The machine tool industry rarely experiences massive change. Its technology remains quite conventional. But with Industry 4.0 and the need for optimization, the sector is adapting. Industrie Lyon’s French trade show proved the sector is innovating toward digital and optimized manufacturing.
We selected four companies that showcased innovative technologies opening the way to a new era in industrial machining.
In the first part of our report, we talked with DMG MORI and Belotti about the changing face of traditional machining, from machine tools with fingertip digital controls to machines designed to cut the materials of the future.
CONTROLLING A MACHINE TOOL LIKE A SMARTPHONE
DMG MORI introduced CELOS, a numerical interface that simplifies interactions between the operator and the machine. CELOS digitally commands the whole process of machining through easy-to-use applications which resemble those of a smartphone.
On a tactile panel called ERGOline, the operator can see in real time all the machine parameters, from axis position, to energy consumption and carbon footprint. If an error occurs, an explicit text message appears on the screen.
Christophe Fernandes, application technician at DMG MORI, explains how CELOS joined the digital era. “Everything is tactile nowadays, inspired by smartphones. Digital control modernizes machining, as well as optimizing the manufacturing process.”
MACHINING COMPOSITES OF THE FUTURE
More and more industries are employing composites. The aerospace, automotive and sports industries are among those increasingly machining carbon fiber, light alloys and resins. The Airbus A350, with its carbon fiber fuselage, is probably the best-known example of this trend. Composite materials are more resistant and lighter than metal. An airplane made of composites instead of metal will weigh less and, therefore, consume less fuel.
But conventional machine tools for metal are not well suited to composites because they are too powerful and too slow. Composites do not require great mechanical effort to be easily and quickly cut.
Composites are the materials of the future and they need machines dedicated to them.”
Machining center manufacturer Belotti presented a 5-axis machine tool series designed to cut those materials. Faster, more precise than conventional machine tools and equipped with a dust vacuum, the Flu Series machines can cut a motorbike helmet in less than a minute.
>According to Giuseppe Dall’Ora, Commercial Director at Belotti, “With a double-digit growth rate each year, the composites are the materials of the future and they need machines dedicated to them.” Composites machining could therefore become a real industrial trend.