Technical closing report on METAV 2016 : illuminating “Industry 4.0” & “Additive Manufacturing” as innovation drivers

Technical closing report on the METAV 2016

METAV 2016: illuminating focus on up-to-the-future production technologies

“Industry 4.0” and “Additive Manufacturing” as innovation drivers


Frankfurt am Main, 04 April 2016. – The 19th METAV was held in Düsseldorf from 23 to 27 February 2016 with four new keynote areas. The subjects of Additive Manufacturing (AM), Medical, Quality and Moulding supplemented the METAV’s core themes of metalworking technologies. In addition, the higher-order topic of “Industry 4.0” was spotlighted in a theme park of its own.

Additive Manufacturing

In the AM Area, visitors had an opportunity to experience the entire topic of additive manufacturing hands-on at a single location. The exhibits on show included systems for machining metals and plastics. Furthermore, numerous manufacturers exhibited hybrid machines, able to handle both material deposition and metal-cutting operations.

Concept Laser GmbH from Lichtenfels in Upper Franconia unveiled a new technology for assuring the quality of additively manufactured components. This technology, called “QM Module Meltpool 3D”, monitors the melting bath during the process. Melting-bath emissions produced during the melting process in the form of emissions in the infrared range are detected coaxially by means of sensors. This enables the size and intensity of the melting bath to be visualised in three dimensions. With its high scanning rate (>10 kHz), the system possesses a high resolution of 35 µm in the 3D depiction. Overall, the technology enables possible flaws in the process to be identified, and is particularly relevant for industrial sectors with stringent quality requirements. The company was honoured with the IAMA Award under the aegis of the “Inside 3D Printing” conference accompanying the METAV.

SLM Solutions GmbH from Lübeck exhibited a laser beam melting system called “SLM 500HL”. It processes metallic powders like titanium, Inconel, stainless steel or aluminium by means of selective laser melting. The space provided of 500 x 280 x 365 mm3 enables relatively large components to be manufactured. The system is equipped with four 700-watt fibre lasers, which together are able to create one component or several simultaneously. The metal powder (Ø 10 to 45 µm or Ø 20 to 60 µm in the case of aluminium) is fed in using a continuous conveyor system and melted by the lasers. The layer thickness lies between 20 and 75 µm, with a maximum scan speed of 10 m/s.

Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH, Ditzingen, showcased a compactly dimensioned 3D printer called “TruPrint 1000”. It can build up complex metal components using powder-bed-based laser melting. A 200-watt fibre laser is used to deposit metals in 20-µm layers. Using a monitoring app, the system can be operated and monitored with a tablet. The process can be tracked using a live picture. In addition, Trumpf offers a “Visual Online Support” system with which picture, audio and video files can be exchanged in real-time with the after-sales people. This enables the customer to be more effectively supported.


Additive manufacturing in tool technology

One example that illustrates the possibilities of additive production processes for tool technologies was presented by the precision tool manufacturer Mapal Fabrik für Präzisionswerkzeuge Dr. Kress KG from Aalen. Here, the upper part of a tool-holder is additively manufactured, constructed like a shrink-fit chuck with a taper of three degrees. The clamping area for the hydro expanding chuck thus produced is accordingly located very close to the tip of the chuck. This reduces concentricity (< 3 µm at the locating bore and < 5 µm with 2.5 x diameter), and vibration damping is improved. In addition, the chuck is thermally stable up to 170 degrees Celsius. The balance quality is 2.5 at a speed of 25,000 min-1.


Hybrid machine tools expand the spectrum of production options

The option for additive manufacturing in conjunction with metal-cutting rework jobs was showcased by the Bielefeld-based company DMG Mori. The “Lasertec 65 3D” is a fully-fledged five-axis machining centre, which has been expanded to incorporate a replaceable laser head. This head can be used to perform a laser welding process, which constitutes an alternative to the powder-bed process. The metal powder is fed in through a powder nozzle, and heated up with a laser. This causes the powder to enter into a solid weld with the main body, which can then be reworked in metal-cutting mode. Any possible oxidation is prevented by a protective gas likewise fed in. The gauge involved in this process is 1.6 mm or 3 mm. The machine can handle components with a diameter of 650 mm, a height of 400 mm and a weight of 600 kilograms.

