Now in its second year, Manufacturing & Engineering North East saw almost 100 exhibitors supporting what in its first year became an award-winning event. Indeed, just last month, MENE won the Rising Star category at the Exhibition News awards in London. That sees it as the recipient of four awards in its first year.

Some 1,300 high quality visitors attended the inaugural two-day show and conference last year, with exhibitors voting with their feet and returning to this year’s show – 70% of them rebooking stands at the conclusion of last year’s event. And visitors are expected to flock to the event once again next month.

They will be welcomed at the Metro Radio Arena entrance by a Fanuc cobot – a robot that can safely work alongside people.

With over 10,000 design engineering and manufacturing sites within a 100 mile radius of Newcastle, Manufacturing & Engineering North East is ideally located to support the region’s industry. The event offers a prime opportunity for organisations to source new suppliers, test equipment, acquire expert knowledge and forge new supply chain relationships without travelling too far afield.

This year the show once again sees almost 100 exhibitors setting up shop, with over 40 of those of direct interest to users of production equipment and many more offering other relevant manufacturing services or equipment.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS

Yamazaki Mazak returns to the show to exhibit its new Integrex i-200ST multi-tasking machine, complete with SmoothX CNC, on stand D1 at Manufacturing and Engineering North East 2016.

Mazak Integrex i-200ST

Richard Smith, managing director of Yamazaki Mazak’s UK & Ireland sales division, comments: “The North East is one of the country’s most diverse industrial regions, supporting the oil and gas, aerospace and automotive industries in recent years. Given its versatility, and capacity to handle large workpieces and demanding materials, the Integrex i-200ST is ideally suited to supporting North East manufacturers across these industries, whilst all the while delivering outstanding productivity and performance.”

The Integrex i-200ST is the latest version of Mazak’s flagship Integrex i-series range, and is equipped with the new SmoothX CNC that delivers a dramatic step-change in productivity. The advanced Multi-Tasking machine now boasts added bed-length for machining long complex workpieces, with the benefit of reduced interference between the turning and milling heads. Productivity is enhanced with the use of a 5,000 rpm and 22kW main turning spindle and a second 5,000 rpm, 18.5kW turning spindle. Complex workpieces, including those with 5-axis simultaneous requirements, can be machined by virtue of its fully contouring B-axis with 240o rotation, housing a high-power and high-torque 12,000 rpm, 22 kW milling spindle, able to cope with the most demanding of materials.

At the other end of the hall, on stand B18, Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) will be showcasing all its latest innovations for customers that couldn't make it to MACH. For manufacturers in the North East region, ITC will be introducing its latest promotion, the 'boring' challenge. The Big Kaiser line of boring tools is capable of precision boring up to 3 m diameter. ITC challenges subcontractors and manufacturers making bores larger than 20 mm to find a better cycle time than its Big Kaiser SW Twin-Cutter boring head.

Big Kaiser SW Twin-Cutter boring head video

Aside from attractive promotional offers, ITC will be drawing visitors’ attention to the new line of Big Kaiser air turbine spindles and tool holders, the comprehensive range of Widia solid carbide and indexable insert products and of course, ITC's UK-manufactured Cyber range of high performance solid carbide milling tools.

As for the latter, product extensions on show will include the addition of corner radius options to the 2071 Cyber Series range of two flute end mills, the addition of 1 and 2 mm diameter cutters to the 4121 Cyber Series of end mills, the arrival of radii on the renowned three fluted 3091 Series of 3 flute aluminium tools and also the 2111 Cyber Series of PCD end mills.

Also, the ITC team will be present the 2017 edition of the new Widia Master catalogue, a comprehensive product reference having more than 2,000 pages of the latest developments in milling, drilling, threading, turning and much more from the German tooling specialist.

SkyWall 10 drone-catcher: a user of Igus Iglidur J plain bearings

One of the companies that plastic bearing and cable management solution manufacturer Igus met during last year’s event is OpenWorks Engineering, a Northumberland-based product development company that has created a portable, reusable drone defence system. Called SkyWall10, it uses compressed air to launch a projectile containing a net and optional parachute to capture a drone, thus keeping it intact without risk of damage to the drone itself or the surrounding area. At the heart of the system is an easy-to-use SmartScope, allowing engagement of static and moving targets using predictive algorithms. When a target is acquired, the SmartScope adjusts its bearings to force the operator to redirect their aim to compensate for gravity and drone movement. Here Igus Iglidur J plain bearings are used for the pivots in the SmartScope because of their low maintenance and low weight when compared to conventional metal roller bearings.

For an overview of another kind of application, cables for dynamic applications, Liam Kinnally, product manager for Chainflex cables at Igus, will be making a presentation on ensuring that chosen cables keep machines running smoothly for millions of cycles. He will explore the issues, explain why the decision is so often overlooked, how doing so has had costly results. He will speak both days: 13:15-13:55 on Wednesday 6 July and 11:15-11:55 on Thursday 7 July, in Workshop Theatre 1.

Throughout the show, members of the Igus team will be available on stand B5 to take visitors through the benefits and potential applications of their bearing products and cable management systems, as well as provide insight into the full range of Igus products suitable for a diverse range of applications.

