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Metal Cutting Showcase Two

Our second review of some of the latest machine tools, software and related machining systems and accessories.

The MCR-A5CII double column machining center from Okuma reduces the number of set-ups required to machine parts, which minimizes chances for error and saves time and money for end-users.
The heavy-duty FEELER SBM-2000 Universal Milling Machine from Methods Machine Tools is ideal for machining large, difficult workpieces used in the energy/oil field and other demanding applications.
The YASDA YMC 430 Ver. II Micro Machining Center from Methods Machine Tools is perfect for the ultra-precise manufacturing of challenging, micro-sized angles and high surface finishes required on small, complex features in components and dies/molds used in the medical and semi-conductor industries.
The Mikron HSM 200U LP milling machine with pallet changer from GF Machining Solutions brings speed, efficiency, precision and superior surface finishes to the machining of small, complex steel denture bars, medical implants, tiny sinker EDM electrodes and other highly detailed parts.
The Walter Ewag Laser Line Ultra 5-axis machining center from United Grinding is a tool machining system that uses ultra-short pulse laser technology to cut hard diamond tooling materials and help meet the increasing demands for high-precision CVD-diamond tooling needed to cut lightweight carbon fiber and special aluminum alloys.

Multiple set-ups cost money and consume time. Additionally, every time a part needs to be re-set there’s a chance for error, and by the time the part is nearly completed this is very costly because the part that is machined in error due to a re-set is not only a loss of material but also a loss of all of the time and effort put into the part. The MCR-A5CII double column machining center from Okuma America Corporation (Charlotte, NC) reduces the number of set-ups required to machine parts, which minimizes chances for error, and saves time and money for end-users.

With its multiple heads, the MCR-A5CII can now machine all five sides of a part from a single set-up. With this machine it takes only 2-3 set-ups to accomplish the same tasks that require 5-6 set-ups on a vertical machining center. This reduction in set-up time saves end users time and money, and also minimizes chances for costly errors. The MCR-A5CII delivers true 5-sided machining in a compact footprint. The solid double column construction ensures greater rigidity and closer tolerances, making this machine well-suited for the efficient machining of general parts and rapid die/mold jobs.

Features of the MCR-A5CII double column machining center include:

  • Improved productivity with higher machining capacity than its predecessor, the MCR-A5C
  • High accuracy and dimensional stability
  • Highly rigid ram-type spindle head
  • THINC® OSP P300 CNC control for easy operation
  • Compact auto loading/unloading attachments for 5-axis machining
  • Compact footprint

The MCR-A5CII comes standardly equipped with the Thermo-Friendly Concept that combines CNC control technology with CNC machine design to both minimize the amount of heat generated and deal with heat that cannot be eliminated to stabilize thermal deformation and shorten warm-up times. This reduces the need for dimensional correction during production.

Width Between Columns: mm (in);  2,150 (84.65) – 3,650 (143.70)
Table Travel (X-Axis): mm (in);  3,050 (120.08) – 12,050 (474.41)
Spindle Range: min⁻¹;  4,000 [6,000 and 10,000]
Spindle Power: kW (hp); VAC 26/22 (35 | 30 hp) (30 min/cont) [VAC 30/22 (40 | 30 (30 min/cont)]
Rapid Traverse Rate: m/min (fpm);  X: 30, Y: 30, Z: 20 (X: 98.43, Y: 98.43, Z: 65.62
Magazine Capacity: 50 [OPT: 80, 100, 120, 180]

The next time you’re working through multiple set-ups on a part, think three-dimensionally. Think DCMC and how the reduction of set-ups would put money into your pockets. Because after all, aren’t time and money the same thing.

Okuma America Corporation, 11900 Westhall Drive, Charlotte, NC 28278, 704-588-7000,

Methods Machine Tools, Inc. (Sudbury, MA) offers the heavy-duty FEELER SBM-2000 Universal Milling Machine that performs both vertical and horizontal machining, eliminating the need for multiple set-ups and operations. It features an articulated head and integrated 4th axis for optimum cutting flexibility. The machine’s size, design and high rigidity provide maximum flexibility and fast, accurate cutting on large, difficult workpieces, making it ideal for energy/oil field and other demanding machining applications.

