With business conditions continuing to move forward (Mold Business Index), mold manufacturers are continuing to investigate and invest in new and better technology, for which last month’s Technology Review and Sourcing Guide provided supplier listings and product reviews to aide in the technology search,. However, this month’s issue takes it one step further by guiding you to a live event where you can see and hear from these technology suppliers and expose you to video content that illustrates some exciting technology being used in moldmaking (CT Scanning for Mold Inspection and Linear Five-Axis at Die Tech & Engineering).
The International Manufacturing Technology Show (owned and managed by AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology) is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago. It is made up of several technology pavilions: Abrasive Machining/Finishing, CAD/CAM, EDM, Machine Components, Tooling & Workholding Systems, Metalcutting, Automation, Quality Assurance, etc. An important and interesting highlight of IMTS is its Emerging Technology Center (ETC), which began in 2004 to educate on manufacturing innovations. At IMTS 2012, the ETC (Booth N-650, North Building) will feature four technologies: Collaborative Manufacturing, MTConnect Applications, MTInsight and Additive Manufacturing. It is the latter technology, which I want to bring to your attention because of MMT’s Additive Manufacturing Zone as well as this year’s MMT Additive Manufacturing Supplement.
Additive manufacturing involves building plastic or metal parts using equipment that constructs complex 3D objects layer by layer, and the supplement looks at production-oriented applications of additive processes—making molds, fixtures, functional prototypes and end-use production parts. The current edition of the AM Supplement includes an article on how to embrace both additive and subtractive manufacturing within your moldmaking operations, as reported by Vista Technologies LLC (VistaTek;
Vadnais Heights, MN). You can view this content online in our Additive Manufacturing Zone. One final push for IMTS is our IMTS Exhibitor Product Showcase and will continue next month. There is too much technology to spotlight in just one issue! Come see us at W-160.