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How OEMs Can Digitally Transform CNC Machining
CNC machining, a subtractive manufacturing process used primarily to make parts, is deployed in many industries. It’s also one of many processes that are being transformed by the digital revolution. CNC machine builders and their customers are recognizing that investing in digital technology directly translates into operational excellence.
Digitally enabled operations are smarter. Cycles are faster. Quality is better. Cost is lower. It’s an investment that can build trust and confidence while enabling continuous process improvements. And just like in other industries, leaders in making CNC machinery are using digital technology to gain a competitive edge.
In the nearly 20 years since its founding, ShopSabre has stayed at the forefront of CNC machining technology. Since founder Jim Bombardo made his first CNC machine at home, his company has quickly grown and is recognized as an industry leader.
ShopSabre CNC is a self-funded company, and all machines are constructed from the ground up in the USA, with every component closely monitored to ensure every CNC router and CNC plasma machine works flawlessly. Operating under the philosophy that customer service is everything, all ShopSabre machines are tested for hours before they leave the manufacturing facility to ensure power, precision, quality and reliability.
The company now has over 5,100 CNC routers, CNC plasmas and laser engraving machines working in a wide variety of industries in more than 31 countries around the world. Headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota, ShopSabre has long relied on Mitsubishi Electric Automation for the controllers, servo drives and other automation components that help its machines deliver superior performance.
ShopSabre integrated a Mitsubishi M8 Series controller in its IS-M Series CNC router, introduced in 2019. This router is delivering speed and accuracy levels previously not found on a CNC router, proving once again that customers can count on superior cutting quality, cutting forces and overall machine accuracy from ShopSabre equipment.
"By focusing on unbeatable customer service and high-quality products built in the USA, we’ve grown from a single machine built at home to one of the most trusted CNC machine manufacturers in the country,” says Brandon Bombardo, sales and marketing director for ShopSabre. “Mitsubishi Electric has really been a partner of ours since the beginning. They've been an important part of our growth and development."
To learn more about ShopSabre, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulDhPke0X_s.
Our M8 Series motion control platform is the world's fastest and most accurate CNC control, thanks to a CPU that's purpose-built for CNC machining.
The central processing unit (CPU) in Mitsubishi’s M8 CNC controllers was purpose-built for automating multi-axis CNC machining processes, which in the past often involved manually intensive operations. The CPU increases accuracy while increasing speed. The controllers also integrate modern capabilities that improve operator efficiency with standard features such as Wi-Fi connections, touchscreens and 3D simulations.
Systems are designed to accommodate cameras inside machines for part inspections and can even engrave barcodes directly onto parts for automated track and trace compliance. The controllers are one way Mitsubishi is working to transform CNC operations.
Simplifying CNC machine tending
Machine tending robots can increase quality, accelerate production and extend machine life. Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s pre-engineered LoadMate Plus™ machine tending robotic cell greatly simplifies machine tending automation. This robotic cell enables plug-and-play automated machine tending for milling, lathing, drilling and tapping applications.
When integrated with the M8 Series CNC controller, no robot programming expertise is required thanks to Direct Robot Control technology. This software enables operators to adjust CNC offsets and variables remotely.
Once the robot is in production, customers can take advantage of CNC Total Services. These optional Mitsubishi services deliver CNC cloud backup of machine parameters, ladders and data as well as machine tuning. And as always, Mitsubishi Electric supports the CNC machine throughout its entire lifecycle.
Maximizing operator efficiency
Mitsubishi Electric’s CNC Offset Manager Software increases operator efficiency by enabling remote adjustments of offsets and variables. The software is installed on a Windows-based PC/Server and networked to M7 or M8 Series CNC controllers.
When used with other CNC automation software, such as metrology, inspection or robot cell management software, CNC Offset Manager and CNC Variable Manager create a bridge between the software and the controller that enables more fully automated processes. The software reduces safety risks to operators and improves production through quicker adjustments.
Tackling chip control
New AI-enabled engraving technology gets around the problem of spiraling chips and eliminates the need for high pressure coolant (HPC).
Anyone who works with small automatic turning machines will tell you that chip control is a big problem. An innovative engraving system is now available for sliding and fixed head lathes. The system uses Vibration Cutting Control (VCC) technology, which breaks the chips into smaller pieces. A new AI-enabled electric discharge machine (EDM) automatically adjusts chip ejection frequency during cutting.
Citizen Machinery and Mitsubishi Materials jointly developed the system, which reduces machining cycles by up to 23 percent compared to processing without AI. The system also:
- Improves quality on difficult-to-cut materials
- Reduces heat generation and power consumption
- Eliminates the need for high pressure coolant
- Increases overall productivity
- Extends cutting tool life
These are just a few of the many ways the digital state-of-the-art in CNC machining is advancing. View more information on Mitsubishi Electric CNC solutions.
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