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FABTECH Preview

Four Days in Chicago

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FABTECH makes its second summer stop in the Windy City this September.

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North America’s largest trade show for the metalworking space returns to Chicago for four days in September, with the 2023 installment featuring the most robust program to date. 

More than 1,400 exhibitors are expected to be on hand, 200 more than last year’s event in Atlanta. Additionally, more than 180 curated sessions and workshops are on this year’s schedule, a 20 percent increase from the 2022 show. An estimated 45,000 people from all areas of the industrial metals space will walk the show floors. 

Conference tracks including automation, robotics, smart manufacturing, job shop solutions, cutting, stamping, finishing, workforce development, forming and fabricating, and welding.  “The FABTECH conference is a one-stop resource where industry professionals will find inspiration as well as practical strategies to help their businesses evolve with the fast-paced changes shaping manufacturing,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, FABTECH group director at SME. 

“Attendees can learn about today’s most urgent topics – such as leveraging smart technologies for operational excellence, using robotics in metal fabrication and overcoming labor shortages with automation – so they can maximize their productivity, meet customer demand and stay competitive,” she adds.

As always, FABTECH organizers (a group that includes the SME, Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, American Welding Society, Chemical Coaters Association International and the Precision Metalforming Association) intend to cover the most relevant topics facing the metalworking space. 
 
As always, Metal Center News will be there, too. Please visit us at Booth A1024.

Here’s a look at what some of the other exhibitors will be showcasing at FABTECH 2023. 

BLM Group -  Booth: A1338  
BLM GROUP is demonstrating its LT7 lasertube featuring 5kW laser power and thread insert unit, which automatically installs thread inserts into laser cut holes using press fitting. A patent-pending technology exclusive to BLM, this inserter unit simplifies and shortens the processing time for mating an insert with a tubular component.
A thread insert is an ideal solution for thin wall tubes, which are not sufficient for standard threads. The BLM GROUP system is capable of handling threaded hexagonal inserts from M4 to M12 with automatic checks to ensure proper insertion. Post-laser cutting, the time to install inserts is only nine to 11 seconds per insert.
The LT7 tube cutting laser system can process tubes from 0.5 to 6 inches, up to 15.4 pounds per foot and is available with a 3, 4 or 5kW fiber laser. Its 3D tilt cutting head can perform high-precision angular cuts in round, square, and many special shapes sections.  Automated changeover is available for maximum productivity. 

Hypertherm Associates - Booths: A4531, B15009  
Hypertherm Associates is a U.S.-based manufacturer of industrial cutting products and software. The company’s Hypertherm plasma and OMAX waterjet cutting technology brands will welcome visitors from two halls.
The combined booth of Hypertherm and OMAX technology brands will provide visitors with a comprehensive range of plasma and waterjet products. Attendees will have the opportunity to witness X-Definition plasma robotic cutting using Robotmaster software and the HPR cartridge for HPRXD plasma systems.  Additionally, they will see demonstrations of the ProtoMAX, MAXIEM and OptiMAX abrasive waterjets.  
In the B Hall, the booth will feature the Powermax air plasma products, including the innovative Powermax SYNC plasma with built-in intelligence and a single-piece consumable cartridge. 

Butech Bliss - Booth: A3308  
The Butech Bliss 2 Hi or 4 Hi temper mill solution uses the Bliss technology supplied to mills throughout the world. The temper mill solution is the ultimate when stress equalized and surface improvement or high productivity is required. 
A temper mill line is a high-production line with a rotary or flying shear. The stacking system is designed to accommodate sheet or plate on the fly. The temper mill line includes levelers located after the mill for further shape correction. 
When compared to the other cut-to-length lines, the productivity is unequaled, Butech claims. The Butech Bliss temper mill features a hydraulic roll force cylinder that is the industry standard. With more than 60 temper mills in its history, Butech urges customers to make it their mill provider.  

Combilift - Booths: A2959, D41913  
Earlier this year, following on the launch of the Combi-CUBE in Stutgart, Germany, Combilift unveiled its newest electric forklift, the CB15-5E. With its new design, this vibrant Combi-green multidirectional forklift holds the distinction of being the shortest 15,500-pound counterbalance forklift on the market. Not happy with simply launching a new forklift, Combilift has developed a new Auto Swivel Seat with 15 degrees of swivel to the left or right, allowing for greater operator comfort.  
As part of the company’s 25 years in business celebrations, Combilift is committed to delivering game-changing solutions that maximize safety, increase productivity and drive success across various industries. At FABTECH, Combilift will bring its tradition of innovative solutions to Chicago.

