Hot Temperatures (and Technologies) at Eastec 2017
Eastec’s peculiar Massachusetts venue offered the chance to sample a broad variety of advanced manufacturing technologies. Here is a slideshow and some impressions from the trade show.
It’s hard to forget that when they’re not used to display advanced manufacturing equipment from more than 500 exhibitors during the Eastec trade show, the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition or “Big E” in Springfield, Massachusetts, are used for, among other things, cattle shows.
Wait where am I ...?— Jedd Cole (@ Work) (@mms_jeddcole) May 16, 2017
cc @PF_HannahCoombs pic.twitter.com/hIFZaP8X8S
But in lieu of livestock and despite the sweltering heat—it reached 93°F while I was there, and 97°F on the last day of the show—there were plenty of machining technologies to hold my attention at Eastec 2017 this past May 16-18. The slideshow above offers a view of the smallest slice of the advanced manufacturing equipment on display, a slice that certainly filled my time but barely scratches the surface of all that the show had to offer to its attendees.
For example, below is a video I took from Universal Robots’ booth that demonstrates Energid’s Actin robotics simulation and control software with a six-axis robotic arm from UR. Energid’s CEO, Niel Tardella, told me the software represents an attempt to usher in the “next generation” of collaborative robotics, having been used by such government agencies as NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as well as commercial customers. In the video, note how the robot dynamically both avoids the technician’s wand and tracks the part fixture:
The DV 1000 VMC from MC Machinery, which has recently been updated with more tool positions, uses a dual-winding motor for extra torque to enable job shops to perform hard milling, as seen here:
If you attended Eastec this year, did you learn anything new? Were you impressed by any technology in particular? Let me know on Twitter @mms_jeddcole.
Several exhibitors at the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany, featured demonstrations of robotic arms wielding live cutting tools such as end mills or face mills. Perhaps the most dramatic demo was presented by Delcam to showcase this CAM developer’s PowerMill Robot Interface.
Finding a way to fixture contoured marine propellers proved to be this shop’s biggest challenge in developing an effective automated machining cell.
This shop justified the robot solely through improved use of labor. Other benefits came to light after the automation arrived.