Machine Impossible at Die & Mould India 2024: Unveiling Makino’s 5-Axis Machining Excellence


Makino’s journey, originating nearly 90 years ago amidst Japan’s die and mould sector, exemplifies a remarkable transition from a small supplier to an international frontrunner in precision machining. The upcoming 13th Die & Mould India 2024, hosted by the Tools & Gauge Manufacturers Association (TAGMA) India, is poised to spotlight Makino’s significant contributions through its advanced 5-axis machining solutions.

Tsunezo Makino

Makino’s inception in 1937 by Tsunezo Makino in Tokyo’s Meguro district was strategic, placing the company at the heart of Japan’s die and mould manufacturing hub. This proximity to Meiki, a prominent die and mould producer, enabled Makino to collaborate closely with local expert craftsmen. This collaboration was crucial for understanding the precise requirements of milling machines for producing high-quality dies and moulds, leading to the development of the No. 1 Knee-type Vertical Milling Machine.

This step marked the beginning of Makino’s innovation in the machining industry, setting a foundation for the company to develop and introduce pioneering machining solutions. The insights gained from working closely with industry experts allowed Makino to lead with many firsts in the machining sector, establishing the brand as a critical player in advancing machining technology and contributing significantly to the field by introducing machines that would carry the iconic Makino name.

Innovations That Shaped the Die & Mould Industry


In 1958, Makino achieved a significant milestone by developing Japan’s first magnetic-tape NC Vertical Milling Machine, laying the groundwork for the modern CNC machines we use today. Responding to toolmakers’ evolving needs, Makino introduced machines equipped with wide, integral, hardened ground guideways and turcite-lined surfaces. This design was specifically engineered to withstand heavy cutting forces while ensuring the fine surface finishes essential for the die and mould industry. Furthermore, Makino developed the Automatic Copy Milling Machine and introduced “Makino My-Programmer,” the first device capable of generating automatic NC tape for 3D machining, marking another step forward in machining technology.

In the early 1980s, leveraging its extensive experience in the die and mould sector, Makino identified the potential benefits of using graphite electrodes in die mould manufacturing. This insight led to the development of the first Graphite Milling machines (SNC series), setting a new standard for the industry. These machines were the first of their kind, specifically designed to optimize the machining of graphite electrodes, a critical component in the die and mould-making process.

Recognizing the importance of high-speed spindles for efficient graphite machining and precise core and cavity finishing, Makino introduced several spindle design innovations. These innovations culminated in the patented core-cooling, under-race lubrication, and jacket design characteristic of today’s high-performance spindles. In 1984, Makino developed the NC High-Speed Adapter, enhancing the high-speed feed capabilities of machine tool controls. This development was instrumental in creating Makino’s proprietary Super Geometric Intelligence (Generation 5) motion control software, which remains a key component of Makino’s machining solutions today.

Advancing to 5-Axis Machining: Makino’s Innovations That Shaped the Industry

Makino’s contributions to the die and mould industry extend beyond developing advanced technologies and machines; the company has also focused on providing comprehensive support to ensure these tools are used effectively. Traditionally, the production of die and mould parts, including cores, cavities, and working components, relied on 3-axis machines. However, as the industry evolved, rotary tables were introduced in the 1960s, changing the landscape. Makino recognized the advantages of adopting a 5-axis approach early on and responded by developing the V33-5XB machine. This machine featured a precision tilt/trunnion table designed and built by Makino, offering three arc seconds positioning accuracy, equivalent to 0.0002 inches (5.25 microns).

Today, Makino’s lineup of 5-axis vertical machining centres, including the D300, DA300, and D500 models, represents the forefront of machining technology for the die and mould sector. These machines incorporate advanced tilt/rotary table designs, positioning the workpiece with exceptional precision relative to the spindle. This capability is crucial for producing the complex geometries and high-quality surface finishes demanded by today’s industry.

Strengthening India’s Toolmaking Capabilities

Indian toolmakers, facing the challenge of meeting the requirements of advanced sectors such as aerospace and the evolving automotive industry, can find robust solutions within Makino’s range of machines and support services. The challenges related to machine utilization, control systems, software, and configuration are addressed by Makino’s comprehensive offerings and expert team. This support is invaluable for toolmakers aiming to enhance their capabilities and compete in the global market. At Die & Mould India 2024, organised by TAGMA India, Makino presents its 5-axis machining solutions to elevate local manufacturing to international standards. Through expanding local infrastructure and fostering a skilled workforce, the company’s investment in India exemplifies its dedication to the “Make in India” initiative and its role as a trusted partner in the nation’s industrial growth.

Christoph Zoller, Managing Director of ZOLLER Germany, Amit Salunkhe, General Manager of ZOLLER India, with Raghav T V Badhya, President of Makino India, at the Coimbatore Facility Opening during November 2023

Makino’s journey in India, which began with a small liaison office in 1993, showcases the company’s strong commitment to Indian toolmakers. Since then, Makino has grown steadily, expanding its operations through regional sales and technical centers. Today, with more than 300 employees in India, Makino is dedicated to delivering top-notch machining centres and a wide range of services, including setup and system engineering. The opening of the Bangalore facility and technology centre in 1996 marked a crucial step in this journey, offering direct support to the Indian market. This support has been broadened with additional centres in Manesar and Pune, strengthening Makino’s promise to provide comprehensive solutions to toolmakers across India.

The inauguration of the Coimbatore facility is the latest milestone in Makino’s ongoing commitment to India’s manufacturing sector. This new facility not only expands Makino’s operational footprint but also reaffirms its belief in the potential of the Indian market. Makino is setting new regional benchmarks by introducing advanced manufacturing technologies and exceptional customer service. This effort is a clear sign of Makino’s investment in the future of India’s toolmaking industry, aiming to ensure local manufacturers can compete globally. Makino’s actions reflect a deep and ongoing commitment to enhancing the capabilities and success of India’s toolmakers.

Makino’s Legacy of Precision, A Vision for the Future

With a rich history of breakthroughs, advanced facilities, and a team focused on innovation, Makino is redefining industry standards for technology and service. If you’re in the field and curious about solutions that might have seemed out of reach before, it’s time to check out what Makino has to offer. Visit the Makino India stall at Die and Mould India 2024 to experience the machining possibilities you might not have thought possible. This is your chance to learn about the cutting-edge capabilities and solutions Makino brings, helping you overcome challenges, achieve greater precision, and push the boundaries of what you can do. Don’t miss out on discovering how Makino can help turn what you thought was impossible into reality for your manufacturing projects.


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