KASTO - Booth: A5413  
KASTOecostore is a storage and retrieval system designed to optimize space utilization and enhance efficiency in material handling operations. It is a solution provided by KASTO, a leading provider of innovative storage and sawing technology. KASTOecostore combines easy to use software with automated storage and retrieval machines to create a highly efficient and space-saving storage system.
With KASTOecostore, materials such as bar stock and sheet metal can be stored in a compact and organized manner. The system utilizes vertical space by stacking cassettes in a high-bay rack for automated retrieval. This eliminates the need for manual handling and reduces the risk of errors, ensuring precise and reliable inventory management. By implementing KASTOecostore, businesses can significantly increase their storage capacity, streamline operations and reduce costs associated with material handling. The system’s reliability, precision and intuitive software make it a valuable asset for many industries that deal with plate and long products and require efficient storage solutions.

Steel Warehouse - Booth: A3387  
Steel  Warehouse, a steel supplier and distributor, will be showcasing the benefits of its hot-rolled pickled and oil steel.  Parts will be displayed illustrating the enhanced surface finish and cutting-edge quality achieved by the use of HRPO steel. 
Additionally, Mitsubishi in booth A2123 and Cutlite Penta in booth A2194 will be laser-cutting Steel Warehouse’s HRPO throughout the show.
Pickling hot-rolled steel removes the flaky scale, so the surface is constant and smooth throughout the entire plate.  As compared to the blasting process for removing scale, the HRPO surface improves laser cutting, forming, bending, stamping, welding and painting, delivering both production savings and higher-quality parts.

Messer Cutting Systems - Booth: A3975  
Messer Cutting Systems will demonstrate cutting on the Element 400L Unitized cutting machine. This is a large-format, precision-fiber vertical and beveling laser.  Additionally, combination laser-plasma options are available. 
The Element 400L show machine will feature laser beveling up to plus/minus 52 degrees, utilizing the all-new Bevel-U and a 20kW fiber laser system.  A Kjellberg Q4500 plasma system will also be shown on the same machine.  The Slagger self-cleaning table completes this machine.
Also, Messer will showcase a compact 5-foot by 10-foot unitized cutting machine, the MetalMaster 2.0, with an integrated downdraft table.  On board will be the Hypertherm XPR300XD plasma torch for straight plasma cutting and the new Core Plus gas console to provide high-quality marking and cutting on mild steel.  The MetalMaster 2.0 provides superior cut performance at an affordable cost, Messer claims.

Cosen Saws - Booth: A5126  
Cosen Saws has launched its latest band saw, the NC-510MG. This new machine is a fully programmable automatic miter cutting saw.  With a 13-inch by 20-inch capacity and the ability to miter cut up to 60 degrees, this saw is prepared for any high production environment. 
The NC-510MG boasts an advanced control system, offering the ability to program up to 100 different jobs including quantity and length of cut with automatic multiple indexing.  Angle changes are seamless with the saw’s ability to automatically program and set the angle all from the user controls. The saw also comes equipped with full capacity top clamps allowing for greater efficiency while cutting. The NC-510MG’s construction ensures reliability for even the most demanding applications. 

Lantek Systems - Booth: A3385  
Lantek Systems, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions for the sheet metal and manufacturing industries, will showcase its latest CAD/CAM and MES/ERP solutions.
The new module for Lantek Expert Cut CAD/CAM nesting software is designed to streamline the CNC programming of modern TRUMPF cutting machines, providing a more efficient and simplified process for laser machining and the preparation of components for welding operations. 
The EdgeLine Bevel technology offers several key advantages over traditional methods that allow specific beveling techniques to be performed without tilting the laser head while reducing overall processing time and eliminating the need for separate work center processes.  

