It would be impossible to cover all of the key exhibitors at IMTS 2010—even if every booth got merely a quick glance. However, the editors of MMS did get glimpses of some interesting technologies exhibited at the show...
IMTS is about technology and industry connections, but showmanship is also an exciting part of the event. String musicians in Iscar’s booth performed for attendees throughout the show.
This HEC 630 X5 from StarragHeckert has an NC-controlled rotating and tilting unit that enables multi-sided machining of parts such as this crankcase. The rotating and tilting unit is said to enable machining of inclined surfaces and holes without axis interpolation by superimposing the B rotary axis and the A swivel axis.
To make the point that Accutex EDM’s SP300i wire machine has an extremely reliable automatic wire rethreading system, it was shown repeatedly rethreading a 0.010-inch-diameter wire in a 0.012-inch-diameter hole at each of the 10 steps on this test workpiece. The company says spark-to-spark time for rethreading is less than 10 seconds.
Anca’s TXcell combines the company’s TX7+ CNC tool grinding machine with a multifunctional load/unload robot to offer a complete tool manufacturing cell. Its robot loads and unloads blanks and finished tools and changes wheel packs in seconds. Plus, end mills can be loaded in place of grinding wheels, offering the possibility of light milling.
Kennametal introduced its “Beyond Blast” tooling. The milling and turning inserts feature channels delivering high-pressure coolant directly through the insert, right to the cut.
Mazak’s Orbitec machining center is designed to reduce setup time and speed throughput for manufacturers in the valve industry. It’s able to complete a variety of valve features, including the facing of flange surfaces, conical boring of taper holes, face milling and end milling in a single setup. Its facing head provides 20-inch-diameter turning capability, too.
Renishaw’s PH20 measuring head provides any size three-axis CMM with capability for continuous, five-axis motion. The idea is to minimize the movement of the CMM and to rely, instead, on the rotary motion of the head itself. Doing so eliminates the need to slow the machine down in order to ensure accuracy and avoid the dynamic errors that can occur when the weight of the probe is in motion.
Omax’s A-Jet cutting head tilts at angles selected by the user for accurate waterjet machining of beveled edges. A demonstration of the product at the company’s booth added another dimension—the addition of a terrain follower (the ring-like unit just beneath the nozzle), which prevents the head from impacting warped or stressed workpiece materials.
Thinking of the Siemens 828D CNC unit as the “entry-level” version of the company’s high-end 840D control seems about right. The 828D is designed to enhance mid-range machines with powerful control features, yet remain easy to learn, easy to set up and easy to program. This version was shown on a Fryer turn-mill machine.
MAG Industrial Automation Systems showed a coolant system that truly does cool the tool. The company’s liquid-nitrogen system permits significant improvements in cutting speed and tool life, the company says, particularly in titanium, nickel-based alloys and nodular or compacted-graphite iron.
The Walter Helitronic Micro cutting tool grinder from United Grinding is designed to automate production and re-grinding of very small cutting tools (tools so small that comparing them to a match head is like comparing a pencil to a football helmet). This grinder features a seven-axis design with linear motors and a three-spindle grinding head that can be equipped with as many as nine wheels.
In addition to new machines, Haas Automation showed how products from its line of add-on rotary devices often complement the capabilities of the company’s machine tools. For example, this TR160Y trunnion-style rotary table (far right of the photo) is mounted in a VF-5 VMC. Because this rotary table can be oriented front to back, it takes up significantly less space, thus freeing the rest of the worktable for another setup, such as the vise on the left of the photo.
Many builders at IMTS touted ergonomic machine designs that ease operator access to the work zone and improve safety. One example is Hurco’s BX30U, a VMC designed for five-axis and 3+2 machining applications in shops producing aerospace or medical components in medium volumes. Note how the side-opening doors provide plenty of space to the left, right and above the work zone.
Faro chose IMTS 2010 as the platform to unveil its 3D Imager Amp, a non-contact, 3D measuring solution capable of collecting millions of points in seconds. The company says its patented Fringe Interferometry (AFI) laser projection technology enables high accuracy, while special filtering facilitates inspection of both dark and shiny parts that often pose difficulties for other optical systems.
Centralized vacuum element filtration systems typically occupy a great deal of space on the factory floor. To change that, Eriez offers the Hyrdoflow Star Filter. True to its name, the unit uses star-shaped filter elements like the one shown here, which provide maximum filtration area in a compact configuration.
