FABTECH Promotes Invention, Inspiration, and Innovation

Dec. 1, 2001
Metal forming and fabricating enthusiasts arrived in volume for the FABTECH International Metal Forming and Fabricating Show (FABTECH) in Chicago, Illinois,

Metal forming and fabricating enthusiasts arrived in volume for the FABTECH International Metal Forming and Fabricating Show (FABTECH) in Chicago, Illinois, November 11 through 14, 2001.

Held in McCormick Place South, the show celebrated its 20th year of industry service as a gathering place for metal forming executives with a keynote theme of Invention, Inspiration, and Innovation. More than 900 exhibitors — many from some of the world's largest metal and tooling manufacturing companies — introduced 150-plus new products.

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) cosponsor the annual event. Since its inception in 1981, FABTECH has grown steadily in educational offerings and the level of industry participation. This year's show was no exception.

FMA and SME will cosponsor FABTECH at the International Exposition Center (I-X Center) in Cleveland, Ohio, October 29-31, 2002. Information can be obtained by visiting www.fmametalfab.org or www.sme.org.

Lincoln Electric new products include the Lincoln-Series Arm available in a multiple of sizes and capacities. Henning Hansen, president of Henning Hansen Manufacturing, a strategic manufacturing partner of Lincoln, says that the non-articulating arm suspends its payload by using a dual equalizing system. This 6000-series arm has a 13-ft reach and can rotate 360Þ. With the universal feeder support and mini console, the arm provides internal and external passages for compressed air, electricity, and vacuum extraction.

Thermadyne introduced a new line of portable plasma cutters, the CutMaster 75 and CutMaster 100. Designed for field use, but perfect for portability inside a factory operation, the CutMaster series is designed for accurate cutting of mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Miller's new 714S Wire Feeder provides a semi-automatic and constant speed wire feed. The feeder was specifically designed for use in heavy and high volume metal fabrication applications. It is possible to upgrade the feeder to be similar to the more expensive 714D model by changing the front panel. The feeder gun helps eliminate finger-fatigue by staying locked once it is depressed, and unlocking with the simple squeeze of the trigger mechanism.

Behringer displayed a complete line of newly introduced miter-cut band saws. Two large capacity saws, the HBP-310 and HBP-403G, are designed for cutting high-tensile materials and can rotate to any angle between 45Þ inboard through 60Þ outboard. Nesting capacity is in excess of a 15-inch width by a 12-inch height. Behringer is located in Morgantown PA.

Scotchman Industries, Philip SD, introduced the ProFab 45 ironworker, which is rated at 45 tons of pressure and has a 12-inch throat. The ironworker is capable of notching, punching, and round or square rod shearing, and many other functions. This model can cut angle iron as wide as six inches and 5/8-inch thick.

Cleveland OH-based Lincoln Electric introduced several new products at FABTECH. Richard Smith, manager of marketing communications, says that Lincoln's newest series of products, the Invertec V-Series, offers economical MIG welding. Hourly demonstrations of the new Invertec V-160T and V350-Pro were held during FABTECH. According to Smith, the V350-Pro is perfect for trailer and body fabrication because of the selectable pulse programs for steel, stainless steel, aluminum, metal core, and nickel. Additionally, a specially designed constant power MIG mode adjusts voltage and current for smooth welding of thin metal sheets. Smith says the unit is a perfect match for the Cobramatic aluminum wire feeder. The V350-Pro provides a wide output range of 5 to 425 amps, with a 60% duty-cycle at 350 amps.

KASTO, a German saw manufacturer, offers a line of hacksaws designed for light- to heavy-cutting needs. They can be used in confined floor space areas, and once started the saws have automatic operation throughout the cut. Displayed is the new KASTO-hbs-2, the smallest saw in the line. KASTO-Racine, the exclusive company representative, is located in Export PA.

ESAB introduced the new Avenger-1 gantry shaped cutting machine. The machine at FABTECH was equipped with a 100-amp Precision Plasma station, and four oxyfuel stations with ESAB's new Flame Control, Active Automation, and Remote Diagnostics ability. The machine is set to perform bevel cutting with the 100-amp torch.

W A Whitney used the FABTECH show to display several new products. The PartHandler-II greatly expands Whitney's 3400 Flex RTC True Cut hydraulic punch manufacturing center. The PartHandler's magnetic platen loads plate up to 1,000 pounds, 60" × 120" × 1/2", into the work clamps of the 3400 punch/plasma machine. Whitney also introduced the 4400Max, a punch/plasma fabricating combination center with a 100-ton punch capacity that can make a one-inch hole through one-inch-thick A-36 steel. Whitney says the TrueCut 400 plasma system cuts parts at twice the speed of its previous system. Whitney is based in Rockford IL.

The Precision series of press brakes by Pirhana, Hutchinson KS, included the 35-6P, shown with the Hurco CNC controls. The Precision series is offered in 65- and 95-ton models. A re-designed mechanical linkage system provides the full tonnage of force at any position on the ram, which offers a repeat accuracy of +/- .0004-inches. The Precision series is equipped with a Hurco back gauge and a Hurco tilt indicator.

