Posted by: Chris Felix 3. February 2016

IMTS 2016 Registration is Open


Registration and Visitor Housing for this year’s leading industrial manufacturing event, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, is now open. Manufacturing professionals across the globe will gather at Chicago’s McCormick Place, September 12-17, 2016, seeking to explore the latest in manufacturing technologies and innovative manufacturing trends. Registration includes floor access to 1.256 million net square feet of exhibits. This includes five co-located shows, making IMTS 2016 one of the largest in show history. Visit and to begin planning your IMTS 2016 experience.

More than 2,000 companies will exhibit, and anticipated registrants will exceed 120,000 buyers and sellers of machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, systems and processes. The five co-located shows, which are organized by Hanover Fairs, USA, include the following: Industrial Automation North America; Motion, Drive & Automation North America; Surface Technology North America; ComVac North America and Industrial Supply North.

Through August 12, individual registration is $45 per person; group registration (five or more) is $30 per person. Beginning August 13, registration increases to $65 for an individual and $45 for each group member. “Discounts for groups are offered to encourage companies to send their manufacturing teams. Company groups gain a broader perspective by gathering ideas from varying viewpoints—engineers, machinists, managers, executives—to shape the future of the technology in their factory,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions & Communications at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS.

New for 2016, AMT members have complimentary registration through August 12. On August 13, pricing will be $35. International visitors and students have complimentary registration.

IMTS, in cooperation with Connections Housing (the only housing provider) today opened its reserved housing block to visitors. IMTS specially contracts the lowest room rates during the event, guarantees your room and offers free shuttle service to and from McCormick Place for all hotels within the IMTS Hotel Block.

“Do not wait to book your hotel room,” cautions Mr. Eelman. “Because of the size and popularity of IMTS, literally every hotel room in Chicago will be occupied. Even months before the show, you may not find a room downtown.” 

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 1. February 2016

Investing in Innovation

Brendan Slabe uses his shop’s 3D printer to produce prototypes of a piece at each stage of the machining process to enhance discussions between engineers, operators and customers.

Only a week after Slabe Machine Products (SMP) of Willoughby, Ohio, purchased its first tabletop-mounted robotic arm, Karthik Mellechervu—a young engineer with the company—had already utilized it as the centerpiece of a system designed to coat finished parts. He first determined the components he’d need for such a system, such as a gravity-fed ramp for positioning parts within the robot’s reach, and then he grew them on the company’s 3D printer. “We bought the robot just to see what we could do with it,” according to Brendan Slabe, vice president of sales and marketing. “All we had to do was put it in Karthik’s hands and he was off and running.”

Mr. Slabe discovered the value of investing in new technologies—new to the company, at least—almost two decades ago, when SMP purchased its first Swiss-type lathe about 20 years ago. “It immediately opened our eyes to the value of making a part complete on a single machine,” he recalls. “It changed the whole way we think about machining.”

He also uses the 3D printer to simplify and clarify prototyping. Rather than producing a prototype of the proposed finished part, he grows parts at each phase of the machining process to support discussions between engineers, operators and customers as to the best method for reaching the desired goal. Read this article to learn more about SMP’s approach to Swiss-type machining. 

Karthik Mellechervu and Brendan Slabe discuss the details of an automated coating system, with components made by 3D printing. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 29. January 2016

A Good Year for NIMS Means a Good Year for Us



NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) posted its most successful year in 2015. The organization awarded a record number of credentials to individuals seeking to enter or advance in manufacturing jobs.

This is good news for the manufacturing community, which is desperately seeking skilled workers to fill vacant positions across the spectrum of manufacturing. Last year, NIMS issued 21,420 industry-recognized credentials, with 18,901 of them issued in the United States, a 20 percent increase over 2014.

Granted, these numbers are a drop in the bucket compared with the demand, but what is encouraging is the trend line seems to be moving upwards. “These jobs will require more advanced skills, particularly around the use of technology, so training candidates to industry standards is imperative,” says Jim Wall, executive director at NIMS. 

Posted by: Chris Felix 27. January 2016

Emuge Donates Cutting Tools for Training


Emuge Corp. has recently donated hundreds of high performance taps, end mills and other rotary cutting tools to Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) of Worcester, Massachusetts. The tool donation, valued at more than $100,000, will be used to support the college’s ambitious new machining technology program that was recently formed.


QCC is expanding and updating its Manufacturing Technology Center, a multi-million dollar facility housing a range of technological equipment on their main Worcester campus. This center provides students with hands-on learning experiences in today’s advanced manufacturing technologies. The center boasts new CNC machining centers, metrology equipment and an array of tools and software, to enable the manufacturing and inspection of real world parts and components. The Manufacturing Technology Center is designed to complement the college’s STEM programming in the soon to be opened QuEST Center (Quinsigamond Engineering, Science and Technology Center).


“We are thrilled to have received this very generous donation of tools from Emuge,” says Dr. Gail Carberry, president of QCC. “We are especially pleased that Emuge reached out to us regarding the donation at a time when we are actively building and implementing expanded programming in manufacturing and engineering technologies. The new initiative is designed to equip our students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to fill the rapidly growing gap in the manufacturing workforce and help them secure careers in advanced manufacturing. The tools will be a huge plus for the program.”


“We are pleased to support QCC’s manufacturing education program by collaborating with not only tool donations, but also offering our knowledge and expertise in today’s advanced precision manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, defense, medical and automotive,” says Bob Hellinger, president of Emuge Corp. “We are very willing to support QCC’s efforts, share our knowledge, our nearby West Boylston technology center and our high quality tools. Hopefully we can also offer recruitment opportunities wherever possible for QCC students, especially as we expand our manufacturing capabilities in our West Boylston facility. Keeping an eye on our future, it is certainly in our interest to acquire skilled manufacturing talent. The industry is in dire need of advanced manufacturing skills. To address this, we are willing and eager to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with QCC.”

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 25. January 2016

PMPA Member Wins 2015 Best Plants Award


Join us in congratulating Camcraft Inc. for being one of eight winners of the annual "IndustryWeek" Best Plants Award. Referring to them as “Champions of Manufacturing,” the business journal states that “anything is possible when astute manufacturing leaders and motivated employee teams set their minds to working smarter and getting better. And each year, manufacturing plants across North America demonstrate the truth of those words by improving quality, reducing cycle times, forging partnerships with their suppliers and customers: in short, creating cultures of excellence that deliver outstanding performances and continue to seek the next opportunity to improve.”

Bernie Nagle, executive director of the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA), had this to say in a LinkedIn post: “PMPA is so proud of our member, Camcraft,” he says. “Congratulations for creating a culture of engagement and continuous improvement.”

Based in Hanover Park, Illinois, Camcraft has been producing precision machined parts for more than six decades. It employs some 275 individuals and is housed in a 120,000 square-foot facility.

Read about other Best Plants Award winners here. Also view a short video about Camcraft.

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