We are going to the show

Author Alan Richter
August 01, 2016 - 02:45pm

Nine is my favorite number. The largest of the single digits has unique properties that other numbers don’t.

For one, multiply any integer by nine and the resulting product equals nine when the individual numbers are added together. For example, 9 × 8 = 72 and 7 + 2 = 9. Also, any multiple of nine times another number, even one that’s not evenly divisible by nine, equals nine when the individual numbers are