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Posted by: Derek Korn 30. April 2015

TIMTOS Turns 25

This You-Ji VTL spotted at TIMTOS (available in the U.S. from Absolute Machine Tools) combines a vertical ram with a horizontal ram that can reach past wide diameters to turn difficult-to-access surfaces.

TIMTOS, Taiwan’s Taipei International Machine Tool Show, held its 25th edition in March. It is currently the world’s fifth-largest machine tool show.

The first TIMTOS I attended was in 2011, and this year marked my third trip to see the show. One thing I appreciate is that for each show, the president of Taiwan, Dr. Ying-Jeou Ma, has attended the opening ceremony and toured the show floor, recognizing the important role that manufacturing plays in Taiwan’s economy.

I have noticed that the level of domestic machining technology at TIMTOS has increased over the years coinciding with a larger presence of automated demonstrations. This slideshow includes images and information about these and other new machining technology I spotted at this year’s show.


Posted by: Mark Albert 29. April 2015

MTConnect Conference Opens with Focus on the Industrial Internet of Things

Bryce Barnes, Cisco's Senior Manager of Machine and Robot Segment, gave the keynote address to kick off the [MC]2 Conference at Chicago's McCormick Place conference center. The [MC]2 Conference is an annual event dedicated to MTConnect, the open-source interoperability standard for manufacturing equipment. The theme of this year's conference  (April 28-30, 2015) is transforming a business with data-driven manufacturing and the industrial Internet of Things.

In his introduction, Barnes cited this definition of the Internet of Things: it is the intelligent connectivity of smart devices by which objects can sense one another and communicate, thus changing how, where and by whom decisions about our physical world are made. He noted that MTConnect is an enabling technology for the Internet of Things in manufacturing.

Specifically, Barnes outlined the main principles that give the emerging industrial Internet of Things the power to "connect the unconnected" in the factory environment. He explained that this universal industrial network will be open, secure and extensible.

It will be built around open software architecture, open protocols and open data models. Proprietary elements will not be allowed to create barriers for users or developers of applications operating in the Internet of Things.

It will be layered, context-driven and identity-based. This structure will minimize risks to data that is transmitted, stored and analyzed, largely by cloud-based applications.

It will provide pathways by which systems, hardware, data, software and protocols can grow and be renewed.

Barnes predicted that sensors will continue to proliferate on and in factory machines so that operators can take actions to keep production equipment running.

For more information about the conference go to mc2conference.com.


Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 28. April 2015

Workholding That’s on Point

Did you or one of your kids ever play with one of those pin impression boards? The idea was that you could press any object—a smaller toy or a hand, for instance—gently into the pins on the back of the board and see a crude relief image on the other side.

A clamping element from Euro-Tech called “The Jaw” (pictured above) works in a very similar fashion. The product has a number of hydraulic pins on each side that quickly conform to the shape of any part placed between them. Internal clamping sleeves lock the pins in place, and the company says that the form fit reduces required clamping force. The adaptable system can be used as jaws for vises, as supports, and in combination with robot grippers and other custom solutions.


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 27. April 2015

Video: 3D Sand Printing at Hoosier Pattern

Hoosier Pattern produced this video illustrating its use of 3D printing in sand to make cores and other mold components for casting.

Having this video is helpful to show customers, because—as we described in this article—the sand printing capability allows Hoosier to take a radical approach to casting. Instead of making the pattern and core box, the pattern shop can now skip this step altogether by printing the core and other mold components directly in sand. Design freedoms become easy to achieve that were never possible or practical before. Car maker Ford is making its own use of the same technology.

Also seen in this video (starting at around 0:35) are the statuettes used as spacers within the 3D nesting of printed components.


Posted by: Russ Willcutt 24. April 2015

FANUC Open House 2015

The CR-35iA collaborative robot on display during FANUC's open house has a soft green cover to protect human coworkers in case of a collision. Click the image for a slideshow from the event.

During the second week of April—and with snowcapped Mt. Fuji looming in the near distance—FANUC opened the doors of its corporate campus in Oshino, Japan, to customers, integrators, collaborative partners and select members of the trade press. As a showcase for its new equipment and technologies, FANUC’s Open House 2015 also included tours of its milling, robot, servomotor and repair factories.

The star of the show was the CR-35iA collaborative robot, which made its debut at IMTS 2014 as a prototype. Scheduled to be available to the North American market starting this summer, the distinctive green robot eliminates the need for guarding around in its workspace by automatically stopping when it touches, or is touched by, a human operator. The robot is covered with a soft surface to prevent injuries, and the green color is meant to signal approachability. Working in cooperation with its operator, the CR-35iA is ideal for assembly and heavy parts transfer.

Additional launches included the M-2000iA/1700L (long arm) and 2300 super-heavy payload robots; Zero Down Time (ZDT) preventive and diagnostic technology for scheduling maintenance and avoiding shutdowns; new RoboDrill, RoboShot, RoboCut and RoboNano models; and the 30i-B series CNC with a newly designed human machine interface (HMI). Go here for a slideshow of these and additional FANUC technologies, and be looking for a post focusing on my conversation with Rick Schneider, president and CEO of FANUC America, on the company’s academic outreach efforts—including a new CNC simulator for classroom training purposes—in the coming weeks.


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