MoldMaking Goes Abroad
This being a non-IMTS year, we headed to the EMO 2007 exhibition in Hannover, Germany to get the metalworking scoop...at least on the European front. This six-day event was a monster of a trade show where you needed a shuttle bus to get from hall to hall (which we opted not to take most of the time—resulting in some very inflamed blisters on the first day).
The show was organized into a variety of halls by product/technology, including: drilling machines; precision tools, workpiece and toolholders; measuring and test-
ing equipment; software; automation; grinding machines; milling machines; machining centers; EDM and special machines.
While preparing for the show and setting up appointments with a variety of suppliers, I asked the editorial advisory board to share with me the technology they would be investigating and the specific suppliers they would be visiting if they were able to attend this event.
I came away with a variety of leads, topics and general information on moldmaking trends (both inside and outside of Europe), newly introduced technologies, and a fresh perspective on moldmaking in North America, which we will be covering in upcoming issues.
Some of the show’s highlights included:
- Strategic supplier partnerships (machine tool manufacturers collaborating with software providers to improve productivity via technology affecting production time or surface quality)
- Technology to reduce tool changing time
- Integration of control systems within manufacturing
- Suppliers implementing or improving exceptional training initiatives
- Global machine tool trends
- Multi-tasking machines
- Low-cost machine tool technology:
- A focus on medical and aerospace work (for mold shops that includes taking on general purpose work as well as medical and aerospace work)
- Using aluminum in moldmaking
- On-machine verification
- Five-axis technology (machine tool and software)
- Large mold machining centers
- Compact machine tool designs
- Micro tools
- Mill-turn machines
- EDM/milling machines
- Milling and grinding
- The evolution of the automated mold shop: cell operators
- The importance of an automation evaluation
- New perspective: consider technology investment a productivity boost not a troubleshooting matter/method
- Reverse engineering technology and services
Visit http://www.emo-hannover.de for a full post show report.
Finding, Training & Retaining Employees, Part 13
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An injection mold expert speaks out against high-cavitation molds. There is a time and a place for them, he contends, but they should not be chosen for financial considerations alone.