One of the great benefits of solid round cutting tools is the ability to resharpen them after heavy use. Done right it’s like having a cat with nine lives: Dull…then like new. Dull again…and like new again. And since the cost to recondition solid tools is generally lower than the cost to replace them, there’s an economic benefit. The question then becomes what’s the best way to achieve the greatest possible benefit?
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Industry 4.0 is often referred to as smart manufacturing, where technology enables interconnectivity for machines and manufacturing software and systems. It also provides “Big Data,” increased visibility and remote access to manufacturing assets.
For today’s industrial cutting tool manufacturers there is a continuous and increasing demand for faster cycle times, better asset utilization, tighter tolerances and improved quality. Running a successful manufacturing facility takes more than acquiring the latest state- of-the-art equipment and the most advanced grinding technology.
In a perfect CNC world, the first part is always a good one. There’s no need for extra blanks or barstock. Setup times are only as long as is needed to swap out a few tools and load a new program. There’s never a crash, never the need to reprogram an inefficient bit of code. The operator just pushes the green button and out pops a finished workpiece minutes or hours later.
One thing remains clear about IMTS 2018: Solutions to virtually every conceivable tool holding or workholding challenge could be found, if visitors to the exposition took the time to walk aisle after aisle in search the latest advanced technology, whether in the supplier’s booth or at work on machines in builder booths.
Machine tool orders fell slightly on a monthly basis in July but posted a solid gain compared with a year earlier.
Makers of machine tools used to produce gears are looking to the 2018 edition of IMTS to demonstrate how they’re meeting customer demands.
Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.
You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate the solutions for the tooling or workholding challenges that shops will bring to exhibitors when attending IMTS 2018. One thing is certain you’ll never have a better time to find suppliers of advanced tooling and workholding technology under one venue like McCormick Place.
Whether your shop produces plastic injection molds, does tool and die work, or wire-cuts precision features on medical and aerospace components, you’ll want to check out the latest and greatest in EDM technology at IMTS 2018. More than two dozen exhibitors will be there, demonstrating larger, faster machine tools along with innovative ways to make them more productive.