Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine Volume 425 - January 2016 - Page 3

editor’s Comment ISSUE 425 Magazine Manager Daniel Beardsley A World First in Manufacturing Feature Managers Tom Waite Elliott Jenkinson Kyle Joyce Bradley Drake Editor Ciaran Jarosz Contributing Editor Daniel Stephens A world first. That’s according to Kobe University in Japan. The higher education institution whose notable alumni includes the Nobel Prize-winning stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka, founder of Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd, and current Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi, claims its School of Engineering graduate scheme is the first to successfully carry out the automated machining of a part based solely on start and finish material geometry. Based on a Kitamura Bridgecenter 6G double-column machining centre, the prototype development allows the machine tool to carry out the entire operation without the need to create an NC programme. The process has been likened to a 3D printing version of subtractive cutting and, through utilisation of a database of machining information and cutting conditions, takes a 3D model and a material model of the component to determine the optimum machining process. It is believed this breakthrough, led by Professor Keiichi Shirase and first exhibited at the EMO biennial manufacturing show in Milan, will significantly reduce costs, increase production times and pave the way to the next generation of intelligent manufacturing systems. Kobe University, which is located in the foothills of Mount Rokko, is one of the oldest and largest national universities in Japan. Outside of the country’s “national seven”, formed prior to World War II under Japanese Imperial rule such as the universities of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Kobe is one of the country’s highest rated education institutions. Its latest innovation sees a machine tool require only minimal information. With just start and finish data, the prototype doesn’t require any intermediate NC programming to drive. The developers say the prototype brings with it many advantages by avoiding the creation of an NC programme and thus reducing labour time and providing the ability to respond to unforeseen events. Its future use could have groundbreaking potential through the manufacture of things like dental implants or artificial bones. The device is one of a number from Kobe University’s “Innovative Design and Manufacturing Technologies” projects shortlisted for Japan’s Strategic Innovation Promotion Programme. Journalists Jeff Senior Hayley Toth Jessica Sansome Holly Molnar Art Editor Stacey Beardsley Designers Carla Taylor Sam Dickinson Natalia Wysocka Production Vicki Lindsay Lisa Pollinger Rebecca Scott Accounts Nick Charalambous Hasan Riaz Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine is published by: Trafalgar Publishing Ltd, 1st Floor Turnbridge Mills, Quay Street, Huddersfield West Yorkshire HD1 6QT Tel: 01484 437314 Manufacturing and Engineering magazine is published by Trafalgar Publishing Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales. All material is the copyright of Trafalgar Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Manufacturing and Engineering magazine is the property of Trafalgar Publishing Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without the written permission of a director of Trafalgar Publishing Ltd. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press. MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING MAGAZINE 1