FABTECH 2016 proved itself to be North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.
The show welcomed 1,500 exhibiting companies and a total of 31,110 attendees from over 120 countries to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Here are some of the products visitors saw this year:
Fiber laser system. Cincinnati introduced its CL-960 fiber laser system, designed to cut thinner materials at higher speeds and lower operating costs. The CL-960 accomplishes this in part by substituting air as an assist gas in place of nitrogen. The laser’s 6,000W light source is capable of cutting steel that is up to ¾-inch thick. Other features of the machine include dual pallet configuration, fiber resonator technology, and flexible glass fiber beam delivery. A choice of table sizes is offered: 5’x10’, 6’x12’, and 8’x20’.
Smart factory. Mazak promoted its iSmart Factory that is designed to provide real-time data on individual machine performance as well as the entire shop and factory. The system identifies productivity issues as they are occurring, enabling management to address them quickly. The system generates a dashboard that can be made visible to everyone on the plant floor and enabling employees to be aware of key metrics.
New fiber laser. Bystronic Inc introduced its new high performance ByStar Fiber laser cutting machine at an open house earlier this year and showed it at Fabtech for the first time. The ByStar Fiber has been designed to meet the demands from high-speed fiber laser cutting as well as cutting capabilities into the thick plate range.
A patent-pending triangular cutting bridge provides rigidity and accuracy. With the Power Cut option, the ByStar Fiber with 6000 watt power source can extend its plate-cutting capabilities to 1.180 inch thick.
Upgraded panel bender. The all-electric Salvagnini P1 panel bender for 2016 has been redesigned for flexible kit and single piece part production. With up to three times the throughput of a press brake and zero setup time, the P1 panel bender offers automatic blank-holder setup, universal tooling, brief cycle times, and programming software for 2D drawings and for 3D models.
New features of the P1 include asymmetric auxiliary bending capability for making interrupted bends of up to 25”; automatic blank holder adjustment; and all-electric operation.
Making the cut. The Koike Plate-Fab 510 cutting table provides a five-foot by 10-foot cutting surface. Positioning the cut relative to the water table is done pneumatically, with the table capable of handling two-inch steel. It comes with a complete Hypertherm HPR260 XD plasma system that delivers “True Hole” capability.
Big-time 3D printing. Lincoln Electric demonstrated its R-BAAM (Robotic Big Area Additive Manufacturing) system, which uses welding wire instead of powder to produce parts. It can be used with aluminum as well as a variety of steels, including stainless. According to Lincoln, arc deposition is more energy efficient, can be applied more quickly, and with less waste.
For truck body and trailer manufacturers, Lincoln promoted its SuperGlaze aluminum MIG wire served up in a 60lb packaging system designed to increase production. Lincoln Electric’s Mini-Drum provides three times less changeover time compared to a spools.
Save some money. The Metalmaster 2.0 cutting table is designed to offer plasma cutting capability at an economical price. The machine provides positioning speeds of up to 1,300 inches per minute. An integrated smoke extraction unit with fan and filter system is available as an option to help maintain air quality. The Metalmaster 2.0 measures five feet wide and 10 feet long.
New punching attachment. A six-inch oversize punching attachment is now available to fit Geka Hydracrop ironworkers. This particular punch is attached to a Hydracrop 55SD, a machine capable of handling 4” x 4” x ½” angle and 12” x 5/8” plate. A trailer manufacturer in Colorado is now putting the attachment to work to produce trailer parts, according to Don Letourneau, Comeq Inc; and Ryan Brodie, Cleveland Punch & Die.
Want to cut aluminum quickly? The nonferrous upcut from Scotchman Industries is designed for cutting aluminum as well as copper, PVC, and other materials. The Angle Master 600 comes standard with touch screen controls, job storage, software, powered safety hood, and horizontal and vertical pneumatic hold-down clamps. The 24” blade can be driven by either 230 or 460-volt power. Jerry Kroetch demonstrates for Scotchman Industries.
Touch-machine controls. The Moses Control system from Accurpress lets the Accell Hybrid press brake imitate a touch screen control. Full vision 3D is projected onto the press brake, showing the operator exactly where the die should be placed, revealing key parameters, including bend sequence. In addition, a retractable touch-screen control can descend from the upper right corner of the machine to provide more programming options.
The control system is available on Accurpress Accell Hybrid press brakes. The machines use both hydraulic and electric power to reduce noise and improve efficiency.
Snuffing out smoke at the source. The new Hi-Vac fume and smoke extraction welding gun removes smoke where it is produced—at the weld. The gun is the latest weapon developed by RoboVent to help keep the air clean in manufacturing plants. A conical head at the end of the gun vacuums the exhaust gas as it is generated. The result, according to RoboVent, is a 90%-95% reduction in weld fume exposure.
Making welding accessible. The Xtend-Arc wire feeder provides extended reach for big jobs such as trailers. Contained in a weather-resistant case, the wire feeder fits through standard 18-inch manways. Two models are available—either with eight-inch or 12-inch spools. It delivers wire to the arc with a four-roll system. Tony Tushar demonstrates for OTC Daihen. The company also introduced its new BT300D Intelligent Torch, a torch that enables the welder to input parameters directly at the torch instead of walking back to the power source.
Putting the torch where it’s needed. The new Wire Wizard welding booms help welders move around trailers without dealing with cable clutter. Features include fully articulated arms, optional air brakes, and the ability to weld aluminum without a push-pull gun. The boom can be permanently mounted or attached to a portable base. Andy Taylor demonstrates for Arc Solutions Inc.
Augmented reality. Miller Electric displayed its Miller AugmentedArc which simulates multi-process MIG, TIG, flux-cored and stick welding. It blends real-world and computer-generated images into a one-of-a-kind augmented reality environment. The system is designed to combine the efficiency and economy of classroom education with the effectiveness of hands-on welding experience — for a realistic welding simulation that can be used by trade schools, union facilities and industrial training departments to optimize training efficiency and minimize material costs.
FABTECH 2017 will be held November 6-9.
For more information visit FABTECHexpo.com
Find the Fabtech Report archive with articles from 2012 to present