Among the time-saving introductions at the show, AKH Inc.’s (akhfas-ner.com) punch-and-die Fas-ner system uses the fastener itself as a punch. The hardened hourglass-shaped insert shears through the two metal parts being joined. An in-place coining operation flows the parts into the concave recess of the fastener, locking it in place. The resulting joint is flush with the part surface, burrfree, electrically continuous, and Continued on page 32 corrosion resistant. The fasteners can join similar and dissimilar metals for a final thickness of 0.075 to 0.360 in. The company also supplies electromechanical and hydraulic automatic-feed presses designed for the Fas-ner system.

ABB (abb.com) is taking automation a step further with TrueView vision guided robotics. A video camera images parts ready for pick-and-place. The robot’s vision guidance computes the location and orientation of the next part to be picked and adjusts the robot’s path so it can safely grasp the part without damage. With this guidance, the robot can repeatably place parts within ±0.20 mm for precision-machining operations.

To help improve production-machine operations, Bosch Rexroth (boschrexroth-us.com) created the IndraMotion MTX Cycle Time Analyzer. It records CNC commands, PLC events, axis signals, and I/O data to reveal any bottlenecks in the work flow and help increase overall performance. Results are synchronized to machine events and presented graphically in time diagrams, and can be analyzed directly on the control system or off-line. Built-in analysis functions compare results with archived measurements, and even assess changes to machining sequence. Used regularly, the tool helps increase machine-tool efficiency.

Friction-stir welding has come to carbon steel with ESAB’s (esabna.com) hardened polycrystalline cubic-boron-nitride welding tool. The process, which was previously restricted to nonferrous metals, is said to produce welds with properties equal to or better than the parent material. The company’s pipewelding machine joins two butted sections by inserting the welding probe into the joint and applying downward pressure and slow rotation to weld the sections by friction heating. The result is a flat or slightly concave weld line without heat distortion. The machine accepts pipes to 60 in. in diameter and weld at up to 20 ipm.

For users of machining-inspection equipment looking for an alternative to battery-operated touch probes, Heidenhain (heindenhain. com) devised the TS 444 infrared probe. It’s powered by compressed air supplied through the machine-tool spindle. Compressed air drives an internal turbine wheel that generates electricity which is stored in high-power capacitors. It takes about 3 sec to charge the unit for 2 min of probing. Exhaust air cleans the probing point. The TS 444 uses optical sensors to generate the trigger signal and has a probing accuracy of ±5 μm and repeatability of 1 μm.

Computer-aided manufacturing gets integrated with design software through Open Mind’s (openmind-tech.com) HyperMill platform. It brings 2D, 3D, high-speed, and five-axis machining, milling, and turning strategies into the Solid-Works (solidworks.com) framework. Users can switch between CAD and CAM systems which refer to the same models to eliminate data import and read/write errors. The program recognizes part geometry and features to detect drill pockets and calculate tool angles. The software works with other Open Mind software to simulate material removal and monitor workspaces.

Loading and unloading workpieces doesn’t have to translate to a break in productivity, according to Bertsche Engineering (bertsche.com). The company’s Xi-Mill three and four-axis spindle machining center lets users gang fixture parts with dual work zones. Alternately, the mill can work parts requiring travel up to 255.6 in. by using a single work zone. The machine has 20-in. stroke in the Y and Z axes, feedrates up to 1,181 ipm, 2,400-ipm traverses, and a 30-hp, 15,000-rpm spindle.

The company’s I-Jet machine performs multiple postmachining operations reliably. The machine deburrs parts with powered and mechanical rotary methods as well as 5,000 to 12,000-psi jets of water. It is also set up for prewashing, rinsing, and drying. A CNC-controlled head picks parts and maneuvers them through operations. The stationary high-pressure jets last longer and require less maintenance than flexible high-pressure hoses needed to bring water to the part. The machine’s rotary axis spins parts dry after washing, rinsing, or deburring.

Methods Machine Tools (methodsmachine. com) has combined two automated products for a job-shop drilling cell. Fanuc Robotics’ (fanucrobotics.com) RoboDrill vertical machining center puts out 56 lb-ft of torque, enough to tap a 0.750 hole in 303 stainless. Its spindle rotates at 10,000 rpm with a 24,000-rpm option. The machining head travels 300 to 700 mm in the X axis, and 300 to 400 mm in the Y axis, depending on the model, and reaches speeds of 2,125 ipm. The 14 or 21 toolchanger can swap bits in 1.8 sec.

