Those who walk through the doors of Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from 26 to 29 May 2015 will have a world of manufacturing opportunities open before their eyes. Of course it takes all areas of manufacturing to come together, including tooling, workholding, software and systems integration, to create a complete solution, but machine tools are one important piece of the manufacturing puzzle.
This year, Australia’s premier advanced precision manufacturing and machine tool show will once again host all the world’s leading machine tool builders under one roof, showcasing the latest machine tool configurations and also stylings that are notably different and fresh. The slowly recovering but still very challenging conditions of the Australian market for machine tools and other equipment makes AUSTECH of keen interest to local suppliers.
“Given the current conditions inside Australia’s metal manufacturing sector, it’s important that business owners and operators can examine the next investment steps in manufacturing technology they must take to rebuild their competitive position in the global arena,” Phil Hayes, Managing Director of Okuma Australia & NZ comments. “The machine tool field has been somewhat difficult for the past three years but that has not prevented us from making available the very latest, market-leading and innovative technology from Okuma.”
Okuma will showcase three levels of new technology, including 5-axis machining, Phil Hayes explains. “New advanced technology machine models of 5-axis milling with turning and 10-axis turning with milling, amazing advances in the user-interface of Okuma’s own OSP controller technology and packaged, kit-style automation solutions. These are central to the technology investments Australian manufacturers must make to keep pace with overseas manufacturing trends that are well advanced.”
Rebuilding a competitive position requires local manufacturers to do several things: Investing in new and highly-efficient equipment. Automating. Training and retraining. One of the recent major trends in machine tool technology is 5-axis machining. Now, many manufacturers might think they don’t have 5-axis work. And yes, very often 3-axis machining or machining cells of several more affordable machine tools might be more efficient, depending on the job.
However, every shop has work that would benefit from a 5-axis machine, as a 5-axis machining centre also facilitates 5-sided machining, for instance. Even if there are no parts requiring simultaneous 5-axis work, such as impellers or turbines, the parts produced on 3-axis machines can be more profitable when 5-sided machined on a 5-axis machining centre.
Automation solutions and efficient and innovative control systems are indeed important pieces in the manufacturing puzzle for those who want to stay competitive. And there are amazing developments happening. Today, CNCs used to run machines are morphing into units that imitate our mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices, for instance.
DMG MORI, for instance, has recently released its innovative user interface CELOS®, which provides a uniform user interface for all new high-tech machines from DMG MORI. A unique 21.5” multi-touch screen displays all CELOS® APPs, which provide the user with integrated management, documentation and visualisation of order, process and machine data. Additionally, machine operation is simplified, standardised and automated. At this point, AUSTECH organiser AMTIL does not know whether CELOS® will be on show in Melbourne, but we are sure many of our local manufacturers have already seen this innovative technology at overseas shows such as IMTS in Chicago last year.
Of course, 5-axis machining, mill-turn or turn-mill machining are just one example of considerations manufacturers can take into account when thinking about increasing their shop’s efficiency to remain globally competitive. Companies like Alfex CNC, John Hart, Amada, Headland, GWB, Techni Waterjet or Stratasys will show how we are shaping workpieces with additive processes, subtractive processes, and both processes on the same machine. They show how we use lasers, waterjets, ultrasonics, electrical discharges and vibrations to shape and change materials.
Exciting technologies not to be missed!
“As Australia’s premier manufacturing technology event, AUSTECH provides Australian industry with a local opportunity to view and assess new and emerging global technologies with a view to keeping their businesses lean, efficient and competitive,” is how John Hart’s Mark Dobrich put it when asked why companies should visit the show.
AUSTECH will be an important event in Australian manufacturing, in the sense that it will be an indicator of the shape manufacturing is in. We look forward to welcoming you to our show.