Gear Technology Magazine

imX: A Formula for Manufacturing Success

October 5, 2011

From September 12-14, the Las Vegas Convention Center looked nothing like your typical technology exhibition. The Interactive Manufacturing Experience, (imX) was a collaboration of companies including DMG/Mori Seiki, Fanuc, Kennametal, MAG, Makino and Sandvik Coromant with organizations like the SME and the AMTDA to strategically address the challenges of traditional trade shows. Pairing high-level buyers and industry experts, imX offered customized experiences, pre-set itineraries and a host of interactive and networking initiatives. The inaugural summit featured the first public address by newly appointed U.S. Chief Manufacturing Officer Michael Molnar, panels led by industry experts from Boeing and Lockheed Martin and a gala event celebrating the bright future of the American manufacturing industry.

In its first year, imX drew thousands of industry decision makers from across the country, making it one of the nation's most pivotal gatherings of manufacturing executives, nonprofit leaders and government officials. The mission of imX was to enable these leaders to work together to chart a course for the future of an industry that is vital to the American economy. "A healthy domestic manufacturing industry is vital to our nation's economic recovery," said Peter Borden, president of the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association. "Our leaders in Washington know it, and the industry knows it. At imX, we came together to determine how to work collaboratively to strengthen a manufacturing base that will continue creating jobs for American workers and provide a solid foundation for sustained economic growth." While American manufacturing's resurgence was the focal point, the exhibition also had its fair share of relevant industrial product technologies from the likes of Seco Tools, MAG, Sandvik Coromant and Fanuc.  

Seco Metal Cutting Technologies. Seco's executive management and technical experts were on hand at imX to discuss new metal cutting technologies including the Minimaster Plus, Double Octomill R220.48, Square 6, Jabro-Solid² line, Duratomic inserts, Component Engineered Tooling and Seco Point. Additionally, Seco showed-off its exclusive Duratomic coating on four different grades of inserts for the Square 6. Seco's Duratomic technology is a process that creates a durable coating by uniquely arranging aluminum and oxygen atoms to provide increased toughness and abrasion resistance. Seco's Component Engineered Tooling (CET) program helps customers achieve machining solutions through several means. Using customer prints, Seco's CET group selects high efficiency tooling and does CAM programming. They evaluate the effectiveness of their work through functional testing in either a Seco lab or on the customer's shop floor. This is done early on in the project life cycle to reduce risks on the plant floor. This work often involves collaboration with machine tool builders, tool management and technical support staff and results in on-site delivery and installation of a complete tooling package. For more information, visit

MAG Synthetic Coolants. MAG's new Cyclo Cool 900 and 5000 series synthetic coolants are additive free, low foaming and specially formulated for machining titanium, Inconel, beryllium copper, hardened steels, stainless steels and other superalloys. Developed for the aerospace industry, the new coolants are a suitable replacement for semi-synthetics and soluble oils, delivering significant cost savings with lower initial cost, longer tool life, increased stock removal rates, reduced housekeeping, long sump life, and freedom from biocides/fungicides/pH adjusters. These new coolants use unique synthetic formulations to provide boundary lubricant properties, while penetrating the heat barrier in the cutting zone, even at lower pressures (300 to 400 psi), to absorb heat from the tool and part, and minimize chemical reactions between tools and workpieces. Both coolants are clear in use, permitting excellent visibility in the cutting zone. Cyclo Cool fluids are available through MAG Global Services which provides tooling and coolants, retrofits and rebuilds, application engineering and field service. For more information, visit

Sandvik Milling Cutters. The CoroMill 210 high feed milling cutter can be used for some face milling, ramping, circular milling and plunge milling. With a ten-degree entering angle, the cutter is capable of very high feed rates and consequently large removal rates. The small entering angle results in dominantly axial cutting forces, improving milling with longer tool reach, and a favorable chip-thinning effect. This cutter is unique in that it offers a constant chip thickness all the way up to maximum chip thickness all the way up to maximum axial depth of cut. A constant maximum chip thickness is especially favorable in that there are much lower vibration tendencies. The CoroMill 200 round insert milling cutter is suitable for rough applications. It offers extremely high cutting edge strength with very secure insert location-thus ensuring high reliability when roughing large, varying cast iron surfaces. This is a multi-purpose cutter for demanding conditions and material variations and a tool capable of providing high reliability in larger, more powerful machines with rigid set-ups. Wide optimization for safe, efficient milling is provided with the range of cutter sizes and pitches, insert sizes and geometries with new insert grades to suit operations-always the problem solver when faced with rough castings and sand inclusion. For more information, visit

Fanuc Intelligent Machining. Fanuc Robotics America demonstrated intelligent machining on its LR Mate 200iC robot equipped with iRVision, an FS-15iA Force Sensor, and Fanuc's machine tool connection software at imX. At the show, a six-axis LR Mate 200iC robot equipped with iRVision 2-D located and picked a raw part from a conveyor and loaded it to/from a mock lathe. Finished part diameters (O.D.) were inspected using a Fanuc FS-15iA Force Sensor. "Precision gauging using our intelligent Force Sensing technology is ideal for job shops with small-batch product runs," said Nishant Jhaveri, product manager, Fanuc Robotics America. The cell also highlights Fanuc's machine tool connection software option which transfers data via Ethernet between a Fanuc robot and a Fanuc CNC or Robodrill. The software displays robot information on the CNC screen such as I/O status, alarms and robot program selection. Alternatively, CNC information is displayed on the robot's iPendant such as CNC position, feed rate, spindle speed, I/O status, alarms and CNC programs. "Machine tool connection software simplifies the integration of a Fanuc CNC machine with a Fanuc robot. This streamlines system execution, and reduces overall costs compared with operating the robot and CNC remotely during production," Jhaveri said.