The share of machine building in the industrial manufacture of Russia is estimated at 19,5%. For comparison: the share of machine building in the mechanical manufacture of Germany, Japan, the USA and other developed countries ranges from 39 to 45%. Back in 1990, the USSR ranked third in the world for the production and second for the consumption of machining equipment. Today, these indicators of Russia are respectively the 22nd and 17th places. The import of machining equipment has been higher that the domestic production since 2002. Russia’s dependence on the supply of machine tools from abroad amounted to 87% in 2006. The current manufacture of machines and equipment is 14,5 times less than in the Soviet Russia of 1990. The market share of our country in the structure of the world’s machine building is 0,3%. Based on these indicators, we can conclude that the manufacturing niche of machining centers and automation in Russia is free, and the competition among domestic manufacturers is almost nonexistent.
The chart in fig.1 shows the domestic consumption of machine-building equipment in Russia. In 2014, the market volume amounted to 130 billion rubles. We forecast the annual growth of 15%.
In the segment of inexpensive equipment, the main competitors of the domestic companies are Chinese producers, who occupy about 35% of the Russian market of machining equipment of the lower price segment (the cost of which is below 2 million rubles). In the expensive segment, the leader is Japan, whose share is about 14%, followed by Sweden, Taiwan, the USA and Germany.
The effective demand can be estimated using the data from the Russian Yandex search engine. The query statistics for a specific range of machines from wordstat.yandex.ru is shown in fig.2. Analyzing the queries in the search engines, we can conclude that the demand is stable in the domestic market. Specialists highly appreciate the possibility for Russian equipment to enter the markets of the CIS countries that do not have their own manufacture of machines.
Fig.3 shows the Industry and Trade Ministry’s data of imports and manufacture of machine tools in 2012.
CNC Milling and Engraving Machines
In 2014, the Advanced Technologies Center developed a series of CNC milling and engraving machines, which comprise the models ATC-400, ATC-3000, ATC-6000 and ATC-8000, and sold more than 30 machines with various modifications. To date, software has been developed for automated stations based on scanning probe microscope software.
A milling and engraving machine with a CNC portal is used for 2D, 2,5D and 3D milling on all types of wood, composites of wood, all types of plastic, soft metals and alloys (e.g., aluminum, and duralumin).
It would be appropriate to review the main characteristics of the machining center looking at the CNC milling and engraving machine ATC 3000 (fig.4):
•the 200 mm height of the portal allows processing large work pieces, including assembled items (e.g. sign engraving) and provides the possibility of installing a fourth axis;
•the Z-axis is used for the spindle to move outside the processed area with the cutter margin of 70 mm and idle motion of 10 mm for easy replacement of cutters;
•the machine has four drives, two of which are connected to the portal of the machine (dual Y-axis). This helps to make the structure more rigid and to ensure automatic adjustment of the portal for perpendicular axes;
•the spindle with water cooling has low noise operation, low dispersion of small processed products (as there is no air flow) even without using suction nozzles, which is important when using the fourth axis;
•the C7 class precision gear racks are more resistant to dust than ball and screw joint transmission systems;
•brushless servo-drives are installed on all axes instead of stepper motors.
3D ATC processing machines are already used in the industry. The next step is to create fully functional computerized machines for the processing all types of construction materials, including steel, cast iron and titanium. The Advanced Technologies Center pays special attention to the accelerated development of new versions of digital machine tools and robotic centers. Based on the created software and hardware, the innovators developed motion and control systems for a number of other high-tech appliances, including the 2D and 3D bioprinting diagnostic complex, and a CNC machine for corundum ceramics machining.
2D and 3D bioprinting diagnostic complex
A bio-dispenser for 2D printing is used to apply a certain amount of biological material on a flat media, such as multi-cup plates. It is used in the manufacture of biochips for photometric biosensors for bacterial and viral infections, and it may be used for manufacture of other types of biosensors, such as fluorescent biosensors. The 2D and 3D bioprinting diagnostic complex is used to make biopolymer structures for development of bio-implants, and in the future, for artificial organs.
