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AMT’s Emerging Technology Centers (ETCs) Show the Future of Manufacturing

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Sponsored by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology that owns and operates IMTS, the ETC has become the “must-visit” exhibit and is renowned around the world for showcasing state-of-the-art and disruptive technologies, which will impact manufacturing in the years to come.

For the first time, IMTS featured two AMT ETCs. In the North building digital transformation focused on how new science is impacting manufacturing, and in the West building additive manufacturing demonstrated how it can dramatically reduce mold production time from weeks and months to hours and days.

Bryce Barnes of Cisco presents in AMT's ETC - Digital Transformation at IMTS 2018.

Digital Transformation ETC

Visitors could take in advances on the factory floor by witnessing two physically and digitally connected automated cells with robots and CNC machines; review an interactive exhibit by CISCO on their view of a connected smart factory; experience ATHENA, the first universal, voice-operated assistant technology specifically designed for manufacturing, from industry technology incubator, iTSpeeX; and even watch a feature film, The Digital Transformation of Manufacturing, which embodies the ETC theme “What's Now, What's New, What's Next” and focuses on the industry's challenges and opportunities.

Additive Manufacturing ETC

In the Additive Manufacturing ETC, visitors experienced demonstrations of the newest breakthroughs in materials, speeds and technologies.

To show the speed and versatility that additive manufacturing brings to the industry, Oak Ridge National Laboratory created a “die-in-a-day” demonstration that featured four stages of development: printing the die at Lincoln Electric, machining the printed die at Mazak, molding a part from the die at IACMI, and 3D laser scanning the part at Quality Vision International.

“Traditionally it takes a minimum of six weeks to make molds, and it costs tens of thousands of dollars,” said Lonnie Love, Group Leader of Automation Robotics and Manufacturing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “We demonstrated every day of the show the ability to go from digital to actual production in less than 10 hours. This technology has practical uses that manufacturers can utilize now.”

This ETC also featured a “Knowledge Bar” hosted by America Makes where visitors learned about the development of education roadmaps, an online platform for members to exchange information and establishment of industry-wide additive manufacturing (AM) standards and specifications.

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