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AMT Trends: Finding IMTS Part 1

Ben and Steve discuss the upcoming IMTS event and the technology they are excited to see in the north and south halls, including the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) and the Smartforce Student Summit.
Aug 12, 2022

Episode 77: Ben and Steve discuss the upcoming IMTS event and the technology they are excited to see in the north and south halls, including the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) and the Smartforce Student Summit. They also discuss Chicago cuisine and Stephen’s upcoming trip to the Mexico Tech Center.

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Benjamin Moses:          Hello everyone. Welcome to the AMT Tech Trends Podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology and news. Today's episode is sponsored by AM radio. I'm the director of technology, Benjamin Moses, and I'm here with.

Stephen LaMarca:         Stephen LaMarca, technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, I'm pumped today.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm really excited. Today is the first day of many days.

Benjamin Moses:          This is a super episode, where we talk about IMTS.

Stephen LaMarca:         That was such a Madden call right there. But seriously, we were thinking about it.

Benjamin Moses:          Yup.

Stephen LaMarca:         This is a two part episode.

Benjamin Moses:          Correct.

Stephen LaMarca:         The next podcast episode will be essentially the same thing, but different? And then we'll be at IMTS.

Benjamin Moses:          That's right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And we're going to be doing podcasts the entire time there, like minisodes. And then after IMTS, I'm sure we're going to have a wrap up, it's going to be the end of the year. So then we're going to have an end of the year wrap up. This is the beginning of the holiday season, essentially. IMTS is a holiday.

Benjamin Moses:          That's fantastic to acknowledge.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's stone holiday season, but it's also the beginning of the actual holiday season too.

Benjamin Moses:          That's true.

Stephen LaMarca:         This is a big deal. This year 2022 is about to get really crazy.

Benjamin Moses:          At the end of the year. It's about to get really crazy.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. This is the end of the year, and it's only months eight.

Benjamin Moses:          Well, the fun thing about being at IMTS is being in Chicago.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, tell me about food. What type of food do you like being in Chicago and traveling?

Stephen LaMarca:         So every time I go to Chicago, doesn't matter what quality, doesn't matter where I go. I've got to get Chicago pizza.

Benjamin Moses:          Chicago, deep dish pizza.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes. Sauce on top of the cheese. Sauce is on top, a top of the cheese.

Benjamin Moses:          That is accurate.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. It doesn't matter where I go though, seriously. It can be one of those kiosks in the airport. When I go to... I prefer it not be, but if I go to Chicago, I'm getting Chicago deep dish.

Benjamin Moses:          I do like a hole in the wall place, you can find a deep dish, I'm not going to go to Unos.

Stephen LaMarca:         Ooh. Yeah. I mean, I'll still go to Unos obviously. But if there is a mom and pop craft Chicago deep dish place, it hasn't taken off yet, I want to find it. But also I have a job to do.

Benjamin Moses:          Chicago is known for their steaks, there's a lot of nice steak houses up there. We've visited a couple of-

Stephen LaMarca:         So many good steakhouse.

Benjamin Moses:          ... steaks. But you can't really go wrong with-

Stephen LaMarca:         You can't make a mistake.

Benjamin Moses:          And I think our members and our listeners would enjoy a good steak also, that's for sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         For sure. And one thing that an old colleague of ours pointed out in Chicago, that is a big deal, but like an unsung hero, pierogies.

Benjamin Moses:          Pierogi that's fair. Oh, that's right. We visited a great pierogi place last time, or last year that we attended.

Stephen LaMarca:         I really want to find some pierogies this year. So being that exhibitions is trusting me again, by the way, this isn't the first or second time, they're trusting me again with the rally fighter. If Portillo's has a drive through window, I'm definitely pulling the IMTS wrapped for 2022 rally fighter, wearing my brand new Pit Vipers, which should be arriving soon, and my American flag bandana through a Portillo's drive-thru. So I can get a dog, I can get Italian beef, and a chocolate cake shake.

Benjamin Moses:          Make sure you leave the wrapper in the car.

Stephen LaMarca:         For sure.

Benjamin Moses:          That's what you do with a fast food drive-thru, just leave the wrapper in your car.

Stephen LaMarca:         You have to make the car a mess. Fast food isn't necessarily fulfilling your belly, it's for making a mess of your vehicle.

Benjamin Moses:          Absolutely.

