Crowd moving about convention hall

Big Ideas Fueling Great Expectations for IMTS 2016

The return of the International Manufacturing Technology Show in September 2016 is fueling hopes for a rebound in activity for precision parts design and production but the biennial event will still fulfill its traditional role of presenting new manufacturing concepts and designs to an in-the-know crowd of designers and manufacturers.

New manufacturing concepts are the traditional draw for IMTS attendees, and the 2016 event seems likely to answer many manufacturers' questions on the increasingly complex details of process control, production data management, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The manufacturing technology supplier driving those themes most consistently since the last staging of IMTS has been Mazak Corporation. The machine tool and production technology developer promises to "raise the manufacturing technology bar at IMTS," indicating it will demonstrate new, high-level developments in full digital factory integration, smart technology and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity – along with new machining and automation systems.

Mazak's Smooth Technology control platform incorporates advanced manufacturing cells and systems for part manufacturing processes that incorporate "smart" machines, "big data" capability, sophisticated analytics, and the IIoT access. At IMTS, Mazak indicated it would feature new enhancements that increase the computing power and intelligence of its SmartBox digital integration launch platform.

It also will demonstrate the user-friendly programming capabilities and processing speed of its Mazatrol SmoothX and Mazatrol SmoothG CNC controls. These controls are part of the Smooth Technology platform, which has transformed the way Mazak equipment performs, especially in terms of five-axis and complex contouring operations.

Mazak will also show over 20 highly advanced manufacturing cells and systems, including its latest developments in multi-tasking and five-axis machine tools enhanced with single-setup, Done in One® part-processing — a necessary capability for "smart factor" operation.

Mazak also reported it will introduce its next-generation hybrid multi-tasking technology at IMTS 2016, along with new software and accessories that give multi-tasking machines more functionality and multiple-process power.

"This year will mark the largest amount of advanced technologies we've ever brought to IMTS," said Mazak president Brian Papke.

Mazak intends to demonstrate various types and levels of "smart factory automation" at IMTS, including gantry systems, robotics, and other loading devices that provide the flexibility to adapt to different types of machine tools as well as changing part processing requirements.

Mazak's new ToolTech compact tool magazine for automated tool changing will be making its debut in the booth. ToolTech stores big, heavy and large-diameter tools within a very small amount of required floor space. And as a shop's tooling needs increase, ToolTech's storage capacity can easily expand to as many as five levels and the capacity to hold 250 tools.

All the new and advanced machining and automation systems in the Mazak IMTS booth will be under power and running real-world part demonstrations. Applications experts from Mazak and the company's Value Inspired Partners (VIP) program will also be on hand during the demonstrations to discuss total manufacturing solutions and part- processing improvements.


Follow the build-up to IMTS 2016 with American Machinist, an NED partner in Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

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