The High Performance Cutting Convention in 5 trends

At the end of May, the machine cutting industry gathered together for the 7th High Performance Cutting Convention in Chemnitz, Germany. It was a particularly busy event, with almost 260 presentations. Naturally, Sirris was an attendee as well, both to introduce its own work as well as spot new trends.

The High Performance Cutting Convention was organised by the Fraunhofer IWU (Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology), a famous research institution specialised in manufacturing and forming technologies. This event has always provided an excellent overview of the recent innovations in the machine cutting industry and technology.

Trend 1: machine cutting using cryogenic cooling

In machine cutting composites and titanium, temperatures rise to particularly high levels, which means the tools are even harder to cool using traditional emulsions. The machining tools are worn down in no time.

Hence the great success of cryogenic cooling using liquid CO2 or N2. Using this new technique, machining tools wear down much more slowly. Sandvik, the world’s largest supplier of metal working tools, was even able to triple the tool life of its material thanks to the new cooling technique.

Trend 2: design of functional surfaces

Another hot topic is the design of functional surfaces. Scientists and engineers are currently heavily researching how to optimise the fiction coefficients of surfaces. They clarified this approach during the convention.

Trend 3: data-driven machine cutting

Furthermore, much research is done on how the machine cutting process could be adjusted with use of empirical and theoretical data.

One of the companies that is already heavily into recording information on production, and uses it to continually improve and follow up on processes, is Volkswagen; for example, in their impressive engine factory in Chemnitz, which produces three and four-cylinder engines for Škoda, VW and Seat. The factory emphasizes the importance of the human component of this process. Workers perform a crucial, and carefully-designed role in the production process and are supported via innovative technology.

Trend 4: fast prototyping

We as well have achieved success with several new techniques. For instance, we demonstrated how our precision milling machine could rapidly produce the prototype of a gear. This commonly takes 12 weeks. With us, the job was done in 24 hours.

Trend 5: integrated laser hardening

We also presented the first results of our research into integrated laser hardening. We produced a much more rigid nozzle than possible using conventional techniques, in just a matter of seconds.

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