Stephen LaMarca:         Also, related to all of that, one of my college classmates used to work in the Chicago PD, and has since moved on and now was working Homeland Security. But I reached out to him yesterday to be like, "Hey, are you still with the Chicago PD?" And he was like, "No, I'm with Homeland Security." But anyway, I was telling him what's going on, why I'm going to be in Chicago, and what I'm going to be doing. And I was like, "I was really hoping you were still a cop, because I want to be pulled over and arrested on camera. And I want you to do the whole like, shoving my face against hood of the vehicle and everything, this would be gold." And he was like, "We can still have it arranged."

Benjamin Moses:          With federal guides style.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. Definitely take advantage, I mean, the event itself is fantastic. We'll get into some of the technology we're excited to see, but take full advantage Chicago and all the amazing food. Next episode, we'll talk about some of the evening activities, that we are some of our favorites there also. And one thing I am excited for is more of the Asian influence, last time I was in Chicago, I got some Asian hotpot, fantastic, I was sweating for days which I wanted to, I got the spiciest broth. There's some very exotic things you can add to it. So it was a fantastic experience.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's awesome.

Benjamin Moses:          So you're going to tell us about our sponsor for today.

Stephen LaMarca:         Today sponsor is AM Radio. AM Radio is the new podcast from Additive Manufacturing Media. Join editors Pete Zielinski and Stephanie Hendrickson and Julia Hider as they share stories of companies succeeding with 3D printing today, talk about emerging trends and discuss the future opportunities and potential for AM in the context of the larger manufacturing landscape. New episodes are published every other week, subscribe now on Apple or wherever you listen to podcasts. Tune into Additive.

I think, I forget if I mentioned this before. But I was so pumped to meet them like Stephanie, Pete and Julia, at Rapid in Detroit. But I also feel bad, and I want to publicly apologize to Stephanie, because one night we went, speaking of pizza for Chicago, Detroit has an underrated pizza. Anyway, we went out for pizza in Detroit, and went to this great place Buddies, and nobody finished their pizza, but me. So I was like, "I'm still taking all of your leftovers, we're not letting this pizza sit here. I'm going to wake up at 3:00 AM and want some pizza. So let me get all your leftovers."

And Steph, everybody ordered awesome pizzas with like meat lover, the Sicilian with diavola, spicy pepperoni, and salami, and stuff like that. Stephanie being somebody who's healthy, got her a supreme with green peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms on it. I do all of that minus the olives and mushrooms, olives should be bled for their delicious life juice, and not consume for their flesh at all. And mushrooms, same thing, they have a great flavor, but the texture, I can't do it. Anyway, she's like, "Oh, here have mine too." And I'm like, "No, not that one."

Benjamin Moses:          You turned down her pizza. Oh, man.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I put her in her place, and it felt really bad about that later. And then I talked to some of the gardener guys, and they were like, "No, dude, she doesn't care." But I still feel really bad about, I'm sorry Stephanie, please forgive me.

Benjamin Moses:          Sorry for turning down her pizza.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I ate everybody else's pizza.

Benjamin Moses:          Although to be fair, I do love a veggie lovers, all veggies.

Stephen LaMarca:         Dude pepperoncinis on pizza, jalapenos, and pepperoni is awesome.

Benjamin Moses:          That's fair. Let's talk about our test bed, we got some maximum going on there.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. So okay. In the process of dusting off the test bed and after shipping the robot, that was cool dismantling it, by the way, I really got to appreciate how well Sean and I assembled and installed the robot. And I did all the cable management on it, it was a really clean install. In fact, Daniel Garcia I think they just received the robot either yesterday or earlier this week. He was texting me, dude, how did you mount this? What table did you use? Like, "I forgot about all of that because we did such a clean install, and it was so easy. I included the installation hardware, so that's something I'm going to help them with next week. But in terms of dusting off, the test bed cleaning it up ready for the new Pocket NC and all that. When I powered up, or when I plugged in the old power supply a couple weeks ago, it was totally dead.

And I realize a lot of uninterrupted power supplies, UPSs, they don't need a screen, you've got two buttons, you've got a reset button, a power button and it screens at you. And when you hear it beep, just do single... I get confused by them, because I feel like it's morse code. But they'll beep at you, to let you know that, "Hey, we're not taking in power anymore, and we're just bleeding power. So let's try to find an outlet soon, or talk to your power company because we're about to die." And I was thinking we were going to get that, because it's been unplugged, it's been the entire pandemic, It hasn't been used. I plug it in, I power it on, it just screams at me, solid like continuous scream. And I'm like, "What do you want from me? I don't know."

Benjamin Moses:          That's a great sound in an open office, by the way.