Baumann - Booth: D42216  
Baumann has been producing sideloading forklifts - sideloaders - for the steel distribution and fabrication industries for more than 50 years. Baumann sideloaders allow safe, efficient handling of long loads and organized, high-density storage.  
The ELX is the latest series in Baumann’s new range of fully electric sideloaders with capacities from three to eight metric tons. The ELX series is ruggedly built but compact and surprisingly maneuverable. With full-shift run times, performance characteristics that often exceed their diesel counterparts, remarkable durability and significantly reduced maintenance cost, the ELX series has become the most popular true sideloader in the Baumann range. 
All Baumanns are well supported by the Baumann Online System.

Bradbury - Booth: A4967  
The Bradbury Group designs and manufactures roll forming, cut-to-length, slitting, leveling and automated production systems for entry-level operations to full-scale facilities. The company’s slitting lines offer cutting-edge technology that guarantees exceptional performance for your service center, Bradbury claims.
With a range of impressive features such as efficient coil storage, precision deburring roller, seamless automatic loop control, advanced double loop system, versatile mobile tensors, innovative corrective tensor-flattener, convenient off-line strapping system and much more, Bradbury slitting lines are designed to exceed your expectations. 

HYDMECH - Booth: A4542  
Join us at FABTECH and discover the cutting-edge solutions offered by HYDMECH, a leader in metal band saw and cold sawing solutions. HYDMECH will showcase the M-20A, DM-10 with Arostop length measuring device, S-23A, V-18APC-60, CSNC-65, and VW-18 machines. 
Innovative solutions are tailored to meet the practical needs of clients in aerospace, automotive, steel service centers, metal fabrication shops, racing and various other sectors. With a commitment to long-term support, HYDMECH ensures premium quality parts, top-tier customer service and reliable maintenance service. 
With almost five decades of experience, HYDMECH is a trusted partner for industrial-strength, cutting-edge solutions. If you’re seeking a metal band saw, cold saw or metal saw to give your company the competitive edge, HYDMECH would like to start a conversation on how its products can meet your needs. 

KMT Waterjet - Booth: A5162  
KMT Waterjet, a leading global manufacturer of ultra-high-pressure pumps and components, will feature two of the industry’s workhorse pressure machines – the PRO 60 hp 90,000 psi pump and the NEO 50 hp 60,000 psi pump.  
The world’s fastest waterjet, PRO 60 provides the lowest cost per part with up to 40 percent faster cutting performance increasing throughput capacity and up to 50 percent less abrasive consumption compared with a 60,000 psi waterjet pump.  
The NEO 50 has a superior design of patented high pressure seals, which ensures maximum uptime and continuous cutting with proven performance and reliability at a value.

Allor Manufacturing - Booth: A3473  
Allor Manufacturing is introducing its new Compact Straightener, equipped with small diameter work rolls for shape correction and scale breaking, designed to meet customer product needs. 
The straightener can be used with pickle, slitting and recoil lines. 
The equipment offers: a machine top that opens up 180 degrees for easy maintenance and cassette changes; 12-inch-diameter driven pinch rolls to help pull thick strip off of the uncoiler; seven work rolls to improve strip shape and shape the head of the coil for line feeding; and an internal scale removal conveyor system to remove scale debris from the machine helping to keep clean the product, backup bearings, work rolls and work area.

Custom Rollforming Corporation, Marion Die and Fixture - Booth: A4969  
Custom Rollforming Corporation is fully equipped to handle a diverse range of roll forming operations with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Whether you require simple or intricate roll form shapes, the CRC team can deliver exceptional results, the company claims.
CRC can be entrusted with the management of product flow to your facility, saving you valuable space and avoiding the expense of storing a large inventory of parts. 
MDF offers a comprehensive range of services including component modeling, hydraulic press systems, custom shears and benders, custom dies, inspection/assembly fixtures and die servicing. MDF is committed to precision and high production rates, earning it the trust of customers across multiple industries, the company claims.

HE&M Saw - Booth: A2909  
During the 60 years HE&M Saw has been in business, the company has created and manufactured many innovative products for the metalworking industry.  Among those is the WF1827A, which is the latest generation of the company’s  ‘Wide Flange’ saw series. 
The new model is designed for cutting structural and bundles with a “Smart Saw” control and an automatic 48-inch twin ball screw feed included.  A 120-inch feed is optional with many other options, including top clamps for extra clamping, is available. 
The WF1827A will be on display at FABTECH show for demonstrations.

