Welcome to Chicago! The 29th edition of IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 — is on track to rank among the top five largest IMTS events ever, covering nearly 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space with more than 1,800 exhibiting companies. The show will be held from September 10 to 15 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. IMTS expects to host 90,000 manufacturing professionals from more than 119 countries to view 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, and systems that can improve production efficiency.

To help guide visitors around the exhibits, IMTS is organized into 10 pavilions that focus on specific technologies: Abrasive Machining/Sawing/Finishing, Controls & CAD-CAM, EDM (electrical discharge machining), Gear Generation, IANA (Industrial Automation North America), Machine Components/Cleaning/Environmental, Metal Cutting, Metal Forming & Fabricating/Laser, Quality Assurance, and Tooling & Workholding Systems.

To provide continuing education to manufacturing professionals, the IMTS 2012 Conference will include five topic tracks with 72 industry-specific sessions. Conference topics will focus on materials, manufacturing technology, alternative manufacturing processes, quality and metrology, and plant operations. In addition to this meeting, six educational conferences will be co-located with IMTS 2012, two of which are described here. For more information, visit imts.com.

Safety conference co-located with IMTS

In conjunction with IMTS, EHS Today will hold the inaugural America’s Safest Companies Conference from September 11 to 12. With more than 25 expert speakers, including NIOSH Director John Howard, the conference provides CEOs, HR managers, EHS managers, and risk managers with a comprehensive learning experience. Attendees will discover best practices developed by America’s Safest Companies and learn how to implement them; develop leadership and training skills to bring lean safety and sustainability to the workplace; measure safety effectiveness and review safety management approaches; acquire OSHA compliance guidance from leading attorneys; and hear about EHS and risk management approaches that can reduce workers’ compensation costs. For more information, visit ehstoday.com/ascconference.

Automation conference co-located with IMTS

Hydraulics & Pneumatics, as part of Penton Media’s Design Engineering & Sourcing Group and the National Fluid Power Association, will hold its Motion, Drives & Automation Conference from September 11 to 12. Two conference tracks will be presented: Motion Control in Automation, and Hydraulics and Pneumatics in Automation. These tracks are designed for engineers and others tasked with improving performance, productivity, life, efficiency, and the environmental footprint of manufacturing equipment and industrial automation systems.

The conference will highlight innovations in electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic motion systems, as well as electronic control, sensing and vision, condition monitoring, and safety considerations. Conference sessions include techniques for boosting machine efficiency; security in industrial automation; making machinery safer; promoting healthy equipment; trends in high-speed bearings; eliminating unwanted effects from machine structures; and much more. For more information, visit imts.com/education/MotionConference.html.

On Display

SCHUNK displays premium grippers • Booth W-2000

SCHUNK Inc. will highlight its premium gripper “plus” products featuring multi-tooth guidance, among other gripper styles. “Spreading the load across many shoulders” is the principle behind the company’s multi-tooth design. The guidance tasks performed by these parallel and centric grippers are not carried out using a classical T-slot design, but instead with a multiple prismatic guidance arranged in parallel. Therefore, forces and moments are distributed across multiple guiding areas resulting in higher load capacity. The company offers several gripper models to suit different applications, including the PGN-plus 2-finger parallel gripper pictured here. Online at schunk.com.

Nexen showcases roller pinion system • Booth E-4306

Nexen Group Inc. will offer an in-depth look at its latest Roller Pinion System (RPS) models and Precision Ring Drive (PRD). The RPS features a unique roller pinion/toothed rack combination that delivers high-accuracy positioning with zero backlash and virtually eliminates cumulative error. The system is offered in five models, each 99% efficient. For indexing and rotary positioning, the PRD contains a roller-pinion system that is 99% efficient and a gearbox that operates at 96% efficiency. The drive reaches speeds of 300 rpm and lasts up to 60,000,000 revolutions. Online at nexengroup.com.

Rollon debuts actuator line • Booth E-4351

Rollon USA will enter the actuator marketplace and launch a complete line of products at IMTS. The company’s new Actuatorline, available in belt and screw-driven models, complements existing linear-guide offerings, enabling complete motion systems that are designed and sized to work together. The new actuators are suited to a variety of OEM machinery applications, including robotic handling, conveyor systems and packaging machines, semiconductor equipment, X-Y-Z Cartesian robots, lab automation, machine tools, and assembly lines. Online at rollonnews.com.

Heidenhain introduces milling-machine control • Booth E-5224

Heidenhain Corp. will unveil the TNC 640, the company’s first milling-machine control offered with optional turning functions. The turning functionality allows the operator to transition from milling to turning cycles in the same program. The TNC 640 is based on HSCI (Heidenhain Serial Controller Interface), a digital interface hardware platform, which reduces cabling during setup. Online at heidenhain.us.

HAWE Hydraulics displays modular hydraulic systems • Booth E-4436

HAWE Hydraulics will demonstrate its modular approach to hydraulic systems and will display compact power packs KA and HK. Both units offer plug-and-play installation in machine tool applications. The power pack KA is an intermittent unit consisting of a housing tank, integrated motor, radial piston pump, and optional fan. Available in horizontal and vertical versions, the housing tank can be extended to increase fluid volume. The power pack HK works both continuously and intermittently, can be installed as a horizontal or vertical unit, comes in three sizes, and is available with single, dual, or triple circuit pumps. Online at haweusa.com.