Stephen LaMarca:         Open concept office, everybody loves hearing a UPS scream at you. So anyway, we got a new power supply, order a new one. [inaudible 00:09:50] great, it has a screen, so it can actually talk to me and figures that I recognize, that I don't speak morse code. And it's really cool, because it has a digital readout and tells me the load that it's outputting.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool. That's handy. Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         So it's going to be really cool. It's set up, right now it's at 0% load, it's not technically 0% load, because the only thing plugged into it is our popup shop Sonic Wall, the network. The secluded network that won't make every other network an AMT fail.

Benjamin Moses:          Let's back up a little bit. The reason why we're setting up a new Pocket NC, and also why you've been talking to Daniel is, was shipping all of our old equipment down there.

Stephen LaMarca:         All of the old equipment is effectively shipped, other than some minor cutting tools here and there.

Benjamin Moses:          We shipped it to our Mexico tech center, just to recap our Mexico tech center is a facility, our members used to branch it to international markets. So if you're interested in getting Mexico, we help facilitate that by doing market research, and also setting up proxy hires for service and help bring in machines. So it's a fantastic center.

Stephen LaMarca:         And that's just Mexico. If you're in Europe, we've got European tech centers too.

Benjamin Moses:          We got one in Asia, several in Asia got India and China. So definitely valuable to our members. But for Mexico, Carlos, the GM at the Mexico tech center. So our test bed and saw a lot of possibilities at the shows they support also. So having a live demonstrator, so we first sent over the Pocket NC version one, sent them then they had a fantastic time, they realized we have a robotic arm also. So scaling that up to a full cell, and that's the current experiments we shipped down our old robotic arm, and you're headed down there next week for training.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. They want the full on test bed. So we're giving them the old test bed, as we rebuild a new one effectively. Heading down there next week, I'm really excited for it to help them. When building a test bed you learn a lot, there's a lot of minor failures that you experience, but you take away lessons learned from them. And I'm going to help them set up theirs up right away, because I know everything that we ran into. So they're going to take off running with it though, because they have a team of people, as for up here it was just me, and then Ross and Shara occasionally.

But they've been having a blast with it. They saw it working at IMTS in 2018, and we want this to take to our South American trade shows, and they've been crushing it with it. So that the Pocket NC has been getting a lot of mileage, but I will stay still, even though they've been making a lot more chips with it than I ever did. I broke the machine all of the times, and had it fixed and did special repair jobs, that Pocket NC had to help me with getting proper stepper motor gears, or redesigning the stepper motor gears to keep the belt dry for the b-table aligned, and continuously aligned. So I help them make a more reliable machine. It's just that I might not be good at making parts, but to [inaudible 00:13:09] control is my jam.

Benjamin Moses:          I do want to highlight one special thing from your planning to go to Mexico. So international travel is, I'll say-

Stephen LaMarca:         It's new to me.

Benjamin Moses:          ... it gets you at best for even the most experienced traveler. There's always logistic problems, there's always some conversion, there's always some hidden fee, there's always some train you got to take somewhere, if you go to Europe.

Stephen LaMarca:         Don't spoil it yet. But anyway, I booked my flights, flights got really expensive and I was looking at United, and looking at United, United it was just Mexico. This is the same distance as going to Chicago, there's something like that, I don't know geography. But it's not that much different, it's two hour flight at most, but because it's international I have to do a transfer. Which is really weird, because everybody else told me I'd be able to fly direct, but apparently going to Monterrey I got to stop in Texas. Anyway, was looking at United flights, they were $2,000, $3,000 for a flight, basic economy. I look at American, American's like economy sold out, but first class is only $900 to $1,100, I'm like, "Guess we're going first baby". And then I learned out later that I'm taking economy to Texas, and then I'm doing a 15 minute flight from Texas to Monterrey that's first class. So in my 15 minute flight I'm going to get the scotch.

But no, Ben, is talking about the shenanigans. Well, the mini heart attack that I had booking my hotel. So Carlos sends me a link to a holiday Inn, and I look at the room rate, and it comes to $1,500 for six days in Monterrey, I'm like, this is for a holiday Inn, that's pretty steep. And also had a bad experience from when I stayed a holiday Inn in San Francisco, which already is a pricey place. But still I'm like, let's see if there's something else there, for maybe at least the same price, if not cheaper. I'm looking around and this is also in Mexico, so I want to make sure I go to someplace, it's like, I don't exactly want to go to a motel in Mexico.