As an alternative to powder deposition welding, the machinery manufacturer Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG from Gosheim uses a cold-gas injection process for material deposition with the metal powder deposition (MPD) process. This process is integrated into the five-axis C40 machining centre.  This enables components with a diameter of more than 500 mm to be machined. The machine is fitted with six powder conveyors, which means that with the MPD process up to six different materials can be sprayed onto the workpiece. The powder particles are accelerated to very high velocities using a carrier gas and directed onto the substrate with a nozzle. This involves local pressures of 10 GPa and temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius, so that upon impact the particles are deformed, producing a permanent bond with the base material. Material deposition in this process, says the manufacturer, is more than 200 cm3 in the case of steel and 900 cm3 in the case of copper. Primary applications include cooling channels in mould construction, e.g. when manufacturing injection moulds. Here, the subsequent channels are filled with water-soluble material, which can be removed later on.

To enable the new design options provided by additive manufacturing technologies to be fully utilised, Altair Engineering GmbH, Cologne, showcased software solutions for designing the bionic structures possible. The company lays claim to competences in the topological optimisation of components, and incorporates these in the production process for bionic structures.

Solutions for implementing Industry 4.0


The “Industry 4.0” Theme Park – solutions for manufacturing operations

Systematic acquisition of data, and their utilisation for optimising the organisation of the production operation and increasing productivity, are two goals of Industry 4.0. In the Industry 4.0 Theme Park at the METAV, the latest developments in this field were on show.

MT Robot AG, Zwingen (Switzerland), exhibited transport robots that, for example, are able to handle component transport between different machines. In addition, the components manufactured on different machines can thus be transferred to a central warehouse. This obviates the need for elaborate and costly conveyor systems, which when installed must not be permitted to block access or escape routes. The robots provide a capability for automatic loading and unloading. The maximum speed is 1.2 m/s. In order to avoid collisions, they are fitted with sensors.

Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH from Nürtingen unveiled its new concept for a maximally high level of machine availability in the customer’s facility. A remote-diagnostics access capability enables standstills to be analysed and the defects concerned to be localised. This Remote Diagnostic Services System, (RDS for short), enables a malfunction to be remedied anywhere in the world without any time-delay. In addition, different packages are offered, subsuming inspections and preventive maintenance work in the context of comprehensive service support.

The precision tool manufacturer Kelch GmbH Präzisionswerkzeuge from Weinstadt exhibited a tool presetting device in the shape of the Kenova Set line V5, which provides direct networking with the machines, and in this way is able to forward directly all data measured. In addition, the device can be networked with the data of the partner company TDM Systems GmbH from Tübingen, enabling a target/actual comparison with assembled tools to be made.


Software solutions

InterCAM Deutschland GmbH, Bad Lippspringe, in the shape of its Manufacturing Data Management System, showcased an option for systematised archival of acquired data. The data and information involved are filed in a central database, and can be viewed everywhere in compliance with the relevant authorisation. The program provides staff at the machines with worksteps or work instructions.

Under the name of “ProfiCAM Full HPC”, Coscom Computer GmbH from Ebersberg unveiled a CAM software package that promises an increase in a tool’s useful lifetime of up to 300 per cent and a reduction in machining time of up to 60 per cent for roughening jobs. Here, the paths involved in trochoid milling are optimised. Besides a higher level of productivity, this also results in a higher surface quality, for which the manufacturer states a maximum value for the average peak-to-valley height of Rz = 6.3 µm.

DPS Software GmbH from Leinfelden-Echterdingen presented a new CAM software package in the shape of the “TopSolid´Cam 7”, which features a completely integrated CAD solution. It enables metal-cutting tools to be drawn or the data of the tool manufacturer concerned to be imported directly. The software package features interfaces to commonly used CAD systems. It is suitable for programming complex workpieces intended for manufacture on complete-machining systems.

Expanded functionality for control systems of modern-day machine tools

The importance of the control interface at machine tools in terms of design, user-friendliness and internet links is being addressed by several machinery manufacturers. Handling here is modelled particularly on smartphone technologies. For example, the apps enable orders to be systematically planned, or cutting values computed for a specific process. Companies like DMG Mori (Bielefeld), Yamazaki Mazak Deutschland GmbH (Düsseldorf) and Fanuc in Bielefeld showcased the current status of their development work at the METAV.


