Mazak Solves FSW Challenges With New EMO Machine Launch
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Mazak Solves FSW Challenges With New EMO Machine Launch

As a rapidly growing technology with a critical role to play in the exponentially expanding Electric Vehicle (EV), semi-conductor and heat transfer sectors, Yamazaki Mazak has developed a new Friction Stir Welding (FSW) machine that overcomes all the common challenges manufacturers encounter when adopting the technology. A multitude of new innovations have been incorporated into the brand-new FSW-460V machine which received its European exhibition premiere at the EMO exhibition in Hannover.

With 19 machine tools and 11 automation systems being demonstrated, Yamazaki Mazak presented its most productive, automation-friendly and environmentally efficient range of machine tools to date. Playing a role on the stand at the Hannover fairground from the 18th to the 23rd of September will be the FSW-460V.

The FSW-460V has been ‘purpose built’ to overcome the key challenges faced by manufacturers adopting FSW technology to join materials. Some of the main barriers to adoption of the FSW method include process reliability and repeatability, factors often compromised by machine rigidity and stability. By definition, FSW is a technique that requires significant thrust force, which places considerable stress upon the machine tool. To deliver this process stability for end users, Mazak has created a heavy-duty and highly-rigid machine construction. Upon this robust construction are enhanced linear guideways and powerful high-output servo motors. This provides a foundation for the FSW-460V spindle to reliably and consistently generate a maximum thrust force of 14kN with a spindle speed of up to 10,000rpm for high-speed welding. With an X, Y and Z axis feed rate of 8m/min and a rapid rate of 42m/min, tool shank rigidity during high-speed welding is assured by the BIG-PLUS (BBT-40) face and taper dual contact spindle taper system that is supplied to tools via a 15-position tool storage system.

For manufacturers in volume production environments, the process stability of existing FSW technology can be compromised by in-cycle part deformation and movement. To counteract this common issue, the Mazak FSW-460V incorporates a sizeable 900 by 460mm table that can accommodate loads up to 500kg. Upon the sturdy table and working in complete harmony with the welding cycle is a fully automated CNC-controlled part clamping facility that retracts and engages the workpiece clamps in synergy with the movement of the high-speed welding spindle. This ensures the highest clamping forces are retained throughout the FSW process – eliminating part deformation and movement of the components by maintaining the maximum number of fixture contact points during operation.

Furthermore, the automated clamping technology incorporated into the FSW-460V expedites the component changeover process, enabling manufacturers to achieve significantly higher production rates. As with any production environment, ease of use and operator friendliness are critical aspects of any production equipment. Here, the Mazak FSW-460V provides operators with an easy-to-access and spacious work envelope that also gives the machine a generous X, Y and Z-axis stroke of 560 by 460 by 510mm that can accommodate anything from small parts to relatively large assemblies.

Underpinning the productivity and automation credentials of the new Mazak FSW-460V is the remarkable CNC control system. The SmoothG CNC system automatically adjusts the tool position to maintain constant tool thrust forces on the workpiece. This prevents weld defects from insufficient pressure. It also prevents burrs that can be created by excessive pressure and gouging – giving the customer a consistently high-quality and precise weld seam throughout the process.


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