What's New at IMTS?

Any new cutting tool technologies, works fixture holding techniques,
unusual machine tools, what?
Or how about any trick Chinese Kurt Knock off vises? LOL
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I just got back to the office this morning after spending Monday- Wednesday at the show. I've got a slightly different perspective from many of you, since I was selling, not buying.
My impression is the number of attendees is way up. Things looked very busy. I don't think this signals the turnaround industry has been looking for -- more likely it is manufacturers looking to see how they can cut costs and stay competitive.
Out in the machines pavilion I noticed...
- robots integrated into machines or in cell configuration - lots of 5-axis milling and 5-axis+ mill-turn, supposedly very affordable, but you tell me... - very few American companies, sigh.
In the software pavilion...
- Tebis was giving out free beer (must be a bitch though to weed out the good leads) - Unigraphics, I mean Siemens, was missing because now they are over in the machines pavilion - The mood was pretty upbeat
Anybody else been at IMTS?
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Brian Francis
I stopped to say hi to Dan M. Lots of stuff to look at, I was looking for automation parts.
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I thought these products were pretty slick.
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BottleBob wrote in news:JcidnRxcjITxn1TVnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.com:
I was there until the close today. Unfortunately I didn't see much of the show. We were way too busy until this afternoon and I really couldn't see much in 90 minutes.
We broke all records for sales at the show. We've already broken all sales records for a given fiscal year, and we still have the balance of the month left.
In general I saw more cutting demos utilizing high pressure coolant. A number of machines were using veggie oil coolants and were cutting stainless, titanium, etc.
Higher accel/decel rates are starting to trickel down to lower end machines. But the cheap machines are still slow compared to the higher end stuff. The Fanuc O control just won't go away. Just the opposite in fact. The "new" Oi-D was everywhere on low cost machines.
I think the Ingersoll Chip Surfer replaceable tip end mills with ER shanks are one of the best new products. They are especially good for live tool lathes and Swiss.
There were more five-axis mills, more nutating heads, and more "B"-axis live tool lathes than ever before.
The show was shortened to six days this time. The hours in the South Hall were 10:00 to 6:00 every day including today. Shorter is better but it was harder to keep up with the crowds during peak hours.
I got to meet quite a few people for the first time and saw a number of people I hadn't seen in a while. I also missed a few because I was tied up.
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D Murphy
D Murphy wrote in news:Xns9B19161129EC5BW12BU20MU38SY@
Was really nice talking to you Dan.
Here is my analysis of the show, reposted in majority from my posts over on PM.
Was there Monday & Tuesday. Lot of folks roaming around in there. There is *no* way to see all of it in 2 days. By the time you hit your "must do's", very little time to see all the innovative stuff in the little booths (Although I did check out several.). The big booths were _very_ busy. You could barely walk through the Mazak, Methods, Haas & Hurco booths, Yamazen (Brother & Takisawa) had a lot of foot traffic also. Dan seemed to have quite a bit of traffic in the Tsugami booth despite being in the corner behind the DMG booth. Got to meet a few folks from here, my IRC channel and PM, but missed meeting HalfNutz by 2 minutes or less and I really regret that :/, was my fault, not watching the time. Some of the machine demo's were cool, some not so much, overall OK, but nothing spectacular, IMHO. I really was interested in seeing the automation stuff, but alas, it was a disappointment. Seems most of the stuff they were touting as "just developed, nobody else can do this" we have been doing for at least 3 years. - [Which is good, that means we are still on the cutting edge.] Some of the robot folks actually wanted to _seriously argue_ that they were the only one capable of doing certian things. Unfortunately for them, they are just dead wrong, and by arguing the point, probably removed themselves from any future considerations - after all, how productive can it be dealing with an arrogant vendor? I had an arrogant SOB at the Motoman booth, I think I took his ego down a notch or two. They are nice robots, but I'm fully capable of doing the same things they were with a robot that is 1/3 the cost. That name on the side apparently triples the price. They did have a cool two-handed robot, there are some uses for that, but it would be a hard sell at the price they would want for it.
The tooling booths were KOOL! Found some new vendors for diamond tooling, will be checking and testing some stuff over the next few weeks/months. The Ice wall at the Sandvik booth was super nice (Ice blocks to build it were flown over from Sweeden, according to the booth reps.)
One other disappointment, a serious, serious shortage of booth babes! Dang vendors.....I thought that was a _requirement_, not an option. Geeeezz....... get with the program. There were a few honeys....but not many.
I noticed an almost total lack of multi-spindle machines. Oh..... there were _plenty_ of Y axis, sub spindle machines with live tooling, but I don't think I saw but 1 true multiple spindle machine. Must be the trend in the industry.
I didn't visit the DMG booth, would have been a needless excursion that I didn't have time for. The one multi I saw was the Takisawa with the gantry loader in the Yamazen booth. I didn't visit the Tornos booth either, ran out of time. Mazak only had 2 250 Nexus machines on display. Most of what they were showing were BIG machines.
Methods had a few lathes on display, but again, Y axis, sub spindle, live tooled.
Did see a oval turning lathe, "Ident" I think was the name, Indian made I believe. Interesting machine. Limited to 1200 RPM though. A bit pricey ($300k+) for the mediocre performance. Still interesting, none the less.
Methods had some nice demo's of the Robodrill, one with a robot. (I did notice several battle scars on the robot from ut-ohs....... shit happens even to the pros I guess.) They also had a smaller 5 ax machine (not robodrill) that looked pretty good.
Yamazen had some nice demo's on the Brother machines also. They had a direct drive 200 RPM indexer I ran one of my programs on while I was there to check times, not much, if any improvement over the times with the Sankyo indexer they were showing (and I'm using currently) on one of the other machines. The direct drive unit also takes up too much real estate on the table, no way I could put two of them on it side by side. Same goes for the Fanuc direct drive unit, eats up a lot of real estate.
Checked with Hardinge on the indexers they offer, again, direct drive. One was 200 rpm, other was 300 rpm. But I was suprised that the engineers in the booth had _NO IDEA_ what the indexing time was. You would _THINK_ that would be a readily available number to use as a selling point, but I digress.
Funny thing to do, is go watch some of the higher end machines run (robodrill, brother, mazak, mori, matsu, etc) and then walk over to the Haas booth and see how painful of an experience it is. The HAAS machines look like they are in slow motion. When I was roaming around there, they had just put a piece of steel in what looked like a 16 x 20 model, it was squalling (chatter) loud enough you should have been wearing ear plugs. You know that can't be good for the tooling.
Oh yea, Someone wrecked the hell outta one while we were there. We heard it, the Mazak boys told us which booth it was in, as it was nearby, but I don't remember now which one it was.
Dan (SwissPro) was making some huge parts on his Tsugami swiss machines, so big you had to have a microscope to even see the damn things. Turned, drilled, milled, and cross drilled. 50k spindles, tooling so small you had to use the microscope to see the actual cutters. Stock looked like maybe 30 gage wire. He ran a cycle or two for us, it's _really_really_ hard to imagine being able to machine something that small, even as you are _WATCHING_ it do it. Some kind of test pin for the semiconductor industry. The set-up on that had to be a major bi0tch.
THK had some interesting linear motor linear slides. Those could be useful in the future.
Schunk had all kinds of automation, gripper, and tooling on display. They had a linear gantry loader working, but in talking with the guys, they had to slow it way down. They tried to run it wide open on Monday, but because they couldn't anchor it to the floor, they had to go chasing it across the aisle.
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========= Thanks for the update.
Good to hear that [at least parts of] the real [money generating] economy are thriving. Let us hope the export boom continues!
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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F. George McDuffee

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