Lean & Green: Machine Components, Cleaning and Environmental Tech

2022-07-30 08:56:41 By : Ms. Lily Liu

Three important subjects, one pavilion, multiple buildings. Here’s to comfortable walking shoes.

Welcome to the Machine Components, Cleaning, and Environmental pavilion, which brings all of the products that keep shops clean, safe, and comfortable under a single convenient drop-down on the IMTS 2022 Show Planner—although not the same floor or even building. Here you’ll find chuck jaws and work gloves, oil skimmers and electrical connectors, chemicals and parts washers, and much more. And yes, you’ll see some Big Ass fans. There’s not enough room to highlight everything, but we’ve identified a few products and solutions that you might find interesting. For the rest, get walking.

Raleigh, N.C.’s Air Purification Inc. products have been making shop air cleaner since 1985. It supplies air filtration units, downdraft tables, dust collectors, fume booths and extraction arms, and vehicle exhaust solutions to the likes of BMW, Delta, and GE, as well as small, family owned machine shops and welding houses. When walking the East Building, Level 2, be sure to stop by Booth 121333 to discuss your air filtration needs with the company’s highly trained staff.

If you’ve gone home after a long day’s work to find your pockets full of grinding grit and a T-shirt pocked with tiny burn holes, you’ll want to visit Booth 339347 in the South Building, Level 3, the temporary home of Midaco Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill. You might know the company for its pallet changers and auto-door systems (which are also on display), but this 53-year-old provider of shop productivity solutions offers a combination dust collector and grinder pedestal called the Grit-Grabber, and a partner product, the illuminated, tamper-resistant Grinder Guard. Also part of the Machine Components, Cleaning, and Environmental pavilion is Midaco’s lineup of industrial CNC chip vacuum systems, designed for the extraction and recovery of coolant, oils, and emulsions, while filtering metal chips and fines.

The North Building, Level 3, Booth 236557 is one of two locations (the other’s in the West Building’s Tooling and Workholding Systems pavilion) where IMTS 2022 visitors can talk to Bluco Corp. representatives about modular fixturing for welding, machining, robotics, and positioning applications. Located in Naperville, Ill., the company has been manufacturing innovative workholding solutions for more than three decades—and recently won a spot on Chicago’s list of the best and brightest places to work.

If you’re one of the unfortunate few who’s watched an expensive machine or even an entire shop go up in flames, you know the importance of stopping fires before they can start. Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Firetrace International does too and will have experts on hand at Booth 121312, East Building, Level 2 to discuss direct and indirect release, high-pressure CO2, and the company’s FlexRope fire detection and suppression systems. Better safe than sorry.

Need an automatic door for a laser cutter or robotic welding cell? Cruise on over to the East Building, Level 2, Booth 121012. It’s there that you’ll find Berlin, Wis.-based Dynatect Manufacturing, provider of these and other “dynamic protection” solutions. What began 75 years ago as one person working in his basement to supply the neighborhood kids with leather footballs and basketballs has since grown to an international developer and manufacturer of roll-up covers and doors, as well as clutches, moldings, wipers, and ball screws. Dynatect draws on more than 500,000 customized solutions, boasts 75 different manufacturing capabilities, and has a large team of engineers, application specialists, and factory-trained representatives, many of whom will be on hand to answer your questions on the best way to close a door quickly and efficiently.

No one likes a dirty floor. They’re unsafe, unsanitary, and unsightly. Copenhagen resident Peder Andersen Fisker recognized this in 1906, and today his company is a major developer of industrial vacuums, floor scrubbers, sweepers, and high-pressure washers. If your shop is still relying on mops and brooms, it might be time to talk to the representatives from Nilfisk America, Brooklyn Park, Minn., whom you can find at Booth 121052 in the East Building, Level 2. It sure beats sweeping.

Stand in front of a CNC lathe long enough and you’ll come across a delicate or thin-walled part that needs to be held with pie jaws to prevent distortion. Chances are good that those jaws came from Abbott Workholding, Manhattan, Kan. (formerly Abbott Engineering and Manufacturing Co. of Phoenix), which began producing soft jaws and specialized tooling in 1954 and delivered the first Pie Jaw brand chuck jaws one year later. Today, the company continues to design and manufacture high-quality workholding products, with tooling columns, master plates, and aluminum hammers among them. All are made in the U.S., and all can be seen in the South Building, Level 3, Booth 339347.