Expanded functionality for machine tools


Machinery concepts for complete machining jobs

The importance of a productive complete-machining concept was addressed by several exhibitors at the METAV. Index-Werke GmbH & Co. KG from Esslingen unveiled a design-enhanced multi-spindle automatic turning machine. In contrast to conventional multi-spindle turning machines, in this case all spindles operate independently of each other, so that the productivity of cam-controlled lathes is achieved. For each spindle, a separate speed can be set, so that productive, reliable cutting values are always possible. The machine features six work spindles, each of which has a bar capacity of 16 mm. Furthermore, two synchronous spindles have been integrated, enabling the rear of cut-off workpieces to be machined.

In addition, the lathe manufacturer Traub Drehmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG from Reichenbach exhibited a product for complete machining of complex components, suitable for medical technology applications, for example. This machine features a bar capacity of 32 mm, and is able to run simultaneous machining with up to three tools. In the highest configuration level, the machine is equipped with two revolvers, an end attachment traversable in three axes, and an autonomous opposing spindle. Also notable is an option for deep-drilling, for which the machine provides a coolant pressure of up to 120 bar.

Hedelius Maschinenfabrik GmbH from Meppen exhibited a five-axis machining centre, which features a tilting spindle with a tilt angle from -98 to +98 degrees, and a heavy-load round table. It is able to machine components with a maximum weight of 1,200 kilograms. The spindle’s speed is 18,000 1/min at a rating of 35 kW. Thanks to the travel of 2,600 mm in the X-direction, there are options for machining long parts or a shuttle mode through a workspace partition wall.

Hommel GmbH, Cologne, showcased a turning-milling centre for complete machining of large workpieces with a maximum turning diameter of 640 mm and a maximum turning length of 1,150 mm. The machine is equipped with two spindles, each operating at a speed of 3,500 1/min and a drive rating of 22 kW. In addition, a B-axis tiltable by -120 to +105 degrees has been integrated, possessing a travel of 1,100 mm. An automatic tool change feature enables tools to be replaced within 1.5 seconds. The tool magazine can accommodate 120 turning and milling tools.

The machinery manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak Deutschland GmbH from Düsseldorf showcased a versatile, high-performance combination machine. The machine is equipped with a main (22 kW, 5,000 1/min) and opposing spindle (18.5 kW, 5,000 1/min), plus a milling spindle (12,000 1/min). Its maximum machining length of 1,500 mm means it can be used in different parts of the mechanical engineering sector. In addition, a hybrid multi-functional machine was exhibited, featuring a milling spindle that can be tilted by -30/+210 degrees in the B-axis. The machine is equipped with a fibre laser, creating a capability for additive material deposition through melting metal powder.

The products showcased by DMG Mori, Bielefeld, at the METAV included a milling/turning centre. This machine with a capability for simultaneous five-axis machining can handle turning, milling, grinding and hob-peeling. The 52-kW spindle possesses a torque of 430 Nm. On the table, which can handle a speed of 800 1/min and a torque of 2,050 Nm, workpieces weighing up to two tons can be machined. The B-axis milling head possesses a tilting range of 250 degrees, 70 degrees of which is a tilting option in a negative direction. In addition, the machine is equipped with an extensive array of sensors for acquiring process forces, temperatures and vibrations. One of the main application categories is the aviation industry, where the machine is used for manufacturing turbines, for instance.

WFL Millturn Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Linz (Austria), exhibited a complete-machining system for drilling, turning and milling. It provides an option for synchronised machining at the main and opposing spindles with the turning-drilling-milling unit and the revolver. The manufacturer also spotlighted an option for integrating a 10-kW high-performance laser into the machine, providing precise, low-distortion hardening for highly stressed surfaces. An additive manufacturing process is likewise possible with material fusing, enabling complex cooling channels or bent connecting flanges to be produced, for example.


