What tradeshow-attendance drop-off?

The aisles were packed at this year's Spanish Machine Tool Biennial (BIEMH) show held in the Bilbao International Exhibition Center. A total of 1,797 companies from some 74 countries exhibited products and technologies in eight pavilions occupying 42,476

The aisles were packed at this year's Spanish Machine Tool Biennial (BIEMH) show held in the Bilbao International Exhibition Center. A total of 1,797 companies from some 74 countries exhibited products and technologies in eight pavilions occupying 42,476 m 2 of space. While the last BIEMH in 2000 attracted 53,000 visitors, this year's show experienced 57,273 pre-registrations, a 29% increase.

BIEMH 2002 was jointly organized by the Bilbao Trade Fair and the Spanish Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers (AFM). The show's success is due in part to the efforts of not only the Trade Fair and AFM but also the Export Trade Association of Spanish Manufacturers of Accessories, Component Parts, and Tools for Machine Tools (AMT).

AFM and AMT are two of Spain's leading trade associations focused on promoting member companies and opening up new foreign markets for their products. AFM member companies at the show included Danobat, Pinacho, NicolÁs Correa, Fagor Automation, Lagun, and Ona — all of which export to the U.S. Among AMT members at the show were Saim Metal, Glual HidrÁulica, Talleres Lan-Bat, Talleres de Guernica, Ardatz Perfor, Kendu, Lumi, Spirsin, Wisco Española, Integi, Egaña, Laip, Izar, Goizper, Korta, and Fresmak.

Machine tools and motion
The Danobat Group, maker of lathes, grinders, machining centers, and more, displayed its G-41-U toolroom grinder featuring the company's new software package, which simulates manual movement for efficient production. Also at the booth was the G-51-B4 universal grinder with a mechanical B axis; the RT-800 CNC surface grinder that uses creepfeed technology — slow feeds for removing large amounts of stock; and the TCN-12 horizontal lathe sporting 2.5 m between centers and a 37-kW motor.

Premiering at the Pinacho booth was the company's new Smart-turn control featured on a line of conventional lathes. Classified between manual and full CNC, the control lets operators quickly produce complicated geometric parts, tapers, radii, and threads without using copying attachments.

At the NicolÁs Correa booth, the Rapid 30 drew much attention. It's one in a series of bridge-type milling machines that combines high-speed and 5-axis capabilities. Acceleration rates surpass 3 m/sec 2 , and the Rapid 30 carries either a fully articulated, continuous 5-axis head or an indexed head with a rigid 18,000-rpm electrospindle. A work envelope, measuring 3,000 2,3501,200/1,800 mm, easily accommodates medium-sized molds and dies as well as monolithic aerospace workpieces.

In addition to a new family of linear encoders, motors, and drives, Fagor Automation displayed its 8070 CNC for high-speed machining. The PC-based open system handles up to 16 axes with a block-processing time under 1 msec and a PLC execution time of 1,000 instructions/1 msec. Included in the 8070 package are stackable remote I/O modules (analog, digital, and feedback) controlled by CAN. Depending on individual requirements, users can group these modules at different locations of a machine.

Lagun Grupo Goratu displayed several machines at the show. Among them were vertical milling machines, VMCs, and bed-type milling machines. The company specializes in high-speed equipment.

There was plenty of excitement at the Ona booth. Besides winning the show's 6th National Machine-Tool Design Award, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Machines showcased included two new models in the KE Series of wire EDMs and the HS and CS Series of diesinker EDMs.

Both the KE 350 and KE 450 are smaller machines as compared to the rest of the big-machine KE Series. Axis travels on the KE 450, the larger of the two, measure 700 500400140 140 mm for X, Y, Z, U, and V, respectively. Features on both machines include the company's new CNC with Expert Erosion System, fixed bed frames for heavy workpieces (up to 3,000 kg on the KE 350 and 5,000 kg on the KE 450), and Ona's zero-maintenance-cost filter.

On the HS Series sinker machines, fixed worktanks make for long X and Y-axis travels. And since the clamping system is fixed, workpieces rest directly on the machine frame, so the X/Y axes shoulder only light mechanical forces. On the CS Series machines, worktanks raise and lower.

Components, cutters, and more
Saim Metal showed a new line of compound tables with 46 different models and a new manual-model 4100-R surfacegrinder. The machine's main feature is THK linear-motion guides on its longitudinal movement.

Bronze gears were the highlight at Wisco Española's booth. The company also manufactures conventional and self-lubricating friction bearings and other forged brass components.

Glual HidrÁulic's booth featured standard and special models of hydraulic and electrohydraulic cylinders, while Talleres Lan-Bat's booth had hydraulic-tool and hand-clamping multi-angular heads, movable arbor heads, universal heads, machining units, and specialty heads.

Goizper, maker of clutch brakes and indexing drives, presented for the first time its Series 5.8 pneumatic clutch brakes for presses. The product sports a large main air chamber for improved performance.

While Talleres Egaña provided samples of its vibration-dampening equipment, such as machine-leveling pads and shock absorbers, Spirsin presented its new direct-drive rotary table model DMT-800. It turns at speeds up to 500 rpm for machining and metrology applications.

Large-diameter lathe chucks attracted a lot of attention at Talleres de Guernica's booth. The company's chucks range in size from 3.5 to 98 in. and come in 4-jaw heavy and regular-duty independent, big bore, and concentric styles.

Cutting tools were well represented at the show by companies such as Ardatz Perfor, Kendu, Lumi, Integi, and Izar. Ardatz Perfor specializes in high-speed drills, taps, and end mills. Kendu, offering HSS and hard-milling cutters, released its new Ken Graf 2000 series of cutters for high-speed graphite milling. Lumi showed special cutting tools made of HSS and carbide, while Integi displayed a range of lathe-working knurling tools in both forming and cutting styles. Izar Herramientas de Amorebieta's booth provided extensive samples of the company's drills, end mills, reamers, taps, saw blades, and dies. Complementing the cutting tools being shown was Laip's new shrink-fit toolholder. The induction-heat system holds tools accurately and securely for high-speed milling.

In the workholding section, Fresmak showcased the Arnold line of high-pressure vises. These provide accurate and repeatable holding pressure for all machining applications. Vise models range from simple manual to multipart hydraulically actuated for machining center tombstones.

Besides showcasing www.korta-sa.com, a new website where engineers can down-load ballscrew design drawings, Korta introduced two new lines of ballscrews at the show. One line is for high-load capacity, and the other is for high-speed. The high-speed models use specially treated materials and feature rotating nuts.

Making a move

This is the last year BIEMH will be at its current home. For 2004, the show moves to a new Bilbao Exhibition Center. The upgraded facility, located a short distance from the old one, houses 117,000 m 2 of column-free exhibition surface area spread over seven exhibition halls. There is also a conference center, offices, and parking for 4,000 cars.

The new center includes a multipurpose arena to support a range of different activities, including cultural, sporting, business, and more. Its capacity is 20,000 people.

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