FABTECH® is on. It’s big---well on track to be the largest to date. Before Thursday’s close, it’s anticipated that more than 35,000 will walk the halls of McCormick Place. It’s flashy. Solid-state lasers are cutting thin, but also thick stock. I saw a 1-micron laser slice through 1 inch plate like nobody’s business, and leave a clean edge.
In stamping, I saw new laser blanking technology--a coil-fed system with three laser heads working in concert. In forming, I saw a press brake control that accepts voice commands. In welding, I saw a robot programmed not with a teach pendant, and not with offline programming, but with a welder grabbing the arm and guiding it across points of the weld.