The new Mastergraph CNC Cutting Machine from Koike Aronson, Arcade NY, handles plasma and oxyfuel cutting of steel and non-ferrous materials. The machine comes complete with a Programmable Logic Control (PLC), and a touch-screen sensor for operator interface. Digital AC drive system and planetary gearboxes on all axes contribute to its accuracy and precision. The Mastergraph Millennium has a cross beam designed to provide a strong, stable backbone for a long service life. Replaceable round ways on the cross axis deliver smooth carriage operations and also provide easy field repair in the event of damage.

The Crossfire precision shape cutting system from Thermadyne, St Louis MO, can be equipped with up to five cutting stations and one marking station. The machine provides accuracy of better than .010-inch and repeatability of .002-inch in an 8' by 8' area. The machine is available in 6-ft through 12-ft widths. The Crossfire's controller is swivel-mounted with a 12.1-inch liquid crystal display touch-screen. Options include a plasma station collision sensor.

ESAB Welding and Cutting Products, Florence SC, introduced the 350 mpi welding power source designed to simplify multi-process welding. The inverter-based welding power source ensures top performance for MIG/DC TIG/stick welding operations, along with carbon-arc gouging. The primary voltage, 230 or 460 VAC, single or three phase, is selected with a simple toggle switch on the back panel. Microprocessor control makes selecting the ideal welding parameters a simplified process. The 350 mpi is equipped with the Vortex-Blast cooling system that forces air out through the front panel, reducing maintenance of dust and dirt related problems that can be encountered in many manufacturing environments. The newest welding column boom from ESAB is the MKR 300 Arc Center. The MKR 300 is a cost efficient boom design that can be outfitted with an ESAB welding head and PEH controller. It can also be equipped with a PAK joystick control or use the GMD joint tracking electromechanical sensor.

Kaltenbach, Columbus IN, demonstrated its newest straight-cut, heavy-duty band saw, the KBR-370-NA. The saw has a nesting capacity of 16" wide by 14¼" tall, with full capacity horizontal and vertical clamping. The blade is powered by a 7½-horsepower motor and controlled with a variable frequency drive modulator. The saw is equipped with Kaltenbach's Separate Torque Suspension system designed for vibration-free sawing.

Hyd-Mech, Woodstock, Ontario Canada, displayed the new M-20A fully hydraulic miter saw. The M-20 features heavy-duty cast iron guide arms and a 33" shuttle stroke. Hardened and replaceable wear strips complete with carbide guides help stabilize the cutting operation. A heavy-duty gearbox and motor assembly using a variable frequency drive rheostat drive the saw blade. The carriage has hydraulic guide arm positioning.

Miller Electric Manufacturing, Appleton WI, introduced several new products at FABTECH. Three of the new products are the BobCat 250 NT welder, the TrailBlazer 300-Series welders, and the 714 Wire Feeder. The BobCat 250 NT engine-driven welding generator offers 75% more MIG and 19% more DC stick welding power, as well as 11% more auxiliary power when compared to the BobCat 255 NT. The machine is capable of AC TIG, solid wire, and carbon arc gouging. Rated output from the machine is 250 amps at 25 volts, 100 % duty-cycle. The TrailBlazer 301G and TrailBlazer DC engine-driven welding generators also offer more power. Compared to previous models in the 300-series lineup, the 301G provides an additional 25 amps of CV power and an extra 1,500 watts of auxiliary power, producing a 300-amp output and a 10,000-watt peak auxiliary power rating at 104Þ F. The new TrailBlazer DC offers similar features, except for the AC weld output. The TrailBlazer series was designed to enhance E6010 pipe welding and E7018 performance from a scratch start.

ESAB's new Migmaster 210 welding power source delivers 30 to 210 amps DC while accepting both solid wire and self-shielding cored wire up to .035 inch in diameter. Incremental voltage steps allow the operator to select the proper output range with the Migmaster rated 210 amps @ 24.5 vdc at a 20% duty cycle. The polarity change-over plug is located on the front panel. The Migmaster has thermal overload protection and includes a spot welding timer and a stitch welding capability.

Trumpf, Farmington CT, offers the TrumaBend series of press brakes. Showcased is the V85S model that produces 95 tons of pressure under full CNC control. The V85S is designed for quick changeover for short runs of precision parts. Trumpf also introduced the C160-2 Double Cut Shear. The shear will cut through mild steel, stainless, and aluminum with a working speed of 19 to 30 feet-per-minute.

Piranha displayed the new P II-140 ironworker, which can perform operations on steel with an RBM of up to 60,000 pounds. The new design performs work at multiple stations, including different cutting, notching, shearing, gouging, and other various iron working capabilities.

Essay Industries, Elk Grove Village IL, is the exclusive importer for the Guifil line of small press brakes. The G-2-18 has a two-foot bed and will develop 18 tons of force. The brake is completely portable and does not have to be realigned after being moved.

Amada America demonstrated several new products at FABTECH. The two press brakes, the HDS-8025-NT and the FBD III-8025-NT, are ultra-high precision CNC models. The HDS down-acting press brakes are offered as either an 81½2-ft model with 88-ton capacity or a 101½2-ft model rated at 143 tons. The FBDIII is available in three models. The largest is a 10-ft model with a 138-ton capacity. The advanced design of each press brake eliminates shimming and allows off-center loading for multi-stage bending. Amada America is based in Buena Park CA.

About the Author

John Nahas