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Eastec show thunders through New England.

Exposition shines despite unpredictable weather

Weather was an adventure for Eastec exhibitors and attendees as the W Springfield, MA, skies periodically shifted from clear blue to ominous.

It didn't slow attendance. More than 21,000 people toured the six buildings of the Eastern States Exposition Grounds, setting a show record--up 1900 visitors from 1999.

Eastec's 782 exhibitors took up more than 204,000 net-sq-ft of exhibit space, also a record. Eastec was co-sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, The American Machine Tool Distributors' Assn (AMTDA), and AMT--The Assn For Manufacturing Technology.

"EASTEC 2000 was a great success, one of SME's best shows ever," says Gary Mikola, SME director of expositions. "The event set records, but more importantly, exhibitors reported seeing an enthusiastic audience interested in gathering information for purchase decisions."

Even with the International Mfg and Technology Show (IMTS) 2000 around the corner, many exhibitors dazzled the crowd with new technology.

Hardinge Inc made a splash with the Hardinge-EMAG Inverted-Spindle Vertical CNC Lathe. Shown for the first time at Eastec, the VL3 was the result of a joint venture between Hardinge Inc and EMAG Maschinenfabrik GmbH. The universally usable machine is designed to produce a variety of part groups in large, medium, and small batch production. A small footprint and low price makes the VL3 stand out.

Newall Electronics, Columbus, OH, displayed its Sherosyn Digital Linear Encoder. The Sherosyn, is designed in such a way that none of the electrical or measuring components are exposed to harsh shop environments. It is 1P64-rated and is impervious to coolants, dust, swarf, and nearly all shop conditions. The transducer consists of a tube, constructed of stainless steel and filled with a column of individually graded steel balls. The balls are set under a pre-load at the factory and then the tube is completely sealed from environmental hazards.

Its built-in automation design incorporates a closed-loop parts conveyor that encircles the machine to position workpieces at the pickup station for loading and unloading by the vertical spindle. Fast spindle traverse rates allow the spindle to move both vertically and horizontally to pick the workpiece from the conveyor and traverse into machining position, returning the finished workpiece to the conveyor and traverse into machining position, returning the finished workpiece to the conveyor to complete the cycle. Spindle Z-axis traverse rate is 1181 ipm and Xaxis rate is 2362 ipm. Part-to-part time is 4.5 to 6.5 sec. Its rigid disc-type, 12-station VDI 40 turret features shortest-path, bidirectional indexing. Live tooling is offered as an option on all stations of the turret, as well as C-axis on the spindle. Other features include 21-hp "wraparound design" spindle with 7500 rpm/147-ft-lb torque rating; storage capacity for 20 3.1" or 14 5.1" workpieces; and 6" jaw chuck capacity.

"They're ridged, durable, and impervious to harsh environments," Newall president John Semel tells Tooling & Production.

Unlike glass DRO systems (glass is not incorporated in the Newall's scales), they require no cleaning or regular maintenance and will continue to provide accurate, reliable readings even when submerged in water, coolant, and lubricants.

Visitors to Emuge Corp's booth were interested in the company's Shrink-Master. The induction shrinking apparatus is designed for the quick shrink-fitting and removing of solid carbide tools into specially made clamping chucks. Tools clamped by a shrink-fitting process can transmit torque values two to four times higher than conventional techniques. Concentricity of the tools is 3[micro]

A rotary feed plate allows for the simultaneous treatment of up to four clamping chucks--while one chuck is heated, others cool. It has universal application for clamping chucks up to SK50/HSK100, and there is no coil change necessary for chuck diameters up to 46mm.

The smallest booths can sometimes generate the biggest buzz. The Pitbull Clamp Co Inc, Boylston, MA, demonstrated what it calls "the smallest and strongest low profile clamp on the market." The clamps come in three sizes with force ranging from 650 lb to at least 3600 lb. All sizes come in three styles: a tool steel with a knife-edge for aggressive stock removal, a tool steel with a blunt-edge for general purpose machining, and a brass clamp with a blunt-edge to help prevent marring on finished work and soft material. The fixture clamps feature horizontal and vertical force for high resistance to rip-out, a tiny footprint, versatility, a super low profile designed into the clamp--not the fixture, and a simple, sturdy design helping make fixture design easy.

Mitee-Bite Products Inc, Center Ossipee, NH, has expanded its workholding line. The ID Xpansion clamp for VMC and HMC applications is designed to hold lathe parts from an internal diameter. Concentricity of 0.0005 can be held because the clamp is machined to match the workpiece. Produced in six sizes, the clamps have a full range from 0.480 to 2.020. The flange dia is held to a close tolerance for precision mounting of multiple parts on a workcube or fixture plate. Once machined, the low profile clamps can be tightened with a hex key or hydraulic pull cylinders can be used.