TRUMPF - Booths: A2104, B15001  
TRUMPF Inc. will showcase the latest advancements in precision sheet metal fabrication, including the TruLaser 8000 Coil Edition, a new laser blanking system for laser cutting and production “straight from the coil.” 
The system can be operated automatically, process up to 25 tons of coiled sheet metal from start to finish and reduce costs as well as carbon emissions. The fully automated production system is an attractive option for companies interested in flexible, high-volume cutting solutions for sheet metal fabrication, including automotive suppliers and automakers, electrical cabinet manufacturers, elevator producers and HVAC manufacturers. 
The system incorporates a TruLaser 3040 with TruDisk 8001 laser.  The laser facilitates modifications in part geometries without needing new tools, making it much easier, faster, cheaper and more flexible to use than traditional die presses, TRUMPF says. 

FIMIGroup - Booth: D42460  
FIMIGroup is an Italian industrial center recognized as a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and start-up of complete plants and machines for coil processing. 
Over the course of 60 years, FIMIGroup has installed more than 1,500 lines around the world. Its offerings include leveling and cut-to-length lines, slitting and trimming, automatic packaging and others. Its machines process a range of materials, including ultra-high-strength, pre-painted and stainless steels, aluminum, copper and brass. 

AMADA America - Booth: A1304  
VENTIS utilizes AMADA’s revolutionary Locus Beam Control to achieve infinite locus patterns to ensure optimum beam shape control for each specific cutting application. LBC technology delivers unprecedented high-speed and high-quality cutting up to three times faster than a conventional fiber laser, AMADA claims.
A high-brightness fiber laser oscillator maintains optimal quality of the high-energy density laser beam. As a result, VENTIS provides virtually dross-free cutting of a variety of materials and thicknesses including stainless steel and aluminum.
Cut quality is ensured by reducing the surface roughness by approximately 50 percent when compared to a conventional machine and dross is reduced to less than 10 µm.

Red Bud Industries - Booth: A4367  
Roll Feeds are a tried-and-true feeding system; however, not all Roll Feeds are created equal. Older systems incorporated a drive, anti-backlash gear box and drives shafts. Today, this long and sometimes troublesome drive train can be eliminated. Red Bud’s Dual Direct Drive Servo Roll Feed shortens and simplifies the drive train by eliminating drive shafts and traditional gear boxes altogether. 
This advanced drive train adds reliability and reduces maintenance while achieving high production speeds and close tolerances. Other advanced capabilities include the ability to adjust the amount of crown in the Feed Rolls based on the material’s thickness. 

Unison   Booth: D41930  
Unison Tube LLC, the North American division of UK-based Unison Ltd, will present a number of innovative tube manipulation technologies. Unison machines on display include an all-electric Unison Breeze 100-millimeter multi-stack tube bender and one of the company’s manually operated, CNC-controlled EvBend 1000 models. 
Unison Ltd invented ultra-precise, all-electric tube and pipe bending, and the Breeze 100-millimeter machine is one of the company’s flagship models. Like all Unison Breeze tube bending machines, the 100-millimeter Breeze offers rapid setup, fast tooling changes, exceptional power, rigid mechanical design and all-electric control.
The EvBend 1000 is a high-precision 3-axis machine that was developed to reduce the entry cost to precision rotary draw tube bending. The machine combines manually operated feed, tube rotation and bending force with CNC-controlled braking on the carriage feed, rotation and bend arm axes. 

Precision Millwright & Machine - Booth: A4989  
Precision Millwright & Machine prides itself on its expertise, with a sales staff with more than 150-plus years in steel distribution and processing. Its products are designed from experience to modify existing material handling equipment to make it more practical. 
PMM customizes power and gravity conveyors to each customer’s specific needs and saw type. This ensures that they are getting the most efficiency out of their setup as possible, with customized plant layouts helping material run through a plant as though it was meant to be. 
Since Precision Millwright is a distributor of steel storage racking and steel cutting equipment for dozens of different vendors, the company is a one-stop turnkey service with employee health and safety in mind. The systems are designed ergonomically friendly to help reduce injuries and fatigue. 

