While it may not have occupied as many physical buildings at the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts as it has in years past, Eastec 2013 was anything but a disappointment.
The show floor was packed Tuesday afternoon. Building 3 housed automation, quality & process improvement exhibitors.
Mitsubishi’s MV series wire EDM features cylindrical drive motors. The round permanent magnetic filled shaft and surrounding forcer unit contain the electromagnetic coil that, when energized, pulls itself across the shaft. The EDM also features an automatic rethreader that anneals and straightens nearly 14 inches of electrode wire to cut thicker workpieces.
At GF AgieCharmille’s booth, I spoke with Ken Baeszler, Market Segment Manager – Aerospace. He said he was seeing an uptick in die sink EDM in the aerospace and medical industries. He also noted that machine design was changing to satisfy more production-oriented atmospheres. For example, companies are looking for smaller-footprint machines to save floorspace. GF AgieCharmilles offers a range of die sink machines with IQ technology. This technology is designed to save electrode wear and enable faster cutting.
Tru-Tech’s dual-grit peel is designed specifically for the Revolution grinding machine. Half of the wheel features a rougher grit and the other half provides more of a "polished" finish. The Revolution is well-suited to accommodate small, precise parts such as those in the medical industry. The tool acts as its own steady rest.
Stopping by Belmont’s booth, I learned that about 80 percent of the machines they make are customized, while the other 20 percent are “out of the box.” Belmont offers EDM drilling machines with brass or copper tube electrodes that use water rather than oil as a flushing agent and dielectric. According to President Bob Lanitelli, this technology was originally designed for start holes and is now widely accepted in the aerospace industry.
Rego-Fix had a variety of toolholders on display, including the powRgrip 6 (PG6), which is designed for accessing tight, difficult-to-reach features in small, complex parts. It is designed for applications in the medical and dental industries. The PG6 features a 0.4-inch OD and a clamping diameter ranging from 0.008 to 0.125 inch.
Exsys’ Preci-Flex is a modular tooling system that features a single base holder and multiple tooling adapters that utilize the ER collet pocket. Each adapter has the same taper as the collet so users can leave the toolholder in the turret, decreasing setup time. Using the adapter also helps stay on center.
The latest version of Omax's Intelli-Max software delivers increased compatibility with more than two dozen third-party CAM systems for a wide variety of operations, including 3D part processing. The software supports as many as six axes of coordinated motion: X, Y and Z-axis linear; two tilt; and one rotary. The company also offers Intelli-Visor system monitoring, which sends general maintenance alerts.
Greenleaf’s Ring Max II ring groove cutters are designed to provide increased accuracy and repeatability from groove to groove in the oil and gas industry. The tooling is engineered to finish machine API ring grooves in less than 1 minute of cut time. The two-piece modular system is available in many head and shank configurations.
The concentrated crowd at Eastec often made it difficult to visit inspection, tooling and workholding exhibitors during the May 14-16 show. From what I saw and overheard, many exhibitors were pleased with the turnout. The show was also a success from a visitor standpoint. Here is a small sampling of technology that caught my eye during the show.