M4 Sciences delivers first ever 'LIVE' TriboMAM drilling system

November 14, 2012  


M4 Sciences TriboMAM-LIVE

M4 Sciences TriboMAM-'LIVE' drilling system for computer-controlled machine tools with rotating tool spindles. The new system could change global product manufacturing because it enables a new method of mechanical drilling in high-performance metals and alloys such as stainless steels and titanium alloys.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – James Mann, CEO of M4 Sciences LLC, announced Wednesday (Nov. 14) that M4 Sciences has delivered new 'LIVE' TriboMAM® drilling systems for Modulation-Assisted Machining (MAM)® technology. The new system could change global product manufacturing because it enables a new method of mechanical drilling in high-performance metals and alloys such as stainless steels and titanium alloys.

Last year the company announced a major advancement in product development by demonstrating the first-of-its-kind rotating 'LIVE' TriboMAM system. The new system is an innovation in M4 Sciences' patented drilling system that uses piezo-electric actuators and precision motion control to oscillate drill tools and increase drilling productivity in computer numerically controlled (CNC) lathe machine tools. The 'LIVE' TriboMAM drilling system is now adaptable to CNC vertical or horizontal machining centers and drilling machines with rotating tools (referred to as "live" tools) that serve a key role in global manufacturing.

Mann, Ph.D., described the new application as a "breakthrough in machining technology" since the new TriboMAM drilling system not only delivers increased production efficiency, but, more importantly, it enables drilling of complex and difficult-to-drill metals and alloys that are otherwise extremely difficult or impossible to drill with current methods. M4 Sciences anticipates the new drilling system, referred to by M4 Sciences engineers as "TriboMAM-LIVE," will bring MAM technology to the forefront of advanced manufacturing.

"The commercial TriboMAM-LIVE drilling system will alter the future course of machining technology," Mann said. He added that the introduction was motivated by an "industry champion and partner customer that recognized M4 Sciences' TriboMAM drilling system and MAM technology as a pathway to a market leap."

Although commercial agreements prevent M4 Sciences from naming the customer identity or disclosing the product application, Mann said, "The delivery of this new version of TriboMAM marks a historic event for M4 Sciences. This will enable an industry leading customer to market and manufacture a new product design that was previously not viable to produce."

In 2012 M4 Sciences introduced two new TriboMAM drilling system designs and expanded the market applications for its existing product line.   

"By expanding M4 Sciences' product line and working in partnership with our customers, we are engineering our way into new markets," Mann said.

This year M4 Sciences increased exports by delivering TriboMAM systems to new markets in Brazil, Taiwan and Germany. Mann anticipates that the introduction of the new TriboMAM-LIVE drilling system will increase the target market more than tenfold. He added that vertical and horizontal CNC machining centers make up the majority of metal machining systems world-wide, supporting production of a diverse range of high-performance products in the automotive, aerospace, electronics and orthopedic sectors. Manufacture of these products often requires some type of drilling on CNC machining centers and the production efficiency can benefit directly using TriboMAM drilling systems.

"We are working together with our customers, machine tool manufacturers and university researchers to achieve global adoption of MAM technology," Mann said. "MAM technology offers a profound advantage in machining operations by altering the physics of the process. The underlying physics in metal cutting is a technology barrier to achieving increased machining productivity. M4 Sciences is breaking that barrier now with a disruptive innovation in drilling operations."

M4 Sciences' TriboMAM drilling systems and MAM technology enable up to a 500 percent productivity increase for CNC mechanical drilling processes. In 2009 M4 Sciences introduced the first commercial TriboMAM drilling system with product sales to date in nine countries. In 2011 the company announced a technology sub-licensing agreement with a world-leading manufacturer, Belgium based NV Bekaert SA. 

The patented machining technology developed by M4 Sciences was discovered at Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering and licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization. Mann, also a co-author of the patents, co-founded M4 Sciences in 2005 at the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

"The ability to successfully and smoothly drill through a titanium alloy is an important breakthrough in the global machining industry," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation, which manages the Purdue Research Park. "The work that the M4 Sciences' researchers and engineers are doing and the industrial agreements they have generated with companies around the globe demonstrates well the importance of the work they are doing in the area of advanced manufacturing."

About M4 Sciences

M4 Sciences, based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, specializes in designing and developing advanced technologies and systems for ultra-precision machining. In 2011 M4 Sciences received the Tibbett's Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for demonstrating exemplary performance in technology development and commercialization. M4 Sciences also received the 2010 R&D 100 award for product development. For more information visit http://www.m4sciences.com

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation program in the country. The Purdue Research Park has four sites in the state of Indiana. They are Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Purdue Research Park at AmeriPlex-Indianapolis, Purdue Research Park of Northwest Indiana and the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana. The nearly 200 companies located in the park network employ about 4,000 people.

Purdue Research Park contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Source: James Mann, 765-479-6215, jbmann@M4Sciences.com

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