The International Manufacturing and Technology Show (IMTS) will be held in Chicago, Illinois at McCormick Place from 8-13 September, 2008. One of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, this biennial event features virtually every manufacturer of equipment and accessories for the automotive sector. Here are some of the exhibitors

booth A8358 in the Metal Cutting Pavillion
Among a selection of machines, Swiss tool manufacturer Tornos will be showing the Micro 7, ideal for longer parts, with +/-2 micron precision. This machine is reported to have a small footprint, making it ideal for smaller machine shops. The Esco EC08 offers four primary tools and 12 secondary tools, and accepts standard inserts, while the Sigma 32 offers virtually flawless part finishing, simultaneous front and back machining with no bar prep prequired. Visitors can pre-register for Tornos events and demonstrations, including the ‘Virtual Machine’ with part-cutting simulations and virtual tours of a selection of machines.

booth B-6114 in the Metal Forming and Fabricating/Laser
Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, ABB will be presenting a series of new robots at the IMTS show. The IRB52 is a compact painting specialist, designed for use by Tier Ones and smaller OEMs. Released officially in early 2008, the IRB52 is competitively priced, allowing most companies the option of investing in automated painting equipment. ABB is also planning to demonstrate the new FlexFinishing system, featuring RobotWare - Machining FC (force control). This system combines fast robot movement with the ability to carry out delicate assembly tasks, using sensors to measure the contact force and feedback loops to control the force, coupling that information to the robot arm. ABB estimates that, coupled to a S4Cplus robot controller, powertrain assembly times could be reduced by as much as 75 per cent.

Also on the stand will be the TrueView vision-guided robotic system. When headers are attached to engine blocks, no-touch zones must be stricly enforced. The TrueView system can accurately place the header on the block without human intervention, maintaining the required level of cleanliness in engine production. Where 2D systems had previously failed to correctly deck engine headers, using only a single camera, this system can see and react to objects in 3D, rotating as needed until the required positioning is acheieved.

Okuma America Corporation
booth A-8200 in the Metal Cutting pavillion
Okuma America Corporation, the official machine tool suppliers to the NHRA, produce a wide range of machining centres, as well as grinding and milling machines, a selection of which are to be on display at the show. Okuma also offers CNC units and CAD/CAM software.

DMG America
Booth A-8501 in the Metal Cutting pavillion
DMG America is planning on having a wide selection of laser cutting equipment on display, together with lathes, milling machines, and turning centres and maching centres of various types. Featured on the stand will be the CTX 310 ECO. Positioned as an entry-level alternative in the CNC Universal Turning sector, this product offers the most advanced Siemens control technology combined with highgrade componentry, including programmable tailstock or the digital servo drives. The slanted bed design of the machine base offers excellent stability and lends itself to superior machining. Offered with a hydraulic feed, this machine is billed as a flexible and efficient solution for companies looking to produce small or medium runs.

ESAB Wel​ding and Cutting
Booth B-6230, Metal Forming and Fabricating/Laser
ESAB Welding and Cutting will be demonstrating its new friction stir welding system for high melting temperature materials, including ferrous alloys. The method has previously been limited to materials with low melting points, such as aluminium, brass and copper. ESAB’s new system expands the range of metals that can be used with this method, including ferritic steels, stainless and duplex steels, and nickel-base alloys.

A solid state process, the system offers advantages over arc welding, eliminating solidification defects associated with the latter, while offering a lower total heat input. According to ESAB, friction stir welding is said to be more environmentally friendly than other forms of welding, while allowing the joining of two dissimilar metals. As joining takes place below the melting temperature of the material, a very high quality weld can be created with minimal distortion, no filler material and no fumes.

MAG Powertrain
booth A-8218 in the Metal Cutting Pavillion
Producer of transfer machines and metal-cutting equipment among other products, MAG Powertrain is expecting to have a wide variety of products on display at the IMTS show. With what is reported to be one of the largest booths at the show, the company will demonstrate a range of new technologies suitable for cutting titanium, composites and alloys. Fully-demonstrated by trained staff, visitors will be able to gather all the information to make a purchase decision - and enjoy special show prices.

Hexagon Metrology
Booth:D-4303 in the Quality Assurance Pavillion
Hexagon Metrology is part of Hexagon Measurement Technologies, a newly-formed business area within the Hexagon Group, including leading metrology brands such as Brown & Sharpe, CE Johansson, CimCore, CogniTens, DEA, Leica Geosystems (Metrology Division), Leitz, Romer, Sheffield and TESA.
The company has an installed base of more than 50,000 CMMs, over 7,500 portable systems, and more than 30,000 licences of the popular PC-DMIS metrology software. For the IMTS show, Hexagon Metrology will show a selection of its latest comparators, coordinate measuring machines, flatness measuring and flaw detection equipment, amongst other machinery. One of the latest additions to the Leitz PMM-CiRT series are coordinate measuring machines (CMM), combining the accuracy of laboratory measuring equipment with the convenience of a rotary table. The table for the PMM-CiRT-series CMMs is available in 400mm and 600mm diameter and can carry loads of 2 and 4 kN respectively.

Metris USA
Booth D-4447, Quality Assurance Pavillion
Metris USA of Brighton, Michigan (booth D-4447, Quality Assurance Pavillion), features a range of coordinate measuring machines, digitising and scanning systems, laser measurement equipment and controlling software for inspection and quality control.
Latest releases from the company to be announced are version 9.0 of the Focus Inspection software, introducing a range of new functionalities, such as GD&T analysis, point cloud performance, bundled with a new user user interface and reporting tools.
A new laser scanning application is the Metris MCA manual coordinate measuring arm, offered in a 7-axis version, specifically designed for laser scanning applications. This offers a wide range of probing systems for touchtrigger measurements, and continuous and laser scanning.

Sandvik Coromant
Booth F-2000, Tooling and Workholding Systems Pavillion
Sandvik Coromant will offer a selection of boring tools, bars and heads, chamfering tools, drill bushings and chucks, and drilling reaming equipment on its stand at the IMTS show. Of particular note are the new CoroTurn TR rigid interface profiling tools, featuring new tool holders with zero offset.

This setup allows the system to be used in sliding head machines, while returning the close machining tolerances that make it an ideal choice for the machining of smaller parts.

Shell Lubricants
Booth A-8488 in the Metal Cutting Pavillion
Visitors to the IMTS can also find out more about machine coolants by visiting Shell Lubricants (booth A-8488 in the Metal Cutting Pavillion). The stand will feature coolants, cutting fluids and oils, as well as a range of lubricants and greases, plus details of reclamation and recycling services and advice on the most efficient techniques on dealing with swarf and scrap.