises a vertical machining centre and Industry 4.0 applications.

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Okuma's Standroid floor-mounted, robotic automation solution will be exhibited feeding a M560-V 3-axis vertical machining centre.
Okuma's Standroid floor-mounted, robotic automation solution will be exhibited feeding a M560-V 3-axis vertical machining centre.
(Source: NCMT)

At Mach, the Okuma Spaceturn LB3000 EX II turn-milling centre will make its first appearance in the UK equipped with the Japanese manufacturer's Armroid robotic arm, the first in the world to be integrated inside a CNC machine tool. It will be configured for automated handling of shaft-type parts. The turn-milling centre is available with three different end-of-arm effector options for its robot, capable of performing different tasks. One is for blasting the cutting zone with a mixture of air and coolant to improve chip management. Another provides additional support during the cutting process to prevent chatter. In combination with a workpiece stocker, the third effector is a two-finger gripper for holding shaft-type workpieces weighing up to 5 kg and then automatically loading and unloading them. All three end-of-arm effectors are stored within the machine and are changed automatically by the robot.

While most conventional robotic systems require complex integration and special training for staff, Armroid needs neither. As the robot is part of the machine tool, separate system integration is unnecessary. Using Okuma's own OSP-P300A control, an operator enters the coordinates for the start and finish points and the robot moves through its motions, the cycle being automatically generated to avoid collisions. Roid Navi software simplifies programming using images and on-screen guides.

There exists a longer, more powerful Armroid that can be integrated into a larger Okuma multi-tasking lathes. The robot arm handles workpieces up to 10 kg and possesses a fourth type of end effector with a 3-jaw gripper for holding billets around their end faces. Armroid systems are ideal for high mix, small batch work. The extended periods of unattended running free the operator to carry out duties in other parts of the factory.

As the machine and robot operate seamlessly and always know where each other are, by enabling the control's built-in collision avoidance system each cycle is automatically generated while avoiding unwanted interference between the moving elements. In addition to automated running under program control, manual operation is possible via a pulse handle for precise positioning of the arm.

Gallery with 6 images

The Genos L3000 lathe will make another appearance at Mach, but this time with a higher specification including a sub spindle and a 12-station turret with Y-axis and live tooling. Maximum turning diameter is 300 mm and rotational speed of the 22 kW spindle is up to 3,800 rpm, all in a compact footprint of 2.5 x 1.9 metres.

The 6-tonne Genos L3000-MYW turning centre is rigidly constructed and features an integral spindle motor and rigid guideways for powerful, high precision machining of a wide range of materials including exotic alloys. The Japanese manufacturer's Thermo Friendly Concept has been applied to the machine construction to enable tight tolerances to be maintained on the shop floor.

The machine has been designed so that cleaning, filtration and maintenance tasks are simplified. User-friendly features include a separate coolant tank for quick servicing, easy spindle access to speed maintenance as well as machine set-up, and reduced chip accumulation for less machine downtime during removal.

Okuma's Advanced One-Touch IGF is an option in the OSP control. IGF allows users to describe part geometry including diameter, length, grooves, threads etc using simple commands, from which the system draws the defined shape and then develops the part program automatically. An off-line version of the software is available for use on a PC to minimise machine downtime.

The final turning machine on the stand (Hall 19, stand 120) will be a Genos L2000 equipped with an Okuma Gantry Loader workpiece handling system. It is a built-in solution for efficient workpiece load/unload, designed to minimise takt times. Servo-driven rotation of the hand and fast motions result in a complete load/unload sequence in 17 seconds.

Machining centre with robotic load/unload of workpieces

Highly rigid, thermally-stable construction protects the Okuma Genos M560-V vertical machining centre from thermal deformation, resulting in high machining performance for an entry-level machine, as will be demonstrated at Mach 2022. The 3-axis machine is able to process a variety of materials, from titanium to aluminium, and does so without sacrificing dimensional accuracy, finish quality or productivity.

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The model on the stand will be equipped for the first time at a Mach show with Okuma's Standroid floor-mounted, robotic automation solution, developed by the manufacturer for its prismatic machining platforms with the requirements of small and medium size enterprises in mind. The compact unit can be placed next to, and integrated with, various different Okuma machines.