No matter how good the machine tool or metal removal process, it will likely come to a screeching halt without cutting fluids. QualiChem Inc. of Salem, Va. provides an assortment of water-based cutting and grinding fluids and straight oils to prevent this unfortunate event, as well as the cleaners needed to keep machines clean and corrosion preventatives to keep rust at bay. Pay them a visit at the East Building, Level 2, Booth 121262. Your cutting tools will thank you.

Machinists using water-based cutting fluids know (or should know) the importance of keeping these fluids clean and well maintained, and that means keeping microorganism-friendly tramp oils out of the reservoir. One of the easiest ways to do this is with an oil skimmer. As you might have guessed from its name, Cleveland’s Oil Skimmers Inc. has numerous products to remove tramp oil, but also offers external tank and drum-style skimmers as well as custom-engineered solutions. Stop by stopping by Booth 121457 on the 2nd level of McCormick Place’s East Building.

It’s a sad fact that machined parts must be thoroughly cleaned when complete. Fortunately, ultrasonic cleaning is an excellent way to accomplish this. If you visit the East Building, Level 2, Booth 121400, you’ll find a number of these part washing and drying systems on display. Cincinnati-based Cleaning Technologies Group is an international provider of such systems, representing a broad array of aqueous, ultrasonic, and multi-stage cleaning solutions—many of them automated—for the medical, semiconductor, aerospace, automotive, and other industrial markets. And for companies that do not yet have a validated cleaning process, Cleaning Technologies Group has laboratories and clean room facilities available to simulate spray, immersion, ultrasonic, and megasonic cleaning technologies and will provide you with actual test data.

And once those parts have been cleaned, it’s a good idea to cover delicate surfaces such as threads and turned journals. Caplugs of Buffalo, N.Y. carries more than 40,000 standard caps, plugs, tubes, hose guards, and similar protective products to do exactly that. Calling itself “Your Global Plastic Molding Partner,” the international 70-year-old company is more than happy to augment this offering with custom-plastic products and has a team of experienced engineers to help you design them. You can find Caplugs at the East Building, Level 2, Booth 121368.

Need to move some heavy stuff? How about really heavy stuff, as in the James Webb Telescope or the machines used to assemble the Orion spacecraft? Float on over to Booth 121352 in the East Building, Level 2, where AeroGo Inc. of West Tukwila, Wash. will be showing off its line of innovative load-moving solutions. Whether it’s one of the company’s air cushion vehicles, an air plank, or air caster rigging system, CEO John Massenburg and his team have two questions: “How much does it weigh and where does it need to go?”

Speaking of spacecraft, did you know that NASA will be at IMTS this year? And better yet, the space agency is willing to share its technology. The NASA Technology Transfer Program is spending time at the East Building, Level 2, Booth 121009. Its mission? “To ensure that innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.” This means the Huntsville, Ala.-based organization is willing to license the patents for an “Additive Manufacturing Method for Sub-Micro Scale Three Dimensional Structures (GSC-TOPS-177), Modular Fixturing for Assembly and Welding Applications (MFS-TOPS-66),” and, for those with an eye to the skies, its Nanosatellite Launch Adapter System (TOP2-165). There’s also an online catalog filled with software that “you can download for free to use in a wide variety of technical applications,” one section of which has code for autonomous systems (as in robots). For the space nerds among us, it’s exciting stuff.

Though not as high flying as NASA, HBC-radiomatic Inc. in Hebron, Ky., also has some cool stuff. Anyone looking for radio remote control of their conveyor belts, forklifts, chain hoists, and magnetic cranes (or whatever else you have in mind) should wander over to Booth 121465 in the East Building, Level 2, and see how this 70-year-old company can “set great things in motion.”

Still sending parts out for passivation? Doing it in-house isn’t rocket science, nor is it too expensive to set up. Esma Inc. in Holland, Ill., is a leading manufacturer of surface-treatment equipment, including passivation, electropolishing, and ultrasonic cleaning systems. To discuss what’s involved, stop by the East Building’s Booth 121265, Level 2 and skip the outsourcing.