Benjamin Moses:          You're unfamiliar with the land?

Stephen LaMarca:         I don't know the place. I'm sure their motels are great. So I'm looking around, and I find this place that actually is cheaper it's $1,300, so I'm saving $200 USD on the tallest hotel in Monterrey. So I want to be able to see the place from my hotel room, the entire country, let's go here and it's a great rate.

Benjamin Moses:          Monterrey is very beautiful.

Stephen LaMarca:         It looks beautiful, I can't wait to see it in person. Anyway, it says, okay, six days at this place a $1,300. I enter all my information, enter my personal card information, because I want those sweet, sweet points, and double check everything, and I click book now. I swear to you, as soon as I click book now, it fades out the screen, you see the little spinny wheel, and then all of a sudden the number $1,300 octuple, it multiplies by eight, it just as nearly $27,000. And I'm like, "Oh my God." Thankfully you were nearby. And I'm like, "Ben, Ben, let me explain what just happened." I am dying inside, my bowels are about to release. And Ben's like, "Make sure it didn't just transfer it to pesos." And I check it, I'm like, "Okay, it's not in dollars anymore, it just went to pesos."

Benjamin Moses:          It's the local economy though.

Stephen LaMarca:         And so crisis averted, I was like, "I just charged $27,000 to your personal credit card."

Benjamin Moses:          That's fun times. The joys of international travel man.

Stephen LaMarca:         And when I checked my credit card, when I logged onto the Chase app, the first notification that pops up, we just increased your limit.

Benjamin Moses:          That's exciting. Thanks Chase. So, Steve, IMTS, I think the best way to talk about IMTS, is give them the user experience. So I think getting to McCormick place, and then walking through the show, I think that's the flow we should talk about episode today. So how would you get to the show? You got new people, we got experienced people.

Stephen LaMarca:         So let's say you're staying in Chicago, you've already had all of the food that we've talked about. That was Sunday night, it's Monday morning, first day of the show. You get a taxi, Uber, Lyft, we'll get into the shuttle later, let's say you just either walk or take taxi, Uber, Lyft to the front door McCormick place. You walk through the doors, those front doors, you see the fountains on your right, at least in the past years, just to the right is the check-in desks, and kiosks, and booths, whatever term you want to use. And then to the left is the big wide staircases going up to the main hall.

And then back over to your right where you check in, to the right even more is another smaller staircase, that leads up to the west building. But it's your first time, you just checked in, you're back in front of the fountains, you walk up the big stairs and you see the main stage. You see main hall, all the banners that Jacob designed.

Benjamin Moses:          And that's experience to take in, because this is massive. And you mentioned, if your first time you could definitely travel however you want, but the hotels that are booked through the IMTS website, also has recommendations for shuttle. So most of the hotels that you're going to stay at through the site, they'll have a shuttle service and they'll round about a large-

Stephen LaMarca:         It's big charter buses.

Benjamin Moses:          Fantastic ride, easy get in and out. They run in the mornings and of course they're like-

Stephen LaMarca:         There going to be on a ride with a bunch of like-minded individuals. Well, how often do the shuttles run every 15 minutes?

Benjamin Moses:          Something like that. Yeah. Every half hour... So I think they do have different drop off locations, but they usually take the one that drops you off at south hall. And that'll take you to slightly just right of the main entrance, that Steve mentioned. So it's roughly the same location, as soon as you come out of the shuttles, you'll head left a little bit. Just follow the crowd, that's a big theme in IMTS sometimes, is just follow the crowd, follow the crowd-

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes. Follow the crowd, there are big signs. Yes, it's easy to get lost, but it is so easy to be found again.

Benjamin Moses:          Right. So just follow the crowd left, they'll have attendance directing also, make sure you don't head right, which you can whatever. And then you'll get to the same location at the same massive entrance, and you're glorified with the stairs, the check-in of course, and stairs leading up to the main concourse that separates north and south.

Stephen LaMarca:         Dude, now I know what you were saying, before we started recording. So the shuttles will either drop you off at the edge of south hall. The shuttles will have signs on them, shuttles will also drop you off at east hall too.

Benjamin Moses:          Right. So instead of having to walk on the-

Stephen LaMarca:         I recommend if it's your first time, make sure you take the south hall shuttles.

Benjamin Moses:          Agreed.

Stephen LaMarca:         It'll be easier to find your way around.

Benjamin Moses:          Yes. It'll get you a good frame of reference.

