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Position:Industry outlook 2009

Q: "Seiki," as in Mitsui Seiki, means "precision" in Japanese, and Mitsui Seiki is known for that. What challenges do you see ahead in producing precision machines as new types of alloys are developed?

According to Scott Walker, president of Mitsui Seiki USA, the killers of precision are thermal instability, non-repetitive bending moments when the tool is under load, poor vibrational control while cutting, lack of axial travel straightness, and poor rotary repeatability on the 4th, 5th and 6th axes.

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"Each of those elements is required to achieve the level of true position required for highly precise finished components," Walker said.

One of the growing materials today is magnesium, yet it's not necessarily a "new" material. What's changed is that metallurgists are making it tougher so it can accommodate heavy loads, yet provide less weight overall. This...

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