Like Armroid, Standroid is easy to operate by simply defining start and end points of the robot arm, while the system automatically calculates movements and avoids collisions. This greatly reduces set-up and prove-out times. For maximum flexibility, it is possible to switch between automated and manual workpiece loading and unloading.

The M560-V has a 1,050 x 560 x 460 mm working envelope and a maximum table load of 900 kg. The CAT40 BIG Plus, 15,000 rpm spindle moves in the X and Z axes, with the table moving in Y. A 32-position tool magazine is provided.

Software can be added, including Machining Navi to minimise chatter by finding the best cutting conditions. It employs a microphone to detect the onset of vibration and feeds information back to the control. A change in spindle speed is then recommended so that an adjustment can be made to suppress the chatter.

To emphasise the build quality and thermal stability of the Genos vertical machining centre range, an identical static machine will be on the stand with all guarding removed so that the machine construction may be inspected.

Smaller 5-axis machining centre in the Genos range

The Genos M460V-5AX vertical machining centre with a working volume of 762 x 460 x 460 mm will be in evidence again. It was the original 5-axis machine in Okuma's economical, series-built Genos range. The trunnion with rotary table and 5-axis simultaneous control give the machine the ability to produce highly complex components. The BT40 spindle is rated at 15,000 rpm / 22 kW, which is served from a 48-position tool magazine. Control is by the proprietary, user-friendly OSP-P300MA CNC.

Highly rigid, thermally-stable, double column construction protects the vertical machining centre structure from deformation, resulting in high machining performance. Okuma's Thermo-Friendly Concept is nevertheless included in the specification, applied to both the machine structure (TAS-C) and the spindle (TAS-S), based on feedback from temperature sensors to deliver high accuracy machining in a normal shop floor environment. Tests have shown thermal deviation to be less than 10 microns over a 24-hour period, despite a variation in ambient temperature of as much as 8 degrees Celsius.

Features such as Okuma’s 5-axis auto tuning system that accurately fine-tunes the geometry of the machine for ultra-high precision and Okuma’s Absoscale linear encoders on the X, Y and Z axes are all part of the standard specification machine package. So also are ServoNavi AI and Servo Navi SF, which automatically detect workpiece weight and adjust the machine's feed drives to achieve higher speed production of lighter components.

Smart Factory solutions

The theme of NCMT's Okuma stand at Mach (the agent has a second stand focusing on Makino products) will feature Okuma Smart Factory, as did the principal's stand at EMO 2019. It will exemplify how Industry 4.0 applications can improve manufacturing processes by linking every machine tool throughout an entire manufacturing environment to Connect Plan. The solution allows complete visualisation of the factory and provides analytics for improved machine tool utilisation.

Connect Plan achieves traceability by tying together the individual ID of a machined workpiece with the cutting data and gauging results for each production centre. It eliminates sources of errors, improving manufacturing quality as well as reliability. In addition, by collecting process data, maintenance intervals can be accurately predicted and scheduled. Connect Plan even integrates machines from third-party providers. Real-time data including the operational status of the machines is accessible on PCs and mobile devices from any location.

Okuma has collaborated with other machine tool builders, software companies and control manufacturers to create a universal machine tool interface, Umati, which enables machines and peripherals to connect to customer-specific IT ecosystems. umati has been developed on the initiative of VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) and is based on the international interoperability standard OPC UA, making the integration of new machine tools into existing IT environments easy, secure and seamless.

Umati is becoming an open standard for machine tool users worldwide. Okuma customers will be able to connect their machine tools without any modification, as the machine builder has developed a Umati interface for its proprietary OSP Windows-based open architecture control.

Higher levels of automation and more complex manufacturing make it increasingly difficult to predict and avoid errors. Okuma’s 3D Virtual Monitor is advanced software that provides an accurate, three-dimensional simulation of the entire manufacturing process. To ensure high accuracy, the solution relies on the exact specification of the Okuma production platform to be resident within the CNC system. With end-to-end simulation of the machining process and transfer operations, programming errors can be detected before actual machining starts, avoiding costly collisions and increasing safety.