Developed by Alberti and available from Koma Precision, the SmartChange system is said to enable lvie tool change-out in 20 seconds via a simple 60-degree turn with a wrench. Three points of contact with the tool—on the taper, on the flange and at the tip of the flange—provide quick-change capability without compromising concentricity or rigidity. Additionally, the units can be preset off the machine.
The electronics in Lyndex-Nikken’s new shrink-fit machine are located in one place at the base of the machine and are easy to remove, easing maintenance. Additionally, the inductor accommodates tool shanks ranging from 2 to 40 mm in diameter and can flip upside down for easy removal of broken tool shanks and small-diameter cutters.
Carl Zeiss offers the new Vast Performance Kit for its Prismo, CenterMax and GageMax CMMs. One benefit of this kit is that scanning can be performed across interrupted surfaces such as this one with numerous holes, simplifying programming and greatly speeding measuring time.
Hwacheon’s Vesta line of machining centers includes various standard software items to address dynamic obstacles common to all machines. For example, tool load detection capability, one of these software functions, regulates the feedrate override to maintain constant spindle power while cutting irregularly shaped workpieces.
The Mega ER Grip is BIG Kaiser’s newest high-precision collet and tool holder system. It features runout accuracy of three microns at 5xD. An increased collet/body contact area improves rigidity and clamping force, too.
Fireaway’s Stat-X fire suppression systems are a cost-effective and ecologically safe solution for rapid fire extinguishing within machining centers. Actuated either electrically or thermally, these systems suppress a fire by chemically interfering with free radicals within the fire zone that are essential to fire propagation. The aerosol’s ultra-fine particle size allows it to hang in suspension for up to 60 minutes, and is easily vented by fan or air-handling system after discharge leaving virtually no residue behind.
Cimatron’s introduction at IMTS was a black box—literally. The company’s “SuperBox” (seen at right) assists a shop’s CAM programmers by taking on the calculation work, leaving each programmer’s computer and software free to perform other work while the calculations proceed.
Command Tooling Systems showed its soon-to-be-introduced “Zero Pull” shrink fit system, in which locking pins mate with a groove in the end mill to mechanically clamp the tool. This secures the tool against pull-out during the most aggressive milling applications.
Criterion Machine Works displayed its integral ER shank boring tools, which fit directly into ER collet holders. Since boring with this system does not require a special toolholder with this system, the tools can be used in live-tooling and right-angle applications, as well as in Swiss-type machines. (Photo: Bernard Martin)
Hainbuch showed a carbon-fiber chuck that is 2/3 the weight of the comparable metal chuck. The composite-material chuck offers greater rigidity, and because of its light weight also lets the machine accelerate up to the programmed spindle speed faster.
The importance of the wind-power industry was evident in the various new offerings for machining gears, such as this tool from Sandvik Coromant. The company announced a partnership with Höfler Maschinnebau to develop gear-machining solutions.
This new shrink-fit heater from Techniks looks like many other heaters for shrink-fit toolholders, except that here the tool-and-toolholder assembly is seen being swallowed into the unit. The cycle on this heater includes a rapid fluid wash, so that tooling is made cool enough to touch as part of the heating cycle.
Widia North America, part of Kennametal, had its own IMTS booth. The cutting tool company made its debut as an independent brand in the U.S. at this show.
This was the first joint IMTS exhibition for DMG/Mori Seiki. The DMG/Mori Seiki exhibit, which took up two booths, showcased 38 machines in 30,000 square feet of floor space.
The NT series of turn-mills from DMG/Mori Seiki can mill a workpiece top and bottom at the same time. Known as pinch milling, this technique applies separate contouring toolpaths to the workpiece from opposite sides while balancing the cutting forces. This offers advantages for milling long, slender workpieces such as turbine blades.
Komet uses Bluetooth wireless-device networking capability for its MicroKom BluFlex fine-adjustment tooling heads. This allows the adjustment display to be separated from the head, making it more convenient to read the data because the display can be positioned wherever it’s most visible. The head is also able to achieve higher rotational speeds (up to 16,000 rpm).
However, the editors of MMS did get glimpses of some rather interesting technology exhibited at the show, so we are sharing examples here. Of course, this sampling takes merely a glancing blow at disclosing the huge cache of new techniques, new processes, new machines, new controls and new cutting tools that were on display.