MAKINO: A REPUTED BRAND
Around May 1937, Makino Shoten was founded by Tsuzeno Makino. Later in 1961, the company was renamed as “Makino Milling Machine Co., Ltd.”. True to its name, the company has created a reputation of being the manufacturer of the No. 1 Type Vertical Milling Machines. The company was also the one that innovated Japan’s first NC machine and its first machining centre. In 1975, the company began to develop and produce Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM); This machine resorts to utilizing thermal energy in shaping and moulding materials to its desired shape, size, and design. It is best used around titanium and/or for creating complex designs. EDM does not require tools and rely heavily on electric discharge to produce a work piece.
Makino started to develop these machines and produced the EC3025 wire EDM and the EDNC22 NC Sinker EDM. Aside from the EDM, Makino also developed a series of Horizontal 4-Axis CNC, 3-Axis Vertical Machining Centers, Grinding, EDM Hole Drilling, Graphite Machining Center, 5-Axis Vertical Machining Centers, and 5-Axis Horizontal Machining Centers.
MAKINO: A GUIDE ON THE MACHINE TOOLS
Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM): Wire, Sinker, and Hole Drilling
The Wire EDM functions by emitting electric sparks on a metal workpiece. It is only compatible with non-ferrous and electrically conductive materials such as: Titanium, Brass, Super alloy, and Steel. This machine uses a taut thin wire to produce electric currents that cut the materials. It is highly precise and accurate, even for complex and intricate patterns, and capable of shaping materials that are 0.004 inches thin up to 16 inches thick. Anything thinner than 0.004 inches is not advisable since the machine may instead evaporate the material.
The Wire EDMs manufactured by Makino are reputed for their “Supreme Reliability and Industry Leading Precision” (Makino, n.d.) and are dubbed as the World’s Fastest, especially the U6 H.E.A.T. Extreme wire-cut EDM machine and are essentially low on maintenance and consumables costs. These machines come in Three (3) Series/Types: UPN-Series, UP-Series, and U-Series.
In contrast to the Wire EDMs, the Makino Sinker EDM machines utilize a plasma channel, instead of a thin wire, to work electrically conductive materials and are highly preferable for shaping the inner cavity, as the Wire EDM is best for the outer cavity of the workpiece. Similar to the Wire EDMs, these machines are reliable in producing precise and highly accurate work pieces and are less costly than other brands since it only requires a lower number of required electrodes during the entire manufacturing process. Makino has produced four (4) Series/Types of Sinker EDM Machines, namely: EDAC-Series, EDAF-Series, EDGE-Series, and the EDNC-Series.
Sinker EDM Machines are versatile and are able to produce various work pieces, given that the materials used are electrically conductive. These machines are preferred when producing complex and angled-3D work pieces and generally used for manufacturing dies and moulds. These are also used for producing certain parts needed for the aerospace industry, as well as the surgical tools and implants needed in the medical field.
Another EDM manufactured by Makino is the EDM Hole Drilling. These machines are identical to the Sinker EDM machines, however, it uses a pipe shaped electrode to discharge dielectrics in order to erode electrically conductive materials creating small, deep holes on the materials. The machine uses either brass or copper as drilling tubes. Its end result highly depends on the size of the drilling tube used during the production. The company has produced three (3) types of EDM Hole Drilling machines, namely: EDFH-series, EDAF-series, and the EDBV-series.
Horizontal Machining Centers: 4 & 5 Axis Horizontal Machining Centers
The Horizontal Machining Center (HMC) is recognized as a drilling and milling machine and utilizes a spindle axis that is placed parallel to the worktable. The HMC is capable of working on four surfaces of a material and eliminates the need to rotate it; thus, minimizing the need for human intervention. Due to the positioning of its spindle, the machine avoids having the chips accumulate on the product and dig unto the blade.