Bio-dispensers are based on the technology of scanning ion-conductive microscopy with a feedback system and micro- and nano-capillaries of quartz and glass of different types. The diameter of the capillaries ranges from 10 nm (deposition of enzymes, proteins, biological macromolecules) to tens of microns (deposition of living cells). The positioning accuracy is 1–50 nm, depending on the type of the capillary and the operating range of deposition ranges from 10 × 10 μm2 to 10 × 10 mm2.
CNC Machine for Processing Corundum Ceramics
Corundum ceramics is one of crystalline modifications of aluminum oxide α-Al2O3 having high electrical, mechanical and thermal properties. One of the varieties of corundum ceramics is called polycore. It is transparent ceramics characterized by high light transmission coefficient and good electrical and mechanical characteristics. Polycore contains 99.7–99,9% of Al2O3 and 0,3% to 0,2% of magnesium oxide. Unlike conventional corundum ceramics, polycore is transparent, so it is used to make bulbs for special sources of light. Polycore has a particularly high heat resistance and preserves its electrical properties to a temperature of 400°C, its mechanical properties to 1600°C. Due to the high density of 3,97 g/cm3, which is almost equal to the density of Al2O3, it is possible to have a high quality surface finishing.
Production and processing of polycore require a special approach, because this material is very important for a huge country with a high-tech defense system. The automatic line is based on a number of interlinked innovative solutions, which replace many manual operations.
The technological process includes the following operations:
•automated polishing of cast iron (diamond paste abrasive);
•automated polishing of plastic composite (diamond paste abrasive);
•automated pre-washing of items from polishing products;
•automated positioning of the work pieces for laser contour cutting;
•contour cutting with laser;
•automated transfer of products to the washing from dirt and sediments after laser processing;
•washing after laser processing in cavitation media;
•defect verification (probe scan);
•automated rejection of defective items;
•placing protective tape to avoid touching the surface of the finished product by hand.
The workstation is equipped with 12 microcontrollers, whereas synchronization and data analysis is conducted by the software core, which has a convenient interface.
The newly created unique hardware and software complex for control of precision systems of scanning and positioning is protected by software certificates [2–4]. The applications comprise technical solutions using FPGA controllers and high-precision digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters, intelligent scanning modes, which take into account the inertia and mechanical resonances of mobile scanning systems. Besides, these algorithms are used to linearize the movement of probes and machining tools using metrological reference lines.
To ensure the effectiveness of high metrological parameters, the authors have produced a system of calibration standards for measurement of distances in a sub-micrometer range. The calibration standards are used for calibration of positioning systems and scanning in all coordinates. The original solutions are protected by patents [5–7].
Multifunctional scanning probe microscope FemtoScan, which served as a prototype for the above-described complexes, is recorded in the Register of Measuring Instruments of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Certificate RU.C.27.004.F # 27293 dated 3 August 2012). This type of measuring instruments was approved by the Order of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology dated 27 July 2012, No. 539.
The Advanced Technologies Center became one of the first participants in the program Nanosertifika of Rusnano Corporation. The organization has a test center for nanotechnology products and nanotechnology, which fully complies with the requirements of the System of Voluntary Certification of Nanoindustry Products.
The development of the machining centers will be accomplished by developing systems with numerical software and multi-purpose robotic systems. Most of the work is related to the creation of software and hardware. For the industry to be successful, a system of training highly qualified personnel is needed. Under the new circumstances, a turner or a miller becomes a programmer, a material scientist, an engineer and a designer, all in one person. All major manufacturers of machining centers systematically participate in the arrangement and implementation of educational and training programs. For these purposes, the Moscow Government provided support in organizing the Nanotechnology Youth Innovation Creativity Center (YICC), the curricula of which provide the basic information on the various CNC machines, machining centers, and provide in-depth training for the new profession. The educational programs of the YICC are advertised in mass media [8–12] and on the Internet sites
www.ATCindustry.ru, www.start-innovation.com, www.nanoscopy.ru
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