Mazak Inc's VTC-160A and B vertical machining centers and its FH-400 flexible horizontal machining center were the talk of the Florence, KY, company's booth. Improvements to the second generation VMCs include a dramatic increase in speed and metal removal capabilities. Maximum spindle speeds have been raised from 8000 rpm to 10,000 rpm for faster cutting. Rapid traverse rates have been boosted from 590 "/min for X- and Y-axes to 1181."/min for all axes. Horsepower has been increased from 15 to 20, and tool change times have been reduced from 7.1 sec to 1.5 sec.

A combination of a cutting feed rate for all axis of 1418"/min, 0.5 g acceleration, and a 12,000 rpm, 30-hp spindle defines Mazak's HMO. The FH-4000 furnishes a standard two-pallet changer that eliminates part-loading time from the machining cycle and helps keep high spindle uptime. A standard one-deg indexing table allows easy access to complex prismatic parts or to drill and tap holes in one setup. Chip-to-chip tool change time is 3.5 sec, and the automatic tool changer stores 40 tools.

At a click

A burgeoning question on the manufacturing horizon, according to Tom Gaseenbeek, president of e-Manufacturing Networks Inc, is what will manufacturing do to satisfy the "click generation," or the Internet generation. The company was one part of a new machine tool trade show trend--the appearance of Web-based or dot.com companies.

Gaseenbeek, along, with representatives of Greco Systems and Sprectrum CNC Technologies Inc, both recently coming under the e-Manufacturing Network umbrella, outlined the rationale behind the decision to combine their "best-of-breed" products and resources to provide two-way communications for machine tool CNCs.

e-Manufacturing Networks has "InterNetworked" CNC machine tools to the Web. InterNetworking CNCs effectively leverages a company's information technology to increase production throughput, decrease inventory and operational expense, and enhance return on investment made in CNC plant and operator training ever a significantly longer period of time. The CNC effectively becomes "a node on the corporate network", says Gaseenbeek.

"InterNetworking optimizes resources on the shopfloor," he says, allowing the company to hit its "critical mass of productivity. The machines become 'e-manufacturing' enabled. E-manufacturing automates the automation."

Down the aisle, Boston-based eSprocket, http://www.esprocket.com, set up shop. One of the newest on-line marketplaces for buying and selling used industrial machinery and capital equipment, it went live in June.

A key feature of the new site is its Negotiation Table, which will allow buyers and sellers to communicate and negotiate deals in real-time. The feature acts similarly to an on-line chat or instant messaging feature.

Also showing at the show were the now familiar emachinetool.com, MachineTools.com, Cuttools.com, and SupplierMarket.com. SupplierMarket.com, Burlington, MA, launched in October 1999 with 1000 registered users and $50 million RFQs waiting to be bid upon. Users source and sell built-to-order products ranging from fasteners to plastic molded parts.

Software answers

Cimatron Ltd, Livonia, MI, has released QuickElectrode, a new CAD/CAM application package for automating the electrode process. It can be used for burn area selection, electrode design, management, documentation, and manufacture of solid or surface geometry.

QuickElectrode offers both automatic and semi-automatic burn area selection. Burn areas are automatically determined by the system based on the minimum tool site used to machine the job. The semi-automatic features of Quick Electrode include the ability to use dynamic drag and auto-extract techniques to enable fast and accurate identification of burn areas.

Attendees got a look at Marlborough, MA-based Cadkey Corp's Cadkey Parametrics. The product fully integrates complete parametric definition and editing of dimension-driven solid models into Cadkey software. Providing depth of design functionality, the systems offer hybrid combinations of feature-based solid modeling and freeform hybrid solid modeling. Cadkey Parametrics is offered as a module--Cadkey users can take it or leave it, which ever they prefer.

Lilly Software Associates, Hampton, NH, spotlighted its Visual Jobshop software suite, which is in beta testing. It provides users with tools to consolidate information, standardize processes, and manage the jobshop. Assisting with the generation of accurate quotes is part of Jobshop's functionality, along with working within tight schedules, and analyzing operations. It integrates order entry, inventory, production, shipping, and invoicing. The Manufacturing Window feature allows users to view every angle of production activity, from sales order release to work order closing. It also allows the user to compare predicted costs versus actual costs for completed and active jobs, and track-the origin of those costs.
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Comment:Eastec show thunders through New England.
Author:Tennant, Thomas
Publication:Tooling & Production
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Jul 1, 2000
Words:1588
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