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Top 10 New Fabricating Technologies: Part 1

Fabtech 2016 is a huge show that assembles some of the best and brightest when it comes to all things metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing. So what stood out this year?

Last week I was in Las Vegas for Fabtech 2016, a huge show that assembles some of the best and brightest when it comes to all things metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing.

I spent two days in the city that never sleeps, and while the tables were unforgiving, the show floor had a wealth of new technology. I put together a top ten, but we want it to stretch over the two days before the holidays, so here is your first five.

10. The Bliss is Back

The Bliss is back, and the demo stopped me dead in my tracks, which is easy when it’s not only deafening, but it makes the ground beneath you shake.

The SC2-250 two-point straight side monoblock press for single and multi-station dies is Schuler’s first new Bliss Press in decades. The 250-metric-ton machine was designed for the North American market and comes with Allen-Bradley or Omron controls.

The company is also on the hunt for the oldest Bliss Press in the USA, and with a brand that has been around since 1857, it will be interesting to see what they dig up.

9. Big Payloads in a Small Space

Yaskawa debuted it’s TR1000 positioner that has a small footprint, yet still capable of moving 1,000-kg payloads at a tilt speed up to 12 rpm and a rotation speed up to 22.4 rpm.

The TR1000 is an extension of the Yaskawa Motoman positioner family and can be paired with other tech for longer or taller part handling.

8. Considerate Air Tools

Suhner introduced the new B/C series of air tools. Under development for a number of years, the new line of air tools really took ergonomics into consideration with its precise and smooth design for machine building, tool and mold making and maintenance, aircraft construction, astronautics, automotive manufacturing, and foundries.

The company also debuted its new fresh air filtration system to use when grinding or polishing pretty much anything except paint.

7. Machines the Squeak

Essentially, IGear created Twitter for machines. But instead of tweets, machines squeak, and the info is sent to assigned employees so they can quickly take action on the alert. IGear partnered with Komatsu America on the industrial IOT solution that squeaks when a machine has gone down, a threshold has been crossed, or raw material is running out. Assigned workers can claim the alert on the dashboard that plays nice with disparate devices, and it makes it easy to share photos, ask questions, and make it easier to keep machines up and running.

Komatsu VP Jim Landowski said Squeaks not only helps you make intelligent decisions on your processes, but it enables remote diagnostics, which can help many of you out there prevent those late night service calls.

6. Bam’s Sister, Sam

Cincinnati Incorporated has been pushing boundaries since they worked with Oak Ridge National Lab to create BAAM, the big area additive manufacturing system that printed a car a few years ago. Now, the big BAAM has a new little sister, SAAM, a small area additive manufacturing system that is the product of a partnership with Boston-based NVBOTS.

SAAM is designed to be easy to use, a suitable first time 3D printer, and it solves one of the big challenges that 3D printing novices have with new machines, human error. Typically, users have problems getting the prints off of the platform, and support material is a problem as well. So SAAM prints the part on an easy to remove little raft that is automatically removed from the platform using a patented part stripper. Then is starts printing the next part.

The story goes that the designers did this because they didn’t like removing prints from their 3D printers that were housed in rat-infested basements. True or not, the advancement should solve a lot of headaches for users.

Come back tomorrow for a second helping of five fantastic Fabtech finds.

This is IEN Now with David Mantey.

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