Event Drew Approximately 1,500 Attendees from 450 Companies Throughout North America
On June 13 - 14, 2012, Methods Machine Tools, Inc., a leading supplier of innovative precision machine tools and automation, hosted a major open house event called Metal Storm 2012. The event took place at the company's headquarters and northeast regional technology center at 71 Union Avenue in Sudbury, MA. In addition, to do their part in addressing the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers in the U.S., Methods hosted approximately 70 Massachusetts vocational technology students at their headquarters on June 15, providing demos, tours and discussions on today’s broad array of opportunities in precision manufacturing.
Metal Storm 2012 featured more than 50 machines under power. Attendees saw live demonstrations on machines such as the:
- Matsuura 5-Axis Precision Vertical and Horizontal Machining Centers
- Nakamura Multitasking Turning Centers
- KIWA-Japan Horizontal and Vertical Machining centers
- FEELER High Performance Milling and Turning Centers
- FANUC RoboDrill 5-Axis Vertical Machining Centers
- FANUC Wire EDM Machines
- Exeron GmbH Die Sinker EDMs
- Current EDM Drilling Machines
- WEILER USA Semi-Automatic Lathe
- Carl Zeiss CMMs and surface / roundness checking machines
- VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator 300 Series
“Looking at market indicators, we saw the momentum building in manufacturing and timed Metal Storm to provide our customers the confidence to capitalize now on the opportunities to automate their production with the latest innovative machine tool solutions. Now is the right time to invest in the future,” states Bryon Deysher, president & CEO, Methods Machine Tools, Inc. “ And unlike traditional trade shows, an open house / technology event like Metal Storm offers a more relaxed environment with ample time to review applications, machine demonstrations and the latest technology.”
Metal Storm highlighted several FEELER models including the FT-Series Turning Centers with a new design, a new FVT-600 mm Vertical Turning Lathe and a 3-meter FV-Series Double Column Bridge Mill. Matsuura models making their northeast U.S. debut included the new Matsuura LX-160 two-pallet, 5-Axis vertical machining center featuring unmatched accuracies and cycle times, and the Matsuura MAM72-100H 5-Axis horizontal machining center, the largest in the MAM72 series. Matsuura’s CUBLEX-25 5-Axis Mill-Turn Center, ideal for multi-process production, was also demonstrated. Two new Nakamura models were showcased, including the new NTY3-250 three turret, three Y-Axis machine with an all new design and NT-IPS control, and the new WY-250L two turret, two Y-Axis machine with a long bed.
Five FANUC iE Wire EDM Machines were cutting parts, including one with a hollow-style, 2-Axis tilt / turn rotary table demonstrating recast-free cutting on an aerospace part, and another that covered the advantages of a PCD EDGE system designed for the high demand production of flat and rotating PCD cutting tools. Exeron GmbH Die Sinker EDMs highlighted the new exopuls+ liquid cooled generator technology, a break-through in the spark eroding process designed to increase cutting speeds and dramatically reduce electrode wear during the roughing and finishing of cuts, resulting in more accurate parts. In addition, the new Current EDM Model RT6050-5AT EDM drilling machine featuring controller and power supply upgrades was demonstrated burning precision angled holes for large aerospace and automotive parts.
Several pre-engineered automation solutions were also demonstrated at Metal Storm including a multiple machine cell featuring a rail-mounted FANUC 6-Axis robot servicing a KIWA VMC, FEELER turning center, FANUC EDM and Zeiss CMM. The cell demonstrated the automated changing of chucks on the lathe and fixtures on the mill, as well as automatic loading / unloading functions and how measurement data is sent for machine offsetting.
Well-attended leading-edge technical seminars were also conducted throughout the two-day event on today’s pressing topics, including “Production on Demand” (defined in LEAN terminology as a "pull system" – a highly automated machining cell system designed for small lot production, and quick retrieval and setup of previously run jobs). Methods showed how implementing automation, new strategies, and technology will increase production, minimize cost and reduce set-up time. Sessions covered how to machine complete parts in just one set-up utilizing multitasking and five-axis machining. Methods partnered with several of their suppliers to feature short-run production techniques. In addition, vendors of software, tooling, workholding and other accessories exhibited.