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Countdown to IMTS 2018
Behind the scenes, every year here begins with a slowly crescendoing swell of stress and activity that doesn’t
relent until we hit the floor at McCormick Place to take in
the sights and machines
of IMTS. It’s the same every year: thousands of
products to cover, meetings to set, newsletters to
create, endless content to
plan. It’s an absolute
This process began my
very first week at my very
first magazine here when
a giant stack of press releases was plopped on my desk for the event.
The first challenge that year was how to deal with—what
seemed like then—the hilarious brilliance of the show’s
rebranding. The event had just changed its name from
the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) to the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)—
which meant that organizers had managed to break out
of their niche market without ditching their market name.
At the time, it seemed like more of a cosmetic shift.
This was before the Industrial Internet of Things (IIo T) had
officially been named, and before data integration efforts
had really taken off. So “manufacturing technology” mostly read as a more marketable synonym for “machine tool.”
My stack of press releases backed that up—nothing but
CNCs, grinders, shapers, and finishers as far as I dug.
But now we fast forward and the real brilliance of the
plan is suddenly becoming clear.
As has become a tradition here at NED, this “IMTS Issue” includes our guide to some of the most exciting
releases at IMTS this year. Flip around and you will see
them sprinkled throughout the book to help you find your
way at the event.
In previous years, these have been exclusively giant
machines, along with maybe a robot or two just to keep
them company. But this year, it’s an even mix of machine
tools, software, integration devices, and all the surrounding tools and systems. It is, to use a phrase, an assortment
of real manufacturing technology, not machine tools.
The conclusion here is the same, I think, as the reason
so many people flock to this show every other year and
why exhibitors line up so far to show off their goods. IMTS
organizers saw the direction of the technology world
before anyone else and began a process to keep the
event at the very center of that world. By doing so, IMTS
has become critical to the manufacturing industry—a
vital part of the buying cycle for both big machine tools
and smaller technologies that is written into budgets and
calculated into long term plans. It influences markets, it
changes the technology landscape.
That’s why we’ve been counting down the days for nine
months, that’s why we’re all anxious messes waiting to
see what this year’s show will bring.
FROM THE EDITOR
Rapid Generation of Measurement
easily develop probe paths
Edgecam Inspect is a full-featured, easy-to-use
system for users who want the rapid generation of
on-machine measurement cycles with quick, efficient toolpath, and reliable measurement results.
It offers unparalleled ease of use and sophisticated probe path generation for both in-process and
end-item part inspections. Complex CNC machining
operations can be easily validated with in-process
measurements using Edgecam Inspect.
Fully Rugged Tablet
includes a 1D/2D barcode scanner
The PWS-872 10-in. rugged tablet has built-in
Wi-Fi, NFC, 3G/4G LTE, and Bluetooth 4. 1 technologies to provide enhanced connectivity for rapid
data acquisition, high-speed transmissions, over-the-air updates, and real-time communication with
The 10.1-in. WUXGA LED display with scratch-re-sistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3 supports multi-touch
PCAP control as well as gloved operation. Meanwhile, the screen’s 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and
1,000cd/m2 brightness ensures readability in direct
sunlight to support outdoor applications.
Designed for operation in harsh industrial environments, the tablet’s lightweight, yet rugged design
features a wide operating temperature range (- 20
to 50°C), IP65 rating for protection from water and
dust ingress, and a 4-ft. drop tolerance.
Additionally, to ensure convenient and fexible use,
PWS-872 has a swappable external battery that
provides up to 11 hours of continuous operation.