Production Machining

AUG 2014

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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T hose of us in manufacturing tend to mark time in 2-year increments based around IMTS. Attending this show creates mile markers by which we see the ebb and fow of our industry. Obviously, the advancement of technologies that debut in Chicago is a major draw. Since my frst show in 1980, there has been much to benchmark, some of which has come to fruition and become standard procedures for many shops and some that just didn't catch on. However, it's always interesting. Tis edition promises to be equally revealing. Manufacturing is experiencing resurgence in this country that is long overdue. Finally, it seems that the need to make things is being recognized as critical to the nation's economic health. In spite of speed bumps put in the path of expanding our industries by arbitrary regulations, fnancial uncertainty and the big unknown of health care costs, our manufacturing base is doing well. Tere is an inherent strength that we know has always been there, but is fnally fnding a voice in the national discussion. Te products, processes and services on display at McCormick Place are keys to keeping this hard- earned momentum going. Shops of all stripes will fnd relevant technologies among the 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components and systems on display and designed to help improve efciency and competitiveness. Tere is a buzz about this year's show that has been building since the last edition. With the general business climate for manufacturing positive and the U.S. in a position as a preeminent global producer, IMTS 2014 promises to be among the best shows ever. Tis year's theme, "Come Together—Leave Inspired," refects what I sense is unity of manufacturers under a collec- tive interest in working together. One of the directions that many shops have taken in the last few years as response to the speed bumps is to look at and implement automation on the shop foor. Today, this is a much more inclusive branch of manufacturing that goes beyond material handing to include programming automa- tion with CAD/CAM, ofce automation with shop control software, data collection protocols and sensing technologies, to name a few. Well Worth a Look IMTS is certainly a trade show, but it's also a celebration of where we've been and is a place that points the direction to where we're going. CHRIS KOEPFER Editor-In-Chief ckoepfer@productionmachining.com Toward that end, the IMTS sponsor, Te Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) is hosting a show within a show—the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) conference and trade show—(for the second time) during IMTS. A focus for this year is to highlight automation technol- ogies, in particular, those with a mobile component. Another co-located event added this year is Motion, Drive & Automation North America (MDA NA), which showcases innovation in power transmission, motion control and fuid technology, with an emphasis on small gear processing, bearings and motors. Tese co-located shows and conferences refect an ongoing recognition that the breadth of manufac- turing is continuously expanding and that our International Manufacturing Technology Show should represent this growth. Back in 1980 when I frst visited IMTS, it was pretty much a machine tool show. In fact, it was called the International Machine Tool Show. Te emphasis on the machine tool has not changed in the ensuing years, but what has been added is the recognition of the tools needed to consistently make more complex and accurate workpieces. Manufacturing is constantly evolving in ways that can seem unimaginable only a few years ago. Te blending of reliable and powerful electronics with mechanical devices of unprec- edented accuracy, performance and fexibility makes this, in my opinion, the most interesting time in metalworking manufacturing we've seen to date. Find a way to visit IMTS in Chicago and see for yourself. It's certainly a trade show, but it's also a celebration of where we've been and more important, is a place that points the direction to where we're going. One of the beauties of manufacturing is that there are many ways to solve a given problem. Te technology is available to everyone—it's democratic. However, the way technology is applied individually is often what separates successful businesses. Americans are among the most innovative and free people on earth. For metalworking manufacturers, there is no better place to be this September than visiting IMTS to take a look at the future. TU R N I NG POI NT 6 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: AUGUST 2014

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