Matsuura LUMEX Technology Transforming the Industry

With Matsuura’s LUMEX Technology, customers can lower their capital equipment investments for tooling and molding machines while reducing mold cavitation requirements and accelerating Return on Investment (ROI). 

According to Peter Zelinski, Editor-In-Chief of Additive Manufacturing Magazine, one of the most significant impacts of metal additive manufacturing is on plastic part production and conformal cooling, using additive manufacturing to build conforming cooling channels into an injection mold component. More effective cooling potentially means seconds per part shaved from the injection molding cycle, the cycle making a plastic part.

“Now seconds for part might not sound like much, but multiply that across millions of parts that might be made through injection molding that might be made using a tool like this and the result could be production so much faster that fewer injection molding presses would be made to achieve the same production in the same amount of time,” said Zelinski.

Matsuura customers are seeing the value that comes with implementing additive manufacturing technology.

With multiple customer case studies, all showing 25% to 45% reductions in cycle time reductions, the Matsuura LUMEX Technology is transformative in the industry.

Matsuura’s LUMEX Technology relies on one-machine, one-process manufacturing of complex molds and parts by fusing metal laser sintering technology with high speed milling technology. The Hybrid technology creates a “finished” part with machined surface finish and accuracy, without inducing the additional variation caused by multiple machine set-ups and part handling.

The Matsuura LUMEX technology produces highly accurate parts from metal powders that are melted and sintered using a laser while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. This technology allows the ability to “grow” a metal component in layers with complex internal features and fine mill those internal features, as the layers are added, to give a perfect surface finish are what makes the LUMEX Series such a distinctive, unique and remarkable production platform and machine tool.

With Matsuura’s Metal 3D Printing, the production of high-volume mold components with conformal cooling and integrated porous venting will minimize the need for traditional EDM processes, is a lights-out manufacturing system and provides significant time savings in the production of mold components.

In most cases, the proper implementation of the hybrid technology in a mold component will eliminate the need for EDM. This in and of itself is a large time saver in the mold build process. Many components can be completely machined in the hybrid machine, there is an elimination of queue times to get other work completed on a component, typically reducing overall mold build time.

The benefit to the owner of the mold is clear: improved cycle times, sometimes as much as 50 percent using conformal cooling, and improved part yields and initial part quality by utilizing the variable porosity capabilities of the powder bed fusion process to assist in the venting of mold gases in the flow front.

The Matsuura machines achieve the highest accuracy in part fabrication since metal powders are melted and sintered via laser, while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. 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.

According to Tom Houle, Director, LUMEX North America, the hybrid technology is already proven solution for moldmakers. In most cases, the proper implementation of the hybrid technology in a mold component will eliminate the need for EDM.

Many mold manufacturers have successfully implemented additive manufacturing technology, but none quite so well as Minnesota-based Custom Mold & Design (CMD).

CMD focuses on finding creative ways to solve complex problems and AM, specifically hybrid machine technology to produce conformal-cooled inserts, is how they believe they can take advantage of additive technology to make better molds for customers.

Read about Custom Mold & Design’s tremendous success with the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 in a whitepaper they developed: HERE.

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business. For more information on Matsuura LUMEX products, contact: [email protected] or visit: HERE.