Mitsui Seiki Presented the GE Blue Arc™ Machine and Process at IMTS 2016
Scott Walker, president of Mitsui Seiki USA spoke to the media and also at the TRAM Conference at IMTS 2016 about the revolutionary Blue Arc™ machining process that, according to GE Reports, “cuts through titanium like a hot knife through butter.” GE partnered with Mitsui Seiki to develop a five-axis, horizontal machining center with a Blue Arc™ head attached that is built in Mitsui’s headquarters in Japan, just outside of Tokyo. GE has the prototype machine in its global research facility in Van Buren Township and the system is ready for testing by interested companies.
Blue Arc™ is an electro-erosion metal removal method and represents the fastest way to rough cut extremely tough alloys such as aerospace-grade titanium and nickel alloys. Using high amperage, low voltage electrical energy, sparks and heat are created between the electrode tool and the workpiece. During the sparking, electrical arcing activity, portions of the workpiece are melted and the molten material is quickly flushed away with a high-pressure system. The process uses very low force, permitting higher feeds and speeds. According to both companies Blue Arc™ is about four to five times faster than conventional machining of these super tough materials.
The prototype Mitsui Seiki Blue Arc™ machine is a hybrid; it can do both Blue Arc™ and conventional machining in the one platform. In operation, the Blue Arc™ process conducts all the roughing operations, the head is removed with a dedicated robot, and a conventional multiple-point cutting tool is put in its place to perform the finishing operations.
Because of Blue Arc’s low forces, the process can eliminate a high-powered, high torque machine tool and highly engineered cutting tools and replace them with a smaller, less rigid machine and a simple electrode tool. The process is ideal for difficult to reach, deep cuts and very thin cuts for applications in aerospace, power generation and automotive.
About Mitsui Seiki USA
Mitsui Seiki USA headquarters office was founded in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Regional offices were also established to even better support Midwestern, Western, and Canadian customers. We combine our engineering, sales support, service, and spare parts responsibilities with a strong distributor network covering the U.S.A, Canada, and Mexico to provide the best possible communication, and industry networking.
For more information, visit www.mitsuiseiki.com.