CNC Machine Tools News

John Hart’s Open House opens the door for more of the latest machining technologies

Close to 100 visitors from the Victorian manufacturing industry joined us for the John Hart Open House event held on 6 December 2023.

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The Open House event hosted demonstrations of the latest manufacturing technologies, and also presented a great opportunity for Victorian manufacturing colleagues to connect, network and socialise in person once again before the end of 2023.

The event featured machining demonstrations on a Mazak Variaxis C-600 showcasing the MAZATROL SmoothAi CNC and hyperMILL CAM software in collaboration with Dimac Tooling for workholding and ISCAR Australia for cutting tools. During the show we also had the opportunity to showcase the Agile Flex 35D robotic loading system for CNC machine tools.

The MAZATROL SmoothAi CNC proved to be a crowd favourite, particularly amongst those not previously exposed to the power and simplicity of MAZATROL programming. Mazatrol Smooth CNC controls are renowned for unsurpassed productivity with faster setups and cycle times, improved surface finishes, high accuracy machining as well as incomparable ease of operation. Our application engineers also demonstrated Solid MAZATROL which uses Ai to complete programming in less than 3 minutes, in the controller from an imported 3D CAD model. One of the features demonstrated  was Intelligent Pocket Machining (IPM) with trochoidal cutting.

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The next generation simultaneous 5-axis vertical machining centre Mazak Variaxis C-600 uses rigid C-frame construction, a standard 30-tool changer, dual-supported tilting table and fast rapid traverse rates to reduce cycle times on demanding jobs. Equipped with the SmoothAi CNC, Mazak’s new artificial intelligence control, it has in-built learning capability to continually improve machine performance. As well as offering excellent operator access and ergonomics, the Mazak Variaxis C-600 has been designed to integrate easily with a range of automation solutions, such as the Agile Flex machine tending system.

The Mazak Varaixis C-600 on show was optioned with On-Machine Measurement (Smooth OMM) to help reduce set-up times, eliminate variances in manual measurement and prevent defects.

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hyperMILL is a modular and flexible CAM solution for 2.5D, 3D and 5-axis milling as well as mill turning and machining operations such as high-speed cutting (HSC) and high-performance cutting (HPC), with everything integrated in a single interface. The special applications for milling impellers, blisks, turbine blades, tubes and tire molds complete the range of functions available in hyperMILL. One of the cutting strategies employed in the Open House demonstration was 5X Tangent Plane Machining utilising an ISCAR Conical Barrel Cutter.

hyperMILL Virtual Machining was also on show. hyperMILL Virtual Machining allows the user to simulate and analyse the manufacturing process to reduce inefficient operations and costly errors to a minimum.

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Dimac Tooling, Australia and New Zealand’s leading supplier of accessories and workholding solutions for CNC milling and CNC turning machine tools provided the Lang Technik Zero Point Clamping system used in our machining demonstrations. Lang’s Zero Point offers high repeatability and accuracy and a low-cost solution for quick pallet changing.

Also on show was Lang’s Makro Grip clamping vice. This clamping system utilises Stamping Technology, also called pre-stamping, a patented technology where the workpiece is stamped outside of the machine tool with up to 20 tons of hydraulic pressure, before being clamped in the Makro-Grip 5-Axis Vice.

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ISCAR Australia supplies a dynamic comprehensive line of carbide inserts, carbide endmills, and cutting tools, covering most metal cutting applications.

ISCAR products aim for the 3 P's: higher Productivity, Profitability and Performance. Some of the foremost features of ISCAR products are:

  • New grades and coatings to enable cutting tools to machine faster, run cooler, resist built-up edge and last longer.
  • New geometries to reduce cutting forces, save energy, improve chip control and provide more edges per insert.
  • More versatile multifunction tools to support the "complete machining" trend on CNC mill-turn centers.
  • Stronger self-clamping designs on stationary tools, enabling them to withstand heavy duty interrupted cuts.

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The Agile Flex 35D is part of is a range of “out of the box” robotic loading systems for CNC machine tools, designed and built right here in Australia and marketed world-wide. Rapid to deploy, compact and easy to use, Agile Flex has been developed to add lights out machining at a very affordable price to any modern CNC machine tool.

With up to eight drawers and an optional top mounted pallet, the Agile Flex can process up to 9 unique part numbers unattended. Combined with the ability to process castings and uneven parts, the Agile Flex brings real agility to CNC automation.

The Agile Flex state of the art user interface requires no robot programming knowledge and is specifically designed to be intuitive for the CNC machine tool user. It could not be simpler to configure complex robot motion and sequences in minutes on an Agile Flex CNC machine loading system.

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