MMS Blog

As a staple of films like “Total Recall” and “The Matrix,” virtual reality is slowly making its way out of the realm of science fiction and into the reality of the manufacturing workplace. Virtual reality (VR) is a computer simulation that is designed to replicate a “real-world” experience. While a film can project real images onto a screen, a VR system is designed to trick your brain into thinking you are part of the action.

The essential interface of most VR systems is a headset that projects visual information on a screen directly in front of the eyes. By turning the head, the user changes the perspective of the footage on the VR screen. One VR program, for example, simulates a sweeping view from the Smoky Mountains, enabling the user to guide the camera by turning his or her head.

Every two years, thousands of companies form around the globe converge for the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) with the goal of sharing and finding new technology. And with thousands of exhibitors and more than 1.3 million square feet of exhibit space, there’s a lot to see.

While there are certainly advantages to planning ahead and mapping out exactly what you need to see at a trade show, it’s critical to leave room for discovery. Trade shows are not only about finding immediate solutions, but for setting up shops with the tools they need to evolve. That’s why it’s important to explore emerging trends and technology, to learn about how they can impact your shop in the future…READ MORE.

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Metalworking indicated slowing growth for a fourth consecutive month with a reading of 57.5 for June. Despite falling readings, the Index continues to indicate that economic and business conditions in manufacturing are well above the historic average of 51.0. Compared to the same month one year ago, the Index is up 2.6 percent, driven higher by supplier deliveries and employment. Readings for new orders, backlog and exports lowered the Index’s average-based calculation. This is the second consecutive month in which new orders weighed down the overall index result. None of the index components contracted (registered below 50.0) during the month. 

Strong expansion in supplier deliveries and employment suggest that the metalworking supply chain continues to grow to handle the robust demand for products experienced over the last 18 to 24 months. This combined with the concurrent slowing of new orders growth since the first quarter of 2018 suggests that we may be experiencing a maturation of the upcycle phase of the business cycle. However, backlogs growth suggests that, at least in the short-run, that the industry is in a very good position. Recent backlog readings are still well above the Index’s long-run average reading.

The June 2018 Starrag Technology Days event at the company’s Swiss headquarters was opened by the Starrag Group's new CEO, Dr. Christian Walti, and was once again packed with interesting technology presentations. Jointly organized with toolholding and cutting tool company Haimer, highlights included a new adaptive roughing strategy that eliminates air cuts, angle-head applications with automated tool change, Haimer's tool-shrinking, tool-balancing and pressetting solutions, and custom tools for blisk-machining applications.

Browse the slideshow to explore some of the highlights.

Sodick’s grand opening for its new North American headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, offered ceremonial flourishes fitting for a company that has regard for its cultural traditions and Japanese roots. After the event opened with remarks from Sodick Inc. President Yuji Akutsu and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the city’s mayor, spirits were lifted by a traditional sake ceremony (kagami-biraki) that commenced with the wallop of a wooden mallet upon the sake barrel’s lid.

For Sodick, there was plenty of reason to celebrate. The company’s new North American headquarters is impressively modern. The 40,000-square-foot building is decked out in the company’s signature white and green with plenty of natural light shining on a $5 million inventory of spare parts. But out of view was something just as important to Sodick: a new strategy that melds the company’s core business—EDM—with its growing investment in additive and hybrid technologies.

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