Stephen LaMarca:         I mean, unless you work for hexagon or something like that, it's your first time and you need to be at your hall and booth right away. Then you want to take east, but we can get into that later, that's that's for the next episode.

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly. Next episode. So you walk up the stairs and you see the main stage, we're going to have a lot of great content on the stage, and there's a north and south hall. So you have the halls.

Stephen LaMarca:         Left and right.

Benjamin Moses:          Correct. So when you enter south hall will be on your right. And within each hall they have pavilions, so basic groupings of technology. Now they are some technologies that are spread out, because they all have some companies that have multiple type of technologies.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right, right.

Benjamin Moses:          But in the south it's mainly metal removal that [inaudible 00:21:29].

Stephen LaMarca:         Metal removal, the heart and soul, the bread and butter of the manufacturing industry, into the south hall.

Benjamin Moses:          You'll see Mills, Lathes, Swiss turns, all kinds of cutting machinery, it's fantastic. And that's why actually we spend a lot of our time introducing our staff to. So that's probably one of the first parts we'll go to, is when someone mentions manufacturing, they're going to talk about-

Stephen LaMarca:         You will see everything in the south hall from your Bridgeport and email, to all the way up to the latest and greatest multi-axis, multi spindle, multi-tasking closed loop manufacturing cell, excuse me, machine, that would go with great in a cell.

Benjamin Moses:          And the key thing, and is valuable because you mentioned it is the heart of the industry. There's core value in equipment that's shown there, but there are significant advances in the technologies, right? So we're not just talking about equipment that's been around for 30 years, every year we're seeing new technology either incremental changes on the machine, or new technology being added to the machine. So some of the greatest improvements are, human to machine interfaces. So just-

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh, yeah. Dude.

Benjamin Moses:          New controllers on machines and how they interact with the machine. I mean, we're seeing significant changes in precision and accuracy also. So just I'll call it off the shelf we access, mill is significantly different, easier to use and probably more accurate than machine has 10, 15 years old.

Stephen LaMarca:         Honestly. How crazy is it, that in 50 years we've gone from knobs and wheels, to straight up industrial grade 32 inch iPads.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. Just touch screens. That's a nice part about it, the interface is so flexible. So the operator can see what they're most interested in seeing on their dashboard that they can customize. So HMI's are very good.

Stephen LaMarca:         They'll never get rid of the E-stop button though, that is something I can safely report and be very positive about.

Benjamin Moses:          A 100% agree.

Stephen LaMarca:         E-stop isn't going anywhere, Pocket NC, the earlier Pocket NC 5-Axis desktop machine tools, we've got two of them. The first one that we had didn't technically have an E-stop, it had a big yellow button, that was a pause button, but it wasn't an E-stop. The new ones have an E-stop, so they tried to get away from it, maybe kind of, sort of, but it's back, E-stops are back, they're here to stay, they're not going anywhere, everybody calm down.

Benjamin Moses:          The other thing we've seen a lot is automation, and that's one thing that've heard a lot of feedback on. There's no automation prevailing, that's partially true, but automation is so prevalent. Automation by itself is we're seeing it attached to other devices, or being shown as in place. So there isn't automation billing, you're seeing a lot more in place.

Stephen LaMarca:         Our automation is one of those foundational technologies. It's like as a newcomer or anybody who's just looking to get in, maybe you're not necessarily an IMTS newcomer, but now you're finally interested in a robot. That would be like, not to be off putting, but there's no automation pavilion or specific building that has all of the automation in it. Because that would be going to IMTS, where can I find materials Materials is going to be everywhere.

Every single pavilion, every single building is interested in the latest materials or the traditional materials, that goes into the manufacturing industry, automation's the same way. Now I will say, while you'll be able to find robots, robot arms automation, literally everywhere in the show. The biggest automation dedicated booths are probably going to be in the north hall.

Benjamin Moses:          Maybe, a little of that.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's fair, maybe.

Benjamin Moses:          Maybe, go find for yourself.

Stephen LaMarca:         The last time I do that, this is all data from IMTS 2018, it could be different this year.

Benjamin Moses:          North and south, I think will have probably the highest prevalence, right? And the last section we see in or trend in metal removal, is in machine measurement or metrology. So the reason I break it up is seeing obviously that tool probes, so being able to measure the tools in machine or know the endpoint. And also metrology, so being able to measure parts in situ or in machine, and that's a huge trend.

Stephen LaMarca:         Now metrology in general is going to be in the east building. But in machine metrology, and to see how far integrated metrology systems are, in metal removal machines, it's all going to be in south hall.