Efficiency for large machines

MTE Deutschland GmbH, Montabaur/Heiligenroth, showcased a moving-column milling machine from the FBF-X series, featuring an automatic tilting head. The spindle here possesses a maximum torque of 1,940 Nm with a drive rating of 40 kW and a speed of 4,000 min-1. Given a feed rate of maximally 15,000 mm/min, the maximum feed force that the machine can handle is 38,000 Nm in the X-direction and 32,000 Nm in the Y- and Z-directions. The stated travel distances are 6 to 26 m in the X-direction, 3 to 4.5 m in the vertical Y-direction, and 1.6 to 1.8 m in the transverse or Z-direction. The machine is equipped with a fully automatic milling head changing system featuring up to four different milling heads, thus enabling complete machining operations to be performed even with large and complex workpieces.

Bimatec Soraluce Zerspanungstechnologie GmbH, Limburg, exhibited a system for reducing vibrations. The vibrations are detected by sensors, which have been integrated into the spindle-holder. Using actuators likewise integrated, phase-offset counter-vibrations are generated in real-time, so that the vibrations entailed by the process are eliminated. According to the manufacturer, the principle can increase productivity by up to 300 per cent. In addition, the risk of a tool fracture is reduced, and the surface quality of the workpiece being machined is improved. The smoother running achieved, even when a cutting operation is interrupted, leads to lower wear and tear on the machine’s components.


Design-enhanced tools

The issue of productivity continues to be a crucial driver for design-enhancing tools. Innovative designs, cutting materials, and coating technologies are tasked with enabling higher process parameter values to be reached.

For drilling operations, interior-cooled tools are meanwhile the state of the art. The cooling medium is transported via cooling channels as far as the operating position, so as to assure effective cooling there, plus reliable chip removal. In this regard, Gühring KG, Albstadt, unveiled an innovative design for cooling channels. In contrast to the traditional round shape, they are triangular in design, producing an improved flow behaviour that has been confirmed by simulations. In particular, this means the cutting edge corner and the main cutting edges are more effectively cooled. Furthermore, a larger volume flow can be achieved for the cooling medium. The manufacturer claims improved applicational suitability for machining highly-alloyed steels, titanium alloys and special materials.

botek Präzisionswerkzeuge GmbH from Riederich, a manufacturer of deep-drilling tools, exhibited new cutting-edge geometries for single-lip drills with replaceable indexable inserts, which are offered down to a diameter of minimally 12 mm. The cutting edges are conventionally constructed with a neutral cutting angle. With the new cutting edges, positive cutting angles are possible, producing improved chip-breaking and a lower drilling torque.

Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrik Paul Horn GmbH, Tübingen, showcased new high-feed indexable inserts called “DAH37”, which constitute a good synthesis of toughness and wear-resistance. In tooth profile roughening with a 40-mm milling cutter featuring five cutting edges, a metal removal rate of 720 cm3/min can be achieved when machining a 42CrMo4 steel. The cutting inserts are available in both neutral and positive geometries. As application categories, the manufacturer cites machining of unalloyed and highly-alloyed steels, martensitic and austenitic steels, plus non-ferrous and cast qualities with a cutting depth of up to 1.2 mm and feed rates of up to 3 mm/tooth, depending on the material involved.

The Horn company also exhibited a tool with an indexable insert and integrated interior cooling. The grooving tool features a wear-resistant AlTiN coating and a geometry for machining stainless steels. The plate possesses on its face a coolant bore, through which the cooling medium can be appropriately fed in. The nozzle is funnel-shaped, so that chip formation is supported. Coolant is transferred from the associated shank holder via a slot at the bottom.

Various manufacturers have also addressed the modification of tools for high-pressure cooling lubrication. Iscar Germany GmbH, Ettlingen, unveiled tool-holders designed for turning jobs on special materials. The nozzles, shaped like a telescopic tube, can be replaced so as to create different exit conditions. The firm offers both shaft and monobloc mounts.

Emuge-Werk Richard Glimpel GmbH & Co. KG, Lauf an der Pegnitz, under the name of “Punch Tap”, exhibited a new process for thread forming. The tool used here does not possess a continuous thread profile at its circumference, but two rows of teeth offset by 180 degrees. This tool is in the first step inserted on a helical track into a borehole. It is then turned by 180 degrees and moved synchronously by half a thread pitch in the feed direction out of the borehole. This process enables a thread with two helical grooves to be created, which according to the manufacturer produces savings in terms of production time of up to 75 per cent in comparison to a conventionally produced thread, with comparable locking strength.


