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Addressing the additive manufacturing boom

Manufacturing Group | January 16, 2014

Mitsubishi EDM moves into additive manufacturing with Matsuura partnership and the LUMEX Avance-25.

Executives from MC Machinery Systems Inc., wholly owned by Mitsubishi Corp., proudly announce the company’s partnership with Matsuura Machinery Corp., Fukui City, Japan, in introducing the new LUMEX Avance-25 metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine to the North American marketplace.

The recent additive manufacturing boom is reaching fever pitch in North America. Meanwhile, Matsuura’s laser sintering hybrid milling machines have been sold specifically in the die and mold industry in Japan and Asia. With MC Machinery Systems being the number one EDM machine sales in North America, this partnership makes sense.

“We are the only company devoted in the manufacturing in this business, thus the combination of Matsuura and MMS is a great partnership for the manufacturing base,” says Nick Giannotte, VP, EDM/Milling/Waterjet. “The mold makers know us and know our people, and we’re excited to be able to offer them this innovative new technology. We have an experienced dealer network, many of whom boast 40 percent market share in their regions. They have relationships with the markets, not to mention the more than 10,000 person-strong customer base we have at MC Machinery.”

Sales expansion won’t be limited to mold and die; MC Machinery and Matsuura are also aiming at the aircraft industry, in which lightweight parts will add fuel efficiency, and the medical industry, which requires custom-made bones and implants. All told, this machine will serve medical, automotive, aerospace, tool/die, and job shop industries. 

Technical centers located in Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and New Jersey are equipped with demo facilities and staff to serve the North American market and demonstrate the LUMEX Avance-25’s unique capabilities.

The machine
The LUMEX Avance-25 metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine is the only machine in the world which relies on one-machine, one-process manufacturing of complex molds and parts by fusing metal laser sintering (3D SLS) technology with high speed milling technology. The machine enables production of complicated parts through total manufacturing by digital engineering, using 3D data. The machine achieves the highest accuracy in part fabrication since metal powders are melted and sintered via laser, while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds.

Metal laser sintering and milling technologies working in concert will allow engineers to think outside the box and create unique ideas, potentially triggering a departure from conventional manufacturing. 

Die and mold application
Dies and molds with very complex geometries can be fabricated in one piece with high accuracy, shortening lead time and reducing manufacturing costs to a half or even a third of conventional methods. Also, 3D cooling channels can be incorporated into molds in the single setup, thereby increasing cooling efficiency and enabling high-cycle injection molding with better than ever quality and precision, reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Application to parts production
Differentiated original parts production with internal structures, thus far considered impossible, are feasible on this machine. What’s more, this metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine is capable of quick turn production of custom parts, whether prototypes or small production run parts.

Source: MC Machinery Systems Inc.

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