Benjamin Moses:          That's right. So as you're walking around south hall, and you're ready to transition back to north, you're going to cross the main concourse. And the first thing you're going to be hit with, as you get into the north section, is the ETC, Emerging Technology Center.

Stephen LaMarca:         Advanced manufacturing in space.

Benjamin Moses:          There's a lot of themes going to carry out throughout IMTS related to space. And that's interesting because to be honest, 10 years ago, space it's a high dollar market, but such low volume. There's not many people launching stuff, there's not many manufacturers for space. And over the past couple years, we have new manufacturers for rocket engines. You have new launch vehicles, you have new companies that are trying to get to space, you have new companies producing micro satellites.

Stephen LaMarca:         You have commercial flight tickets to get to space.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         To some degree.

Benjamin Moses:          To some degree. So the ETC is going to highlight a bunch of things about the emergence of manufacturing for space. So you can walk through one section of a life size 3D printed lunar habitat, learn about software use of design, and print the habitat. And see a live additive cell printing and milling a prototype lunar habitat door. So there's a lot going on at ETC, and really the cool thing about ETC is shows the inspiration of the future, and all the adjacent technology related to producing that new cool piece of equipment.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. Printing my house on the moon. Wish I could get somebody print me a house in Virginia.

Benjamin Moses:          Soon. If you can afford a house, I mean, [inaudible 00:27:50]-

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. Get to the land first.

Benjamin Moses:          And then as you pass through, there's a couple pavilions in north that definitely want to hit on, one is the abrasive machining, sawing, and finishing. There's a lot of trends, got a couple articles here that talk about some of the pavilions, grinding is a value add in the industry, and is definitely underrated. So when you talk about grinding, so you can talk about surface finish and or material form. So when you talk about-

Stephen LaMarca:         [inaudible 00:28:22] clapping.

Benjamin Moses:          ... when you're talking about close tolerance pieces or parts that require high surface finish, you're probably going to in to get into some specialized finishing.

Stephen LaMarca:         You're going to find gear generation in the north building.

Benjamin Moses:          Yup. We'll get in that. That's a different pavilion, definitely get into that a little bit. But the abrasive sections, they're pushing tolerances further. And you can definitely find some new shifts in that type of equipment also. So grinding equipment, they're seeing a simple operation, similar to the metal removal where they're talking about different types of HMIs, so it's easier to use. And maintenance, abrasives aren't easy to maintain, let's be honest, there's a lot of swarf, a lot of small chips, right? So it's a different type of maintenance that's required. And also big shifts for connected systems and automation, so being able to pull data from the equipment, and being able to automate material loading, material handling. And similar trends are in the metal removal, where you're seeing that embedded into the equipment.

                                    So definitely some similar trends in the abrasive section, as with the metal removal pavilion. Before we get to gears, definitely want to hit on fabricating and lasers in the north, and water jets.

Stephen LaMarca:         Water jet cutting. All of the manufacturing at AMT, IMTS all of the greenies, people knew the industry, people knew to AMT or IMTS, they all love the water jet booths.

Benjamin Moses:          Absolutely. It's new.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's like a swimming pool hot tub thing, that with machine parts coming out of it, when you go up do it and you see what they're doing and it splashes you, and it's just fun. And the people are really nice they come up to you and they hand you parts, and they're like, "This is made out of titanium." And you're like, "Oh my God, this is cool."

Benjamin Moses:          It is fantastic to see. It's a new best place to go on your first time, it's fun. Let's see, this is the last section in north. The last one I want to get to in north is the gear generation pavilion, and this is cool because they're definitely pushing the envelope similar to the abrasive and metal removal. So the big trend that they're seeing, and the reason why they're pushing the market so much more is, there's a big push for quieter gears, particularly driven from the EV market where there's barely any sound. So if you hear a gear whine, which to be honest I do like a gear whine.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. I do too. There's barely any sound, but let's not forget that consumer products, they want the gears to be quieter. But we're in this beautiful time, where engines both EV and gas engines are so ridiculously powerful, and make so much output that these gears need to be able to put up with a lot. So they need to be quiet and they need to be strong.

Benjamin Moses:          Yup. And obviously gearing has change with the EV with the motors now. So having the gears take different loads, higher loads, it's definitely significant difference. And so you'll see a lot of trends, one is getting to mirror like finishes to help reduce wear and vibration, as a bunch of companies addressing that. Also, closed-loop gear manufacturing, so being able to produce and measure on the flash, so you closed-loop gear manufacturing, that is a significant shift for the industry, so that's fantastic to see.