Makino has designed 2 types of HMC – the 4-axis and 5-axis. The 4-axis is best for producing complex tools. A typical 3-axis machine only moves left, right, up, and down. Now, the 4-axis incorporates rotation on the A-axis and having the materials cut on the B-axis. This rotation allows the material to be automatically flipped and have the excess materials removed on every side. It is highly used in producing detailed and precise engravings, creating medical equipment, etc. While the 5-axis, in contrast to the 4-axis, has no “True Axis”. It does not follow an axis compared to the 4-axis which has A and B. It has access to X, Y, and Z axes and has the option to choose between A, B, and C axes. This allows the material to freely rotate (180 degrees) and in any direction. The 5-axis HMC machines are mostly used in the aerospace, boating, medical, and automobile industries.
Both HMC machines (4-axis and 5-axis) that are designed by Makino are reputed for their reliability in producing stable and precise work pieces. In addition, Makino’s 5-axis HMCs are also reputed for their speed and flexibility. It has the ability to work with aluminium, steel, or titanium, or creating complex parts that are geometrically complex and those that require high metal removal.
The company has designed 6 types of 4-axis HMC machines, namely: 1-Series (400 mm, 500 mm, 630 mm, 800 mm, and 1000 mm) and the J-Series. While the 5-axis HMC machines released are Makino 1-Series, Makino MAG-Series, Makino-T Series, Makino-G Series, and Makino MCD-Series
Vertical Machining Centers: 3-Axis & 5-Axis Vertical Machining Centers
In contrast to the HMC machines, the Vertical Machining Center’s (VMC) spindle is positioned facing downwards. Each material is machined from above. However, the VMC is more preferred by most manufacturing companies since it takes up less space and is able to perform thread cutting, milling, boring drilling, and tapping. Both 3-axis and 5-axis VCM apply similar principles with the above stated 3-axis and 5-axis HCM. The only difference is its position. The Makino-produced VMC are generally reputed for their speed, accuracy, and capability to produce geometrically accurate and complex parts. Both the 3-axis and 5-axis VMC are highly flexible and precise – capable of producing standard and highly tolerant parts but at the same time, produce them in a timely manner.
The company has designed 6 types of 3-axis HMC machines, namely: F-Series, iQ-Series, L2-Series, PS-Series, V-Series, and S33 APC. While there were only 3 types of 5-axis HMC machines which are the D-Series, F-Series, and V-Series.
CNC Grinding Machine
CNC Grinding Machines typically use high-speed rotating wheels in the production process. There are some that use oilstone, abrasive belts, and free abrasives. These machines are able to work with tougher and brittle materials such as: Hard Alloys, Hardened Steel, Granite, and Glass. They are often used to polish high-quality metal work pieces such as the ball bearing, camshafts, transmission shafts, and all other pieces that need to be precise and perfectly finished.
The CNC Grinding Machine that Makino released is capable of performing both grinding and milling and claims that it can reduce the part cycle times up to 75%. This helps the manufacturer cut cost through reducing the non-cut time, tool-changing time, and set-up time. The company has released 1 series, the G-series, and under this classification are the G5-5 Axis Grinding Machine and G7.
Graphite Machining Center
True to its name, Graphite Machining Centers are machines that work with Graphite. It is highly recommended that carbide and/or diamond coated tools will be used in the manufacturing process. The Makino Graphite Machining Centers are not only designed to work around graphite, but also Steel and dry castings. These machines are fast, accurate and flexible. These machines are capable of producing highly accurate graphite electrodes that are used for creating molds for digital camera components, connectors, engineering plastics, IC molds, and mobile phones. The company released only one (1) series, the V-series, and under this classification are the V22, V56i, and V77 Graphite Machining Center.
Makino Milling Machine Co., Ltd started out as the manufacturer of the No. 1 Vertical Milling Machine. They carry a great reputation for producing high-quality and durable machines. Despite its speed, flexibility, accuracy, and precision – the company has taken into consideration the minimization of cost in the manufacturing process. Depending on your manufacturing needs, Makino has certainly every machine that you need for your industry.