What I taught at IMTS

IMTS is a big manufacturing show dominated by machines and tools for cutting metals. I was asked to educate the masses about how the machining of composites is different. It was captured on video.

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Machine tool manufactured by Precorp, which is now owned by Sandvik Coromant.

Every two years, in September, there is a massive trade show in Chicago called IMTS, and it's more likely than not that you've never heard of it. IMTS, back in the day, used to stand for International Machine Tool Show (that's why you probably have never heard of it). Today, IMTS stands for International Manufacturing Technology Show, which reflects the show's effort to become a gathering place of manufacturing technologies of all kinds. But, it is still, predominantly, a machine tool show. 

I go to IMTS for a couple of days every two years because composite parts, like metals, often must be cut, trimmed, drilled or in some other way machined post-mold. I like to go to the show to find out who is offering what in the way of tools and machines directed specficially at the composites industry. As you might guess, the aisles are not overflowing with such composites-specific products, but they can be found.

In addition, because composites are a novelty to the metals machining folks, there is a certain amount of curiosity about how composites fit into overall machining picture. That is, if you are a metals machinist, and that is all you do, you probably don't fully understand why or how composites might need to be acted on by a machine tool.

So, at IMTS 2016 I was invited by the folks at IMTS TV to talk about the machining of advanced composites. This is the video that results. And if you know composites and machining of composites, it's not news (and forgive me if I err in any way), but for your metalhead friends, it might be a nice conversation starter about how composites are different than metals. This video is safe for work (SFW). 

 

Note: I mention in the interview the possibility that the 787 will be redesigned. I meant the 757 might be redesigned.