Modern Machine Shop

AUG 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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MMS AUGUST 2018 68 mmsonline.com IMTS 2018 can minimize the number of setups a job requires or enable more complex, contoured geometries to be machined. Both machine platforms can deliver higher spindle utilization rates than more conventional equipment. In addition, multitasking machines are becoming more mainstream, especially in leading shops. Turn/mills, Swiss-types (some now with a B-axis milling spindle) and even conventional turning centers with live tooling can perform multiple operations, and in some cases, machine parts complete. Minimizing the number of setups or the number of machines required to process a job means better feature-to-feature tolerances, less work in process (WIP) and faster overall production time. Top shops also tend to adopt more sophis- ticated tooling technology and strategies compared to other shops. A higher percentage use custom/specialty tools, balanced tool assem- blies, tools with internal coolant delivery and presetters for determining offsets off line. They also are more likely to use workholding equip- ment such as quick-change devices, vacuum chucks and tombstones to maximize spindle utilization and speed setups. In fact, the machining technology that leading shops apply will also be highlighted at the Top Shops workshop, which will take place Thursday, September 13, in rooms W-375 E and D in the West Hall. Following on the heels of last year's successful, inaugural Top Shops conference, this workshop will include multiple presentations from industry leaders, including your peers, who will describe various strategies, technologies and processes they have implemented to enable their shops to grow and become more profitable. Connecting Is Smart IMTS is about making connections—connecting with technology suppliers in booths, connecting with technology experts at conferences, and connecting with other technology users in the aisles and at social gatherings. One thing you will also notice is that connecting machines to a network for monitoring and performance anal- ysis is a major theme at this year's show. Many of the machine tools on display will be connected to a monitoring system, perhaps running in another company's booth—in some cases, a competitor's booth. This is simply (and significantly) the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in action. Data exchange- ability and interoperability standards such as MTConnect and OPC/UA have made shop- floor connectivity feasible and relatively easy. Exhibitors are eager to show that their hardware is readily connectable to a network for sharing data or that their software is ready to process data from equipment connected to a network. You will hear a lot of heady talk about Industry 4.0, digitalization, smart manufacturing and more. However, practical applications will be all around the show. Look at them closely to see how The Top Shops workshop at IMTS will follow a similar format as last year's inaugural Top Shops conference. Presentations and panel discussions will highlight strategies that leading shops are leveraging to grow their machining businesses. Nearly triple the number of exhibitors will occupy the dedicated Additive Manufacturing Pavilion than just two years ago.

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