Interconnectivity and data sharing, more user-friendly control interfaces, robots as co-workers and additive manufacturing were all well represented at IMTS this year. While it’s expected that the newest technologies will be on display at the every-other-year extravaganza, the significance of these and other recent advancements is that they represent a paradigm shift in the way both manufacturers and suppliers view the industry.
That’s good news for the CNC shop owners, production managers and large-scale manufacturers who attended or sent staff to IMTS 2016. It signifies that the makers and distributors of manufacturing equipment recognize that you want more than faster speeds-and-feeds. You are looking for solutions to problems, ways to make processes more efficient, and the means to stay, not just one step, but far ahead of competition.
For these reasons many IMTS booths showcased various technologies working together to address specific production issues. In the Okuma America booth, for example, a working cell incorporated a newly developed Kitagawa chuck system with an Okuma Multus CNC turning center, a Fanuc M-20iA industrial robot utilizing a vision system, Schunk end-of-arm tooling and a GOCell Modular Drawer Cell and automation control system from Gosiger Automation. Working together, these technologies completely automate changeovers for a family of parts and also for a number of significantly different parts, thus saving substantial time and labor costs.
This collaboration of Partners in THINC members is indicative of what can happen when you look beyond a specific technology to solve a problem or improve a process. It’s better to start with a goal in mind and then tap into the experiences of people who are knowledgeable about a variety of manufacturing technologies and real-world applications.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your production efficiencies, talk to Gosiger, the family-owned and operated company that has served the manufacturing community for more than 90 years.