Misaligned shafts, spindles, and rollers can hinder plant efficiency. Pinpoint Laser Systems (pinlaser.com) lets manufacturing engineers take alignment into their own hands. The company’s Microgage compact laser-guided alignment systems can mount on spindle ends, web rollers, driveshafts, and other moving equipment. A computer measures distance, centerline offset, parallelism, concentricity, and other parameters. The laser and its receiver can be up to 100 ft apart and maintain accuracy better than 0.0005 in. The unit is portable and battery-powered. Users can transfer data to spreadsheet programs via USB or serial interface.

Suppliers of controls, systems, components, and other manufacturing-focused wares also brought much to the IMTS table. To help machine builders speed production, Bishop-Wisecarver (bwc.com) QuickTrak Series clamp extrusion offers a fast and economical way to accurately mount its DualVee track linear guides. The clamp fits into leading 40-mm Series aluminum extrusions and needs no track drilling or fasteners. The design creates a solid interface between the beam, clamp, and track and keeps components in compression, which significantly increases joint rigidity. DualVee track is available in carbon and stainless steel, hardened or unhardened, and in single lengths up to 22 ft.

NSK Precision America (nskprecision.com) HTF Series ball screws handle high-load applications — letting electromechanical drives replace hydraulic drives in many applications. Shaft diameters range from 1.77 to 5.51 in. with leads from 0.39 to 0.98 in. They can be used at DN speeds (shaft diameter rpm) to 70,000. The HTF Series readily adapts to a variety of shaft end forms, including keyways, straight-sided and involute splines, and spur gears. Standard accuracy grades are C5 and C7 and axial play is <0.020 in. The units as 5,000 to 12,000-psi jets of water. It is also set up for prewashing, rinsing, and drying. A CNC-controlled head picks parts and maneuvers them through operations. The stationary high-pressure jets last longer and require less maintenance than flexible high-pressure hoses needed to bring water to the part. The machine’s rotary axis spins parts dry after washing, rinsing, or deburring.

Methods Machine Tools (methodsmachine.com) has combined two automated products for a job-shop drilling cell. Fanuc Robotics’ (fanucrobotics.com) RoboDrill vertical machining center puts out 56 lb-ft of torque, enough to tap a 0.750 hole in 303 stainless. Its spindle rotates at 10,000 rpm with a 24,000-rpm option. The machining head travels 300 to 700 mm in the X axis, and 300 to 400 mm in the Y axis, depending on the model, and reaches speeds of 2,125 ipm. The 14 or 21 toolchanger can swap bits in 1.8 sec.

Misaligned shafts, spindles, and rollers can hinder plant efficiency. Pinpoint Laser Systems (pinlaser.com) lets manufacturing engineers take alignment into their own hands. The company’s Microgage compact laser-guided alignment systems can mount on spindle ends, web rollers, driveshafts, and other moving equipment. A computer measures distance, centerline offset, parallelism, concentricity, and other parameters. The laser and its receiver can be up to 100 ft apart and maintain accuracy better than 0.0005 in. The unit is portable and batterypowered. Users can transfer data to spreadsheet programs via USB or serial interface.

Suppliers of controls, systems, components, and other manufacturing- focused wares also brought much to the IMTS table. To help machine builders speed production, Bishop-Wisecarver (bwc.com) QuickTrak Series clamp extrusion offers a fast and economical way to accurately mount its Dual-Vee track linear guides. The clamp fits into leading 40-mm Series aluminum extrusions and needs no track drilling or fasteners. The design creates a solid interface between the beam, clamp, and track and keeps components in compression, which significantly increases joint rigidity. DualVee track is available in carbon and stainless steel, hardened or unhardened, and in single lengths up to 22 ft.

NSK Precision America (nskprecision.com) HTF Series ball screws handle high-load applications — letting electromechanical drives replace hydraulic drives in many applications. Shaft diameters range from 1.77 to 5.51 in. with leads from 0.39 to 0.98 in. They can be used at DN speeds (shaft diameter rpm) to 70,000. The HTF Series readily adapts to a variety of shaft end forms, including keyways, straight-sided and involute splines, and spur gears. Standard accuracy grades are C5 and C7 and axial play is <0.020 in. The units