Efficient tool clamping

Under the name of Duo-Lock, Haimer GmbH, Igenhausen, showcased an efficient solution for milling tools and  tool-holders used in machining sophisticated materials. The concept features a modularised interface for tool heads, which makes for improved cost-efficiency. In addition, the interface between the tool’s main body and the solid-carbide head features a thread with a double cone and a support surface in the rear. This results in a high level of rigidity coupled with a high chip removal rate. According to the manufacturer, the new tool concept ensures comparable productivity to when solid-carbide milling cutters are used. Cutting depths of 1.5 x D or 1 x D in the case of a full-slot cut are possible.

Moulding Area

Tool and mould construction is an important application category for the tool and machine tool industries. In order to spotlight the significance of the companies in this sector, the Moulding Area was integrated as a separate section in the METAV.

Hasco Hasenclever GmbH & Co. KG from Lüdenscheid, a manufacturer of precision components for mould construction jobs, on its stand and under the aegis of the Moulding Area’s accompanying forum, exhibited additively manufactured mould inserts, designed to enable prototypes to be produced fast and affordably. The inserts concerned are manufactured in a cooperative arrangement with a company called Stratasys ltd., Minneapolis (USA). The process involved was explained by citing the example of a screw plug conventionally produced by means of turning. Thanks to the additive manufacture of a mould, it can now be produced using an injection-moulding process. For the screw plug, a standard ABS plastic was processed at a temperature of 240 degrees Celsius. The cycle time was around 4 to 5 minutes. The new process has enabled procurement costs to be reduced from 1.17 to 0.11 euros, says the company.

Zecha Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH, Königsbach-Stein, a manufacturer of hard-metal tools, exhibited milling tools for machining hard metals. Here, for example, spherical milling cutters are offered in a diameter range from 0.2 mm to 6.0 mm. Diamond and diamond-coated tools are used. When hard metals are being machined, a surface quality is achieved in the shape of an average peak-to-valley height of Ra = 0.1 mm. In the case of alternative machining of the hard metal by means of eroding, subsequent polishing will always be required. The process is used for manufacturing punching and forming tools. Examples include the production of embossing stamps with a three-dimensional contour or press plungers, which are conventionally manufactured from powdered steels. Milling of hard metal is also being offered as a service by a partner company called MPK Special Tools GmbH, Schwäbisch Gmünd.


Medical Area

Medical technology is an important market for the machine tool industry. Due to steadily rising levels of life-expectancy, there is increasing demand for implants, prostheses, etc. It’s important to note in this context that often this involves individually modified one-off products. This means that the production processes concerned have to be designed to provide corresponding flexibility.

Tornos S.A., Moutier (Switzerland), exhibited a machining centre that is being increasingly used for manufacturing components for medical-technology applications. The machine features four independent tool systems, ten digital axes and two mutually interpolatable C-axes. The motor-driven spindles, fitted with synchronous motors, are high-powered (max. 9.5 kW/18.1 kW in a movable headstock) and dynamic (acceleration from 0 to 10,000 1/min in 0.9 seconds). Depending on the machining job and quantities involved, the machine can be fitted with a bar loader. One typical machining job is cannulated screws, where turning, thread-whirling, milling, deep-drilling and punching processes are used.

Citizen Machinery Europe GmbH, Esslingen, exhibited a long-stock automatic lathe, which is used, for example, in manufacturing bone nails, dental implants and intervertebral disk implants. It can machine workpieces with diameters of 1 to 16 mm, while the maximum machining length is 200 mm.

Medical technology demands customised production processes, to enable the components required to be manufactured in the stipulated productivity and in the requisite quality. IMSTec GmbH, Klein-Winternheim, has specialised in providing services for developing this kind of series production operations. The customers are here supported through all the phases involved in the validation procedure, so that technically and commercially fit-for-purpose solutions are generated in good time. In this regard, the firm possesses particularly notable experience in orthopaedic implants, stents and catheters.