Around the corner on stand A7, precision measurement product supplier Bowers Group will be a variety of Bowers products, as well as items from Trimos, Sylvac, Gagemaker and Moore & Wright. Sales director Stuart Millington says: “The MENE exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for Bowers Group to showcase our metrology equipment in the North East. We recognise the importance of raising the profile of our products in a region that is benefiting from growth and investment, with a show that brings the best of British design engineering and manufacturing talent to Newcastle.”

DETAILS REVEALED

Amongst those that have revealed details ahead of their attendance is sheet metalworking expert Trumpf (stand D26), which will focus on the wide scope of its products and services that support manufacturers through the lifecycle, from machine investment and beyond. This takes in laser cutting, punching and bending, to advanced laser processing technology.

In the field of CO2 and solid-state production lasers, Trumpf says its product spectrum is unparalleled, with lasers designed for processes that include welding, cutting, drilling, tube processing, surface treatment, additive manufacturing and component marking. Of course, the company also offers a range of portable fabrication equipment – details of the full range, and also the tooling service provided by Trumpf, will be on the stand.

Under the umbrella of TruServices, the company provides a comprehensive range of consultancy and technical services to support its customers, including finance and both machine and business software packages; these too will be highlighted at the show.

The Turbex Alma range of degreasing systems

Aqueous cleaning machine specialist Turbex (C6) will use the show to introduce visitors to the wide variety of Elma ultrasonic, high precision cleaning machines. The range goes from small, bench-top units to bespoke, multi-tank cleaning and drying lines featuring automation. A hallmark of Elma machines is multi-frequency ultrasonics, where a single transducer can generate two different ultrasonic frequencies. Consequently, dissimilar parts and materials can be processed optimally in the same tank.

The machines are aimed primarily at high-end cleaning applications in the precision manufacturing, medical and optics industries. However, they are equally at home in the aerospace, automotive, nuclear, electronics and general engineering sectors.

Turbex will also promote its Mafac range of aqueous cleaning machines; these incorporate a patented processing system that sees movements of the holding basket and spray jets individually adjustable, allowing them to rotate in the same or opposite directions, allowing programs to be tailored.

For cleaning larger components, the company’s heavy duty Turbex AC range of front-loading, spray washing and rinsing machines are offered. They are especially popular for degreasing, phosphating, paint removal, de-rusting and de-scaling.

Completing the Turbex promotion will be spray wash and ultrasonic cleaning tanks, which can be used stand-alone, as bench-mounted units or as part of an integrated modular cleaning system.

GRIPPING EXHIBITS

Workholding, toolholding and automation accessory expert Schunk (D13) will be showing a multitude of new products alongside some of its established offerings. One of the new unveilings will be the RGG Cleaning Unit that fits any machine tool configuration and which can, using a powerful jet of compressed air or coolant via six nozzles, be programmed to quickly clean the working area, tables and clamping devices of a machine tool, removing all chips. Versus manual cleaning, the unit allows for a faster and more systematic approach.

Additionally, the company will emphasise the benefits of its Tendo E Compact hydraulic expansion toolholder, which is capable of both reducing set-up times by up to 60% and delivering micron precision.

In terms of workholding applications, Schunk will demonstrate a number of products that will include the flexible manual Rota-S chuck with its optimised wedge bar drive system and improved lubricant system that ensures consistently high clamping forces. The Rota-S chuck supports efficient cutting strategies that shorten manufacturing time, while its quick-change jaw system allows fast jaw changes with repeatable accuracy.

Turning to robotics and gripping applications, the MPG-plus miniature parallel gripper that is the most powerful miniature parallel gripper on the market will be featured. Compared to similar modules that require the same input, it achieves a significantly higher output, therefore paving the way for increasingly smaller and more efficient systems.

Finally, CGTech (stand C2) will be showcasing the latest version of Vericut CNC program/machine simulation, verification and optimisation software that detects collisions and near-misses between all machine tool components, such as axis slides, heads, turrets, rotary tables, spindles, tool changers, fixtures, workpieces, cutting tools, and other user-defined objects.

Vericut Reviewer, which supports stepping through or playing backwards simulations, will also be highlighted at the event. This allows shopfloor personnel, suppliers, customers and other production engineers to view animations of the CNCmachining process. It is a stand-alone viewer that does not require a licence and can be used with Windows computers and tablets, and also on the Apple iPad.

Vericut simulates all types of CNC machining, including multi-axis milling, drilling and trimming of composite parts, waterjet cutting, robotic and mill-turn centres. It runs standalone, but can also be integrated with leading CADCAM systems, including Dassault Systemes CATIA, Siemens PLM NX, Delcam PowerMill, Vero EdgeCam and Open Mind hyperMill.

A common feature of all recent releases of the software has been the focus on full integration with the products offered by the CADCAM and machine tool industries. As a result, Vericut is now at the heart of the CNC manufacturing process.

Visitors can now register online to attend the exhibition and conference, with speakers from Hitachi Rail, Nissan and UKTI already signed up to speak, while James Wharton MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, will also address conference delegates. In addition to the conference, show floor workshops add to the pool of information and expert advice available at this key annual event.