Steel Storage Systems -  Booth: A1162  
Steel Storage Systems will showcase its SpaceSaver Roll-Out Rack for bar, shapes and pipe  and tube and its Roll-Out Sheet Rack offered in the standard 5k Drawer-Capacity Roll-Out, 10k Crank-Out and 10k Powered Models for storing up to 72-inch by 144-inch material. 
Steel Storage Systems also produces tailored conveyor and transfer systems for metal cutting, processing and order-filling applications. Visitors are welcome to come by the Steel Storage Systems booth to learn more about improving metal flow, safety and efficiency. 

Fagor Arrasate - Booth: A4963  
For more than 30 years Fagor Arrasate has been designing and manufacturing customized and fully automated systems for the world’s most demanding industrial sectors.
Fagor has developed a broad portfolio of automations for stamping systems, forging facilities and coil cutting and processing lines, so we can offer the optimum automation for a number of functions, including pick-up destackers, transfers, feeders, shuttle systems, slitter head changes, slitter separators, strapping and packaging lines, coil feeding and automatic threading and more. 
At this year’s FABTECH, Fagor Arrasate will present its extensive portfolio of fully automated systems for stamping and coil cutting and processing.

ANDRITZ - Booth: A3102  
EdgeMaster 4.0 is an innovative and intuitive clearance-control slitting software program. It is powerful enough to cope with the demands of any coil processing operation including advanced high-strength steels, yet simple enough to learn in hours. 
EdgeMaster improves slit-edge quality for packed slitter arbors, simplifies the set-up process and ensures consistent set-up accuracy and efficiency.

Flow - Booth: A4560  
The Mach 200c is a cutting-edge, best-in-class 5 axis cutting system that delivers unparalleled speed and precision at a value-focused price point. Featuring Pivot+ waterjet technology, the Mach 200c enables bevel and 5-axis cutting of virtually any material, hard or soft, with up to 60 degrees of motion for faster, more accurate cutting, Flow claims.
The system’s high-speed motors and drives allow for rapid speed and acceleration/deceleration, ultimately providing faster overall cut time. Additionally, the system features an easy load/unload table and a bridge that is canted back to allow for full table access.

Tecoi North America - Booth: A5178  
Tecoi North America recently introduced its new LS Mega Laser to provide steel service centers, manufacturers and fabricators a laser cutting machine with virtually unlimited working-length cutting capabilities, while still incorporating all Tecoi’s advanced laser cutting machine innovations, including a double core fiber system, double-head cutting technology and automatic beveling with multitool drilling.
The LS Mega Laser has a fully automated mobile system design, which is coordinated with the movement of the machine along its entire length. Tecoi’s LS Mega Laser also features an automatic production control system that enables operators to program tasks along the entire cutting area, while providing maximum flexibility in all cutting dimensions with continuous non-stop production in different independent cutting areas.

TAB Industries - Booth: A5142  
The dual-dispensing TAB Wrapper Tornado orbital wrapper from packaging machinery manufacturer TAB Industries, LLC, Reading, Pa., automatically applies stretch wrap around palletized loads from two different roll dispensers at the same time to allow the use of two different grades or types of stretch wrap on the same pallet load. 
Available as an option, the dual-dispensing system permits packaging and shipping managers to integrate a wide range of stretch film properties as needed such as puncture-resistance, strength, opacity, thickness and color without overspecifying. Applying a standard grade with a heavy-duty grade, or a thin, opaque stretch wrap with a durable, extra-strength grade, or using two different colors for branding and identification are among the choices when mixing and matching. 

Mazak Optonics - Booth: A3502  
Mazak Optonics will introduce a wider range of power levels on the NEO 2D fiber laser-cutting platform,  allowing end users to select the power level best suited for their manufacturing process. 
In addition to an expanded range of power levels from 4kW to the newly released 20kW, Mazak will debut a larger format, the OPTIPLEX NEO 4220. Mazak’s 
OPTIPLEX NEO features beam-shape/diameter control and a proprietary cutting head. The 2D machine boasts large front- and side-access doors plus an intuitive, 
adaptable control for increased accessibility and ease of operation.
An all-inclusive automation suite and new Smart Cell robotic part sorting system will showcase some of its compatible systems available to users interested in optimizing production processes.