McLean, Va. (February 21, 2022) – Manufacturers and job shops are continuously under pressure to produce better parts faster, and exhibitors in the Metal Removal Pavilion at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show have responded to these needs.
Demonstrations at IMTS 2022, which runs from Sept. 12-17 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will especially focus on “one-and-done” setups. Multi-tasking machines combine cutting with turning, milling, drilling, tapping, deep-hole boring, hobbing, skiving, broaching, grinding, and surface preparation. Hybrid multi-tasking machines add laser, friction stir welding, additive, and hot wire welding. By performing more work in a single clamping, these machines cut setup time, eliminate the risk of losing zero time when parts move between workstations, and free operators to perform other tasks.
Exhibitors will also demonstrate how to automate every aspect of raw material, part, tool, and fixture handling within and between work cells, with shuttle tables, robots, cobots, and automatic guided vehicles. New control systems and associated software on display will offer advanced programming capabilities that function with greater simplicity, helping shops cut parts right the first time while eliminating trial-and-error programming.
“IMTS 2022 embodies the multi-tasking concept, as there is no more efficient way to learn about multiple new technologies than a visit to McCormick Place,” says Peter R. Eelman, chief experience officer at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS. “Exhibitors in the Metal Removal Pavilion at IMTS 2022 are coming with new machines, technologies, and strategies for making parts more efficient and more accurate.”
Keep the Spindles Turning
Gunther Schnitzer, president and chief technology officer, Hermle USA Inc., says that manufacturers have to assure production and keep spindles turning regardless of challenges.
“Demonstrations this year at IMTS will focus on CNC systems with integrated automation or automation-ready machines that enable fewer people to produce more parts,” says Schnitzer. “You’ll see combined systems that can handle fixtures as well as raw materials. Rather than having a fixture on every single pallet, the system has a robot with an NC gripper and NC workholding vice that can adjust based on work piece size or the raw material. This lowers cost while increasing flexibility.”
“Small shops are gravitating to their first multi-tasking CNCs and robots to increase productivity, reduce the number of setups, reduce the programming time, and eliminate redundant operations,” says Greg Papke, vice president of sales and marketing – Advantec division at Mazak North America.
Papke also cites advances with “smart spindle” technologies. Using artificial intelligence, these controllers can automatically fine-tune servo parameters for roughing and finishing operations, as well as sense vibration and adjust feeds and speeds to reduce chatter.
Parts in the Bin
Exhibitors in the Metal Removal Pavilion will also demonstrate how to use data analysis capabilities to identify root causes of unproductive time, then offer machine, programming, and application engineering advice to improve spindle utilization rates.
“At the end of the day, the metric that matters most is the number of good parts in the bin,” says Mike Huggett, director of sales for INDEX North America. “Achieving that correlates to having multiple tools in the cut at all times, doing as much work as possible in a single setup, and reducing changeover time through offline programming.”
For example, with a CNC multispindle machine, users can take a 14-minute part and make it in two minutes. By delivering an extreme reduction in overhead, shops can bring work back to the United States by being more efficient with employees, overhead, and throughput (learn more in this digital twin case study).
Connect and Grow
Manufacturers and job shops can’t continue to make chips the same way and remain competitive.
“Job shops that want to adapt, overcome, and improve need to come to IMTS and see the latest technology that the world has to offer,” says Huggett. “For me personally, I’m amazed at cutting tool developments, and I foresee explosive growth in automated loading and unloading.”
“People come to IMTS so they can create more value for their company, their people, and their customers,” says Eelman. “Visitors explore new processes not just through new equipment, but also through collaboration and problem-solving. The learning possibilities at IMTS 2022 are only limited by your imagination."
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IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show – The largest and longest-running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. IMTS 2022 will run Sept. 12-17. AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS, represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members – those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing.