To meet the growing demand from customers, machine manufacturers are constantly trying to upgrade and come up with new hybrid solutions for better productivity and efficiency in the manufacturing space.
Technologies of the future are here to stay. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing has been around in the manufacturing industry for quite some time. Experts at the data and analytics firm, Global Industry Analysts forecast the global market for additive manufacturing to reach 9.6 billion dollars by 2020.
Players from the industry are well aware of the many benefits of this technology including the creation of light-weight parts and providing quick solutions for design and concept validation due to which wastage is reduced in the final product: Further, 3D printing is ideal for producing products with complex or intricate geometries and is a cost effective procedure.
DMG Mori’s Lasertec 65 3D hybrid machine
All these factors are advantageous no doubt but with the increase in complex manufacturing processes, the growth of hybrid manufacturing i.e. combining metal additive manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing has become popular.
For instance, one of the most recognised machines in this sector is DMG Mori’s Lasertec 65 3D hybrid. The machine combines additive manufacturing and milling in a single set up. Equipped with a laser head that is handled by a fully automatic shuttle, the machine also offers 5-axis material deposition by a coaxial nozzle for homogeneous powder distribution, independent from direction of laser deposition welding. The machine is user friendly and comprises specifically developed software with operator-orientated user interface and Celos integration. Real time monitoring of the laser buildup process as well as automatic regulation of the laser power is also possible.
Matsuura’s Lumex series
In addition to this, Japan-based Matsuura Machinery Corporation’s Lumex series is also known for its specialized machines. The series allows the production of the most complex and challenging parts such as hollow structures via the assistance of digital engineering. Weight reduction and injection mould design for gas venting inserts become possible with the variable density material properties.
The hybrid process of the machines produces highly accurate parts from metal powders that are melted and sintered using a laser while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. These machines possess both high-speed milling and laser sintering capability.
Apart from this, many new hybrid technologies will be unveiled at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2018. Mazak has already announced that it will be showcasing its advanced Hybrid Multi-Tasking technologies at the show. The firm will also feature new technologies like wire arc additive manufacturing and multi-laser metal deposition.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show is expected to be held from September 10–15, 2018 at Chicago in Illinois, USA. In 2016, the show hosted around 2,407 exhibiting companies and attracts industry players from 117 countries.