Peter Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications (left) and Sun Xitian, Chairman of CCPIT Machinery made a formal announcement at IMTS yesterday that CCIPT Machinery will be the exclusive IMTS sales agent in China.
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology has appointed the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Machinery Sub-Council as the exclusive sales agent of IMTS to Chinese companies beginning on October 14, 2015, for IMTS 2016.
CCPIT Machinery is a trade body of the Chinese government founded in 1988, which promotes China’s foreign trade and international economic and commercial business interests between China and other countries around the world.
The arrangement will consolidate the displays from Chinese companies into one area at IMTS and create one point of contact for them, simplifying the trade show process.
“CCPIT Machinery has been a strong supporter of IMTS for many years. They have the experience and understanding to help Chinese companies produce first-class exhibits,” said Peter Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications at AMT at yesterday’s formal press conference. “Our exhibitors from China for the 2016 show will receive a special benefit. An IMTS Exhibitor Workshop will be held in China in early 2016, which will be the first time Chinese exhibiting companies will receive that level of support.”
“We are extremely pleased to be named the official partner of IMTS. As one of the most prestigious shows in the world, we are dedicated to providing our Chinese companies with an outstanding opportunity to bring their products to the global market,” said Sun Xitian, Chairman of CCPIT Machinery.
PCD veined drill, for composites drilling. (Source: Precorp)
This is IMTS week in Chicago, and North America's largest machine tool show does a great job catering to the diverse and demanding requirements of metals cutting, drilling, reaming and other operations, and if the crowds on the show floor are a reliable indicator, we are in the midst of a burgeoning manufacturing economy.
However, if your job is to trim, router or drill composite structures, then the products required for those processes are here. They are not here in the volume of metal cutting, but they are here and well worth searching out. Composite parts — by definition non-homogenous — behave very differently when cut or drilled by a machine tool, splintering and powdering in the process. At the same time, machining composites comes with its own set of risks, with delamination topping the list.
Because of this, composites require machine tools specially designed for the work, and this is where the IMTS challenge comes in. The fact is that "composites" to many machine tool manufacturers is a foreign word — representing an exotic, small, odd corner of the materials and manufacturing community. However, a little digging through the aisles reveals some big and small machine tool suppliers who've made a name for themselves in the composites machine tool market, including Sandvik Coromant, Precorp (now a part of Sandvik Coromant), AMAMCO, LMT Onsrud, Seco, SGS, Niagara Cutter and others. As a result of work done by suppliers like these, the industry has seen dramatic increases in tool life, cutting quality and industry machining expertise over the last several years. Even CNC software specialist CGTech has gotten in on the act with the development of a product designed to simulate composites machining and drilling.
The biggest consumer of technology for composites machining is the aerospace market, which buys millions of dollars’ worth of machine tools annually to machine and drill composite fuselage, wing, tail and other structures — primarily for the attachment of fasteners. In this vein, the next big program on the radar is the Boeing 777X, which is being redesigned to include some of the largest carbon fiber composite wings made today. Some of the machine tool suppliers mentioned above are working hard right now to be selected to supply product for 777X wing manufacture — a program that promises to years of potentially lucrative work for the lucky winner(s).
Of course, plane makers like Boeing and Airbus would like few things more than to rid themselves (mostly, if not completely) of fasteners, and composites bonding and co-curing technology is maturing such that this might be reality in the next five to 10 years. In the meantime, however, we are stuck with the necessary evil of cutting and drilling valuable composite structures, and IMTS is a great place to find the best technology options to get it done.
A panel of industry experts in the Kennametal booth encouraged attendees to reimagine the future of digital manufacturing.
Earlier in the week, Kennametal presented in its booth (W-1522) an industry panel discussion about the future of manufacturing. Leading the presentation was Jim Carroll, author, who introduced the other panel members and initiated discussions about the importance of staying current on the latest industry trends and applications to keep pace with the accelerating movement of integrated digital manufacturing.
Other panel members included Dan Frayssinet, president of DP Technology, Alexander Zoller, president of Zoller, Andreas Haimer, president of the Haimer Group, John Reed, marketing manager of CGTech, and Pete Dragich, vice president, integrated supply and logistics, Kennametal. The group touched on some very significant points regarding the Internet’s effect on global manufacturing and the ability to facilitate the sharing of data. Most importantly, shops need to continue to work smarter and faster as products reach obsolescence much more quickly than before. Although the often noted skills crisis is reason for concern, the increasing use of digital manufacturing seems to be the key to reinventing the industry in such a way to spark more interest among young people.
Finally, the panel encouraged attendees to think hard about their future. Companies need a solid understanding of the direction they’re heading in the next two years and the next five years. Such planning can help in a step by step approach to growth, as these increments are more manageable. In 10 years, however, the world of manufacturing will be completely different, and it’s near impossible to predict what the requirements will be at that time.
Nothing beats a wild, live cutting demo on the show floor. Iscar delivers in Booth W-1800, with two extreme attention-getting part-off operations.
Iscar released its Do-Grip part-off system in 1993 featuring a proprietary twisted design. The company says the Do-Grip was the first to enable a depth of cut deeper than the length of the insert. At IMTS 1994, Iscar demonstrated the system’s performance under extreme conditions by chucking a railroad rail in a lathe and parting off slices of it throughout the show. The rail material is challenging to cut because it work hardens, the interruption is severe and the workpiece cross-sectional area varies, creating difficult cutting conditions that would cause most tools to fail. The Do-Grip tooling showed little sign of wear or damage.
Iscar revisits this live demo at this year’s show, using its latest Tang-Grip part-off system, a single-sided insert with pocketing technology to improve insert security and tool rigidity. In addition to the rail demo, this system also performs another challenging part-off demo using a sledgehammer head as the workpiece. Like the rail, the sledgehammer head material work hardens and the cut is interrupted.
Hourly demos are viewable on the LED monitors in Iscar’s booth in the West Hall. See—and hear—these impressive part-off operations for yourself.
Two major industry players are promising big gains in addressing an increasingly important concern for modern manufacturers’: integration between disparate equipment and software packages. FANUC Corporation and Rockwell Automation are demonstrating benefits of their new collaboration in Booths S-8919 (FANUC) and E-4979 (Rockwell Automation).
The new initiative traces its roots to the two companies’ initial collaboration four years ago, when they came together to improve interoperability between CNCs and Logix programmable automation controllers (Logix PACs). To provide even more seamless and integrated manufacturing solutions, they’ve expanded that collaboration to include robotics, Robomachines and enterprise software products.
According to the companies, benefits include simplified architectures, faster startups, improved synchronization between platforms, reduced maintenance, improved productivity and transparent data access. To showcase these benefits, demonstrations at the companies’ respective booths include:
A fully integrated automotive machining cell consisting of FANUC CNC Robodrill VMCs with robotic loading and unloading integrated with a Rockwell Automation Logix PAC, located in the FANUC booth.
An interactive demonstration (in the FANUC booth) in which attendees can use a Rockwell Automation industrial computer to operate a FANUC robot.
A fenceless FANUC robot cell using Rockwell Automation safety sensors, in the FANUC booth.
Live monitoring of machine data from multiple sources through both traditional HMI and commercial mobile devices, located in the FANUC booth.
Independent control of multiple pallets in a component assembly system demo in the Rockwell Automation booth.