The SBM-2000 features a standard horizontal milling head with a spindle speed of 4,000 rpm and an optional automatic vertical/ horizontal milling head with spindle speed of 3,500 rpm. The machine allows for a single setup for complicated jobs by providing multi-angle and side machining capabilities for increased flexibility, machining efficiency and cutting accuracy. Unlike conventional machines, a long 79 in (2,000 mm) X-axis, combined with a narrower Y-axis and a bed positioned close to the machine doors, provides easy access, further facilitating flexible, fast set ups. The vertical axis is counter-balanced by a hydraulic cylinder, ensuring exceptional stability to the milling head and the ram assembly.

The SBM-2000 features high-precision and pre-tensioned ball screws which ensure maximum axial rigidity. The X-Axis is equipped with a roller-type linear way for enhanced table loading capacity. For maximum machine integrity, FEM analysis is used when manufacturing the SBM-2000, to ensure dynamic and static accuracy and excellent overall structural stability. A BT50 precision standard horizontal spindle is driven by an AC servo motor via a two-step transmission gearbox to supply high torque that provides superb, heavy duty cutting performance. SBM-2000 features a 79 in x 39 in (2,000 mm x 1,000 mm) working area with a maximum table loading capacity of 11,023 lb (5,000 kg). It also offers an X-axis travel of 79 in (2,000 mm), Y-axis travel of 47 in (1,200 mm), and a 39 in (1,000 mm) Z-axis travel.

The SBM-2000 comes standard with the user-friendly FANUC 32i control, a programmable coolant system, an automatic lubrication system, a chip auger and chain type conveyor, automatic power off, a spindle cooling system and more. HPCC high-speed machining mode and a 4th-axis rotary table are optional. All FEELER machines include extensive design and engineering by Methods and are backed by Methods’ application expertise, support and extensive network of technology centers. A 2-year warranty is provided.

Methods also offers the YASDA YMC 430 Ver. II Micro Machining Center that is ideal for the ultra-precise manufacturing and high surface finishes required on small, complex features in components and dies/molds in industries such as medical and semi-conductor. Linear motor-driven controlled axes and a highly rigid machine structure offer users the highest speed, precision and surface quality machining in its class. The YMC 430 Ver. II has a high-speed 40,000 rpm spindle and is available with 3-axis or 5-axis capabilities.

A highly rigid symmetric frame design and unique thermal distortion stabilizing system provide consistency and repeatability that ensures unsurpassed high accuracy. Linear positioning and circularity accuracy of less than one micron (according to ISO 230-2 1997) is achieved. The HSK-E32 spindle on the YMC 430 Ver. II minimizes vibration and offer high reliability and repeatability in micro milling applications, including roughing to finishing on hardened steel and other exceptionally hard materials. A symmetrical H-shaped column and a low center of gravity structure provide high rigidity to the YMC 430 Ver. II machine structure. The X-Y table has linear guideways and a linear motor drive, enabling highly precise machining and excellent vibration dampening. Linear motor drives include optical scales that support and sustain submicron milling performance.

In the optional 5-axis micro milling capability, the YMC 430 is equipped with a direct drive motor-driven, high-precision tilting rotary table. This combination provides multi-face indexing and machining as well as simultaneous 5-axis machining without re-chucking. Applying the direct drive motor to a tilted and rotary axis creates backlash-free, high-speed, high-precision positioning. This machine has X,Y,Z travels of 16.5 in x 11.8 in x 9.8 in (420 mm x 300 mm x 250 mm), respectively. The table work surface measures 23.6 in x 13.8 in (600 mm x 350 mm). An automatic tool changer holds 32 tools and is available in a 90-tool, large-capacity configuration. The powerful FANUC 31i-Model B5 control is furnished standard.

Machining applications include LED molds for IT industries, which are one of the most demanding micro milling applications. LED mold makers must achieve surface roughness to Ra 20 nm. The YMC 430 is used to mill die blocks, each made of more than 300 cavities, where machining time takes over 60 hours to produce high quality surface finishing.

In a lens mold, or in plastic injection molding for medical purposes, the small mold base accuracies are extremely tight. Lens molds for plastic lens require an approximate Ra of 50nm on STAVAX equivalent steel. The YMC 430 performs the rough milling, stable machining and high finish accuracy on hardened steel. It can maintain pitch accuracy on the holes within ±1μm and, depending on the depth of the holes on the base plate where square end mills are required, can achieve dimensional accuracy within ±1μm, equivalent to a jig grinding and boring process.

In hardened steel/cemented carbide punches, a YASDA RT10 tilting rotary table helps to finish hardened punch dies in one chucking, with the highest 5-axis milling accuracy available. By tilting the work pieces and synchronizing the tilting/rotations with linear motions without any backlash, it is possible to use shorter lengths of cutters to enable cutting rigidity and to help machine tiny corners and complicated forms on the dies. Using diamond cutters, it is possible to mill and finish small cemented carbide dies and molds.

Methods represents YASDA across the U.S. and brings local application, sales and support expertise to YASDA customers.

Methods Machine Tools, Inc., Union Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776, 978-443-5388, Fax: 978-440-9405,

GF Machining Solutions (Lincolnshire, IL) offers the Mikron HSM 200U LP (linear performance) milling machine with pallet changer (PCH) in 3-axis and 5-axis versions that bring speed, efficiency, precision and superior surface finishes to the machining of small, complex components, including steel denture bars, medical implants, tiny sinker EDM electrodes and other highly detailed parts. This machine accommodates the medical industry’s increased need for lean manufacturing via small-footprint, high-speed machines. The HSM 200U LP’s compact size fits into facilities with limited floor space and tight working areas, such as dental labs.

The HSM 200U LP can produce workpieces via true 5-axis simultaneous high-speed machining. Linear motor technology in the main machine axes and optimized direct-drive motors for the B and C axes result in high precision and part surface finishes as fine as Ra 0.05 μm. The machine’s powerful 50,000 rpm, 11.4 hp Step-Tec spindle also contributes to precise part details and excellent surface finishes. To further enhance productivity, the HSM 200U LP possesses the capability for 24/7 unattended machining using its optional Mikron pallet magazines with System 3R and Erowa interfaces. These fully integrated pallet magazines can be loaded without interrupting cutting operations already in progress. The automation of tool or workpiece handling is possible from three sides of the machine.

A Heidenhain iTNC 530 control system and Smart machining modules on the HSM 200U LP provide advanced levels of monitoring critical to the production of high-value precision medical parts. The system allows the machine to automatically check and evaluate tools and workpieces, inspect tools for breakage and perform measurements of the workpiece. The Smart machine modules automatically monitor spindle vibration, calibrate machine geometry and transmit process status messages to an operator’s cell phone. To avoid inconsistent loading of small tools and 3D geometry errors due to the inaccurate measurement of those tools, the machine features Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM) that records the complete tool tip up to a diameter of 0.47 in on image sensors. Special software cleans and measures the recorded tool geometry for repeatability in the micrometer range.

GF Machining Solutions, 560 Bond Street, Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224, 800-282-1336, Fax: 847-913-5340,,

United Grinding North America, Inc. (Miamisburg, OH) extends its line of Walter Ewag technologies for cutting tool production with the Laser Line Ultra 5-axis machining center that incorporates ultra-short pulse laser technology. With this tool machining system, tool makers can efficiently meet increasing demands for high-precision CVD-diamond tooling needed to cut challenging materials, such as lightweight carbon fiber (CFRP) and special aluminum alloys.

Cutting hard diamond tooling materials places limits on present-day grinding and eroding technologies. The Laser Line Ultra production center uses a unique kinematic concept that combines a 5-axis machine kinematic system (X/Y/Z/B/C) with superimposed 3-axis laser beam guidance (U/V/W) that allows toolmakers to laser machine a tool’s cutting edges as well as laser ablate its complex step chipbreakers in one machine clamping. The ultra-short pulse laser technology directly vaporizes materials without significant heat input and without comprising their integrity.

The machine offers an X/Y/Z travel of 15.74 in x 7.09 in x 5.91 in (400 x 180 x 150 mm) and a high-precision tool holding fixture (C-axis) that can be equipped with mechanical or vacuum clamping systems for plate-shaped tools. The C-axis is also available with a fully automatic HSK63 interface for processing rotary tools with maximum cutting diameters up to 5.91 in (150 mm). Ewag encapsulates and protects the Laser Line Ultra’s fully integrated 50W high-power picosecond laser beam path to protect it from external influences. The laser source and relevant optical elements are integrated into the system’s water-cooling circuit and guarantee the highest possible process stability. An integrated extraction unit extracts laser vapors and flue gases into and through a filter system.

An integrated 6-axis articulated-arm robot with triple gripper head automatically loads the Laser Line Ultra for autonomous production. The machine’s robot cell comes standard equipped with two pallets. The entire system only requires 16.4 sq ft (5 sq m) of floor space, making it the most compact high-end laser production center available for processing super hard diamond cutting tools.

United Grinding North America, Inc., 510 Earl Boulevard, Miamisburg, OH 45342, 937-859-1975, Fax: 937-859-1115,,


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