Stephen LaMarca:         And you to get things really confusing. Sorry, you will see some of that in south.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh, yeah. Absolutely. That's fair. And of course, we've been talking about the consumer market for cars and vehicles, but also aerospace is definitely shifting to different gears. I don't know, I think, you're seeing a lot more applications on helicopters and on aircraft. So the entire market for years is definitely shifting, and I think they're all trying to achieve the same thing. Where they're definitely a lot more horsepower output that the gears have to handle, and they're looking for better efficiency and quieter emissions.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's really not fair, how little publicity jet engines have got. The development of jet engines have got over the past decade or so. They've come really far, it's so tough to describe because they've somehow made them more modular, yet also more integrated. By that, I mean, they're easier to work on, yet there are less moving parts, and there's more... I would need somebody from aerospace explained. But the way what I've seen is wild.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. And their constant drive for higher efficiency and lower emissions, every year they're trying to drop their CO2 emissions and use less gas, or use different types of gas. Now I don't think we'll see EV planes anytime soon, at least with large size. I could definitely see... Tim and I were talking about-

Stephen LaMarca:         I don't think we're going to see that anytime.

Benjamin Moses:          ... trends in maybe small business yet, like four person. Because the thought-

Stephen LaMarca:         I get that's still terrifying.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. I mean, it's brand new. So there's a lot of shifts in the industry headed that way. Now, there's definitely a lot more upstairs, but there's a highlight that we want to talk about downstairs. Dude, why don't you intro me into the next section.

Stephen LaMarca:         So let me paint a little picture first. In some previous IMTS shows, that I've been to 2016 and 2018, some of the exhibitors and show attendees have remarked on, where are these children coming from? What are these children doing in the main show at IMTS? Some of these remarks may have been a little negative, but it's a fair question. And this year, the answer to that question is they all came from the student summit. They're going in and out of the student summit, they just got lunch and haven't made their way back to the student summit yet, and have wandered into the other halls. But they're going in and out of the student summit, and the student summit is basically IMTS junior.

I don't mean that junior and like a... I mean, a young pre industry kind of way, education based IMTS. And for college students through, is it K-12 to college? It's something like that. And there's so much... It's always been really cool, the student summit has always been sick, it's always been like a children's museum for manufacturing. That's actually a bad way to put it, because it's more than just children, it's also adults who are trying to get into the industry professionally. But there's been, this year we're seeing so much cool stuff, and one that I'm really can't wait to see Boston Dynamics. I don't think Boston Dynamics would be at IMTS, if it wasn't for the student summit.

Benjamin Moses:          That's fair.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's a bold statement but I'm going to stand by it.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah, definitely. So let me recap a couple of key elements for the student summit, right? So it is about education and exposing manufacturing to a large younger crowd. So does collegiate?

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          And a couple of things, right? Making learning fun and practical for students of all ages, introduce students to manufacturing and industry 4.0 or data driven manufacturing. And connecting college a students to job and intern opportunities, and also delivering education opportunities for teachers. So looking at the full ecosystem of the education system for manufacturing.

Stephen LaMarca:         I just had all of those earlier remarks, because I think this year's going to be a total like, 180 degree turnaround. The student summit's going to have a tough time keeping the rest of the show out of it.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. Definitely. And we could definitely hit on that a little bit more because-

Stephen LaMarca:         Not that we don't want, we want at the rest of the show to come visit the student summit. But I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of traffic down there.

Benjamin Moses:          And that's why we want to bring it up in the episode today. Because the content, the student summit is obviously geared towards that age group. But also as a visitor, being able to see the type of equipment that they have down there, and the new stuff that's probably not going to be upstairs. There's some connection between some of the companies downstairs and the student summit, and their main spot in the pavilions. But there's a lot of new technology that they're advancing. So Boston Dynamics is going to be there, Hossin Autodesk, they have a microfactory. So they're demoing from art to part, the process include part modeling, programming, machining, and automation, and how each steps integrates from the entire development cycle, and then they have a VR. So ABB's got a section with SME, MIT, transfr VR, and there's a lot going on there.

Stephen LaMarca:         I mean, if you want to be filled in on what's going on with AR and VR in the industry, you're going to find that answer at the students summit.

Benjamin Moses:          Absolutely. And back to robotics, so Boston Dynamics is bringing Spot, also FANUC Universal.

Stephen LaMarca:         I can't wait to see Spot.

