By Mike Bacidore, Managing Editor
If you’re looking for Jobs, then the place to go is Italy, where the builder of milling and machining centers is headquartered. With approximately 170 of its 200 employees located in Piacenza, Italy, Jobs has been producing large five-axis gantry machines for two-thirds of its 30-year history.
“Our technical department has about 50 technicians, both mechanical and electrical, who design and build with certified techniques,” explains Paolo Bosi, U.S. sales manager for Jobs. “Structure and machine dynamics are designed and verified using CAD technology. The U.S. market represents 10-15% of the total revenues of our company. Currently in the U.S. we have about 50 machines installed with 40 different customers.”
Beginning in 2000, Jobs introduced a new generation of large-volume, high-speed milling machines exploiting linear motor technology for axis movement.
“With 120 LinX machines installed worldwide, it represents a complete family of high-performance linear motor milling machines, says Bosi. “Jobs can offer three versions of the base model—Compact, Design and LinX O—and a series of different functional models targeted on the needs of each specific market. The matching of linear motors with high-rigidity moving overhead gantry or mobile column for the horizontal machine configuration, allows a drastic reduction in production time, high accuracy and finishing quality.”
Jobs machines are designed for machining steel, aluminum alloys, titanium, invar and other composites in the aerospace/aeronautics, automotive, general engineering and energy fields. “We equip our machines with controls like Siemens 840D Power Line or Solution Line, Heidenhain TNC530 and some Fidia components,” explains Bosi. “The choice of the CN is based on the application required by the end user. General mechanical engineering doesn’t require features which become a must for aerospace and vice versa, and each CN gets its excellence in one field. Furthermore the choice we make for CNC components has some implication, too. It has to consider a high compatibility level with machine components such as drives, motors and measuring systems.”
Jobs uses PC-based controls on its machines. “We believe they provide an immediate integration with what customer use nowadays,” says Bosi. “Moreover, the machining of models and molds and dies requires huge part programs. This would be not possible to achieve on PLC-based controls. We also are replacing hardwiring with digital networks, as this system is more flexible. Should new users be added, it isn’t necessary to configure the wiring harness again, for instance. Furthermore, a digital network is a more cost-effective solution and provides better diagnostics.”
Jobs has taken the lead in adding new technologies to its machines. “It’s worth mentioning digital drives and linear motors,” says Bosi. “We’re using digital drives because they allow the machine tuning to be completely managed with the highest possible accuracies. And then the advanced control’s algorithms can manage high-order band-pass filters enabling us to improve the machine dynamics, particularly in terms of speed and finishing quality. We’ve also started using linear motor technologies because they allow high-performance, reduced assembly time and minor maintenance costs.”
Bosi acknowledges the increased demand for uptime, rather than just a machine. “We do not sell the machine so much as its productivity,” he says. “The sale as a consequence includes, beside the machine, the relevant process technologies, and therefore particular attention is always devoted to simplify the machine’s integration in the manufacturing process. We see a market demand for drastic reductions of hourly costs and maintenance costs. The linear motors simplify the machines and increase their performances.”