CNC system powers 5-axis machining center for stone

A custom spindle motor and application-specific CNC system from NUM has helped Omag to create an innovative five-axis machining center that combines the functions of a former and a lathe for processing stone materials.


Omag’s BlaNum Corporation - Omag Blade5de5 machine introduces a new level of flexibility for processing stone work pieces by supporting capabilities including sawing, milling, routing, turning, sculpting and polishing. One of the machine's key attributes is a high-performance spindle motor with a very large peak torque capability of 400 Nm, according to the company.

According to Marco Battistotti of Num Italy, “A willingness to partner with a constructor of special machines and share the risk of creating specific application and CNC solutions is at the heart of Num's business philosophy. In Omag’s case, there is a strong cooperation in the technological development for new machines."

Omag's Blade5 machine is based on a large overhead gantry-style structure, supporting an innovative multi-axis machine head. The gantry’s main horizontal X and Y axes are based on linear guides that employ ball screw drives and guide blocks fitted with recirculating ball bearings. These combine high load-bearing capabilities with smooth, backlash-free positioning. In the largest configuration of Blade5, both axes have a stroke length of up to 5 meters, giving machine operators a very large 25 square meters of working area. The vertical Z axis, which carries the machine head, employs the same type of technology and can raise the head 3 meters above the base of the system, enabling huge stone work pieces to be accommodated. The stone being processed can either be held in a fixed position on a large 3.5 x 2 meter worktop, or rotated by a lathe attachment for turning purposes.

The machine head spindle can accommodate a wide variety of cutting and forming tools, including a diamond cutting blade up to 1.6 meters in diameter. The head contains two positioning axes, which enable the spindle to be inclined by up to 140 degrees to the vertical and rotated laterally by as much as 380 degrees, conveying an exceptional level of flexibility to the process.

Omag’s PC-based CAD/CAM software includes a library of machine tools which can be freely requested by the operator; the physical tools are maintained in a rack to the side of the work area. Typically, these will include milling and turning tools, as well as one or more cutting blades. Tool changeover is handled completely automatically; when requested by the operator, the Blade5 machine automatically parks one tool and then places another on the spindle – which uses the industry-standard ISO 50 taper.

The machine’s HMI (human machine interface) is highly intuitive, and comprises a large touch-sensitive monitor, keyboard and dual joysticks for manually controlling movement when required.

As Marco Battistotti points out, “Omag’s Blade5 exemplifies the benefits of close collaboration between machine designers and numerical control specialists. The various configurations of Blade5 are proving extremely popular in the market.” Num Corporation

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.