Solutions for surface fine-finishing 

Finishing jobs for flat surfaces

Fine-finishing is of crucial importance in large-series manufacturing operations as well, in order to assure the efficiency of the components machined. For this purpose, the machinery manufacturer Supfina Griehaber GmbH & Co. KG, Wolfach, showcased a revolving machine for superfinishing. Here, the flat surfaces of the components are machined in a two-stage process to tolerances in the tenth-of-a-micrometre range. As workpiece dimensions, lengths of 200 mm and machining diameters of 150 mm are possible. Up to seven superfinish devices can be integrated.  Furthermore, the machine can be equipped with an automated in-process measuring feature and automated loading and unloading capabilities. Typical application categories include injection-moulding technology, gear-unit and hydraulic components, and engine components.


Roller burnishing for reworking small bores

Ecoroll AG, Celle, showcased a new tool for roller burnishing of small bores. The tool serves for selective surface conditioning, with an Rz value of < 1 µm and for strengthening cylindrical and conical bores, not least in hardened components. In this process, the strength and durability of components subjected to pressure are increased, by upgrading their capability to withstand chemical influences and by incorporating residual compressive stress. By using high-precision ball inserts, mounted on individually modified roller heads of the tool, stepped and tapered bores can be machined in a single process step. Bores from a diameter of 7 mm can be machined here (from 3 mm in a special version). If several ball inserts are arranged in series, then the process time in series manufacturing operations can be minimised, and optimised component characteristics can be produced with accurate reproducibility.

Quality Area

The assessment of quality is still of crucial importance for the introduction of new and design-enhanced production processes. In particular, the quality and speed of the measurements performed gain in meaningful relevance. For this reason, the issue of quality was showcased in the convenient confines of the “Quality Area”.

Nanofocus AG, Oberhausen, a manufacturer of systems for optical 3D surface metrology, exhibited high-speed 3D inline inspection systems that can be integrated into production operations. The technology involved consists of a laser with up to 128 channels in conjunction with a vertically oscillating tuning fork. The systems possess a resolution accuracy in the Z-direction of 50 nm, while the measuring time in some applications is a mere 3 seconds. Examples here include mobile phone displays and injection nozzles.

pro-micron GmbH & Co. KG from Kaufbeuren showcased systems for process-concurrent acquisition of cutting forces at stationary and rotating tools. Here, the forces are acquired by means of strain gauges using a system integrated into the tool-holder and wirelessly forwarded to analytical software. In this way, the quality of the process can be continuously monitored and process instabilities detected. The system additionally serves as an important aid for designing processes or developing tools.

Renishaw GmbH, Pliezhausen, exhibited a coordinate measuring machine with five-axis metrology. With this technology, the scanning system can be traversed around complex components and acquire the contour without replacing the scanner. Measuring speed here is predominantly achieved through the scanning system. With a Cartesian coordinate measuring instrument, there will be bending and deformation phenomena in the case of non-linear traversing movements. These dynamic deformations are avoided by the innovative measuring heads. In this way, for example, blisks of aircraft engines can be measured. Measuring 29 blades here takes 2:11 hours. According to the mancufacturer, this corresponds to a throughput increase of 922 per cent in comparison to conventional metrological acquisition.


At the METAV 2016, numerous up-to-the-future production technologies were showcased. With a new concept, the organisers intentionally complemented general trends and developments in existing machinery and tool concepts with a focus on keynote issues where the exhibitors spotlighted the current state of the art for the customers. Of special note in this context are the additive manufacturing technologies, whose potential for producing both components and tools was spotlighted. The options for acquisition and effective utilisation of data within the context of “Industry 4.0” made it very clear how efficiency and productivity can be optimised by means of effective data management. In the shape of Tool and Mould Construction, plus Medical Technology, two branches of industry were spotlighted that in both the present and the future exhibit huge potential and accordingly demand continually optimised production technologies. The areas were rounded off by an assessment of quality, which is assuming a significant role in the context of increasing component individualisation.



Author: Dipl.-Ing. Hendrik Abrahams, Institute of Machining Technology, Dortmund University of Applied Science,

Tel. +49 231 755 4641, Email [email protected]


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The METAV 2018 – International Exhibition for Metalworking Technologies will be held in Düsseldorf from 20 to 24 February 2018.



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