Benjamin Moses:          So there's entire section on automation. And connecting back to the ETC and probably the other trends in the other pavilion, NASA's going to be down there, so they'll have a model of the space launch system, and the Orion Spacecraft, which will be used to put the first woman, and first person of color on the lunar surface. So there's a lot of new stuff going on.

Stephen LaMarca:         There's going to be another big organization exhibiting at the Smartforce Student Summit.

Benjamin Moses:          Tell me.

Stephen LaMarca:         My favorite places in the industry, the American Precision Museum.

Benjamin Moses:          Fantastic.

Stephen LaMarca:         I hinted on it earlier, saying that it's like a museum down there, there's literally going to be a museum there.

Benjamin Moses:          So it is interesting to see a lot of the collaboration, and I think that's valuable for the industry to see is one, some of the cutting edge stuff that's being brought up. And I think a lot of companies are struggling to develop their own workforce. So getting inspiration on what tools and what capabilities are available at the student summit, that either they can bring in or they can partner with some of these companies to say, "If you have a large workforce, how do we continue pushing the envelope? How do we continue developing that workforce for the future, and the growth of that company?" So there's a lot of good inspiration there. And to be honest, I mean, there's a lot of job opportunities that are also displayed there too. So definitely very value add to just stop by the student summit and take a look around.

Stephen LaMarca:         And 100% agree. And there's not a lot of news coming out right now about, what's going on with the latest cutting tool companies, or companies in the manufacturing industry right now. But because of this episode and why we're going over everything, right now is the time where everybody's getting super secretive. Because all of this stuff is about to debut at IMTS, so we're not going to see... These episodes aren't going to have the most actual news, because the news is going to happen at IMTS, you're going to see it in person.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah, absolutely. And you used the term heartbeat at industry for metal removal.

Stephen LaMarca:         Pet.

Benjamin Moses:          When I was talking to Peter and Tim, and trying to... For someone that's not familiar with the manufacturing industry or someone not familiar with the IMTS, how do you describe that to him? So I actually described IMTS itself as a heartbeat of the manufacturing industry. We have a big pulse going on right now, and there's a lot of anticipation building up to your point, that a lot of companies are going to be releasing new technologies at IMTS. So the best place to see the reveals, and see how this piece of machinery can interact with other equipment, that is the best place to have these conversations. And understanding where your company sits in terms of the technology landscape. So I'm really excited, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:         I can't wait, dude.

Benjamin Moses:          I'm going to gain five pounds eating at Chicago, [inaudible 00:40:17].

Stephen LaMarca:         I don't even want to talk about that.

Benjamin Moses:          I got to figure out my workout routine that week.

Stephen LaMarca:         I would love to be able to just fit into some of my suits before the show, forget about after.

Benjamin Moses:          We need to find an onsite tailor there.

Stephen LaMarca:         I should have taken the stairs today.

Benjamin Moses:          We'll be there the whole week. So if you guys find us at IMTS, we're going to be broadcasting at a couple different locations on Saturday. We'll be on the main stage doing our podcast.

Stephen LaMarca:         Hashtag find us, hashtag find me.

Benjamin Moses:          It's going to be exciting. Steve, besides at IMTS, where else can they find more info about us.

Stephen LaMarca:         amtonline.org/resources and imts.com.

Benjamin Moses:          Awesome. Want to thank today sponsor AM radio. And bye everyone.

Stephen LaMarca:         Stephanie, I'm sorry.

Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
Recent technology News
Episode 106: Elissa fills us in on NASA’s robo bees and upcoming travel. Ben says NASA’s testing 3D printed rocket nozzles made out of aluminium. Steve was recently quoted as a professional. Elissa closes with Amazon’s new robot workers.
Episode 105: The Tech Frends kicks things off with a discussion on design for maintenance! Steve also announces that robot tooling is en route to the testbed cobot. Elissa shares how AI is used to decipher ancient texts. Benjamin closes with generative AI.
Episode 104: Steve kicks things off with a debriefing of MTForcast. Elissa shares about 3D-printed organs. Stephen gets excited over robot vision for QA/QC in the automotive industry. Benjamin closes with the latest innovations in metal manufacturing!
Episode 103: Steve starts with some corrections and clarifications from the previous episode, announces the testbed has a new cobot, and the LEGO is continuing their efforts for oil-free bricks.
Episode 102: Ben and Steve share stories and takeaways from recent travel, including Oak Ridge National Lab, FABTECH, and the Outer Banks. Benjamin shares NVIDIA’s take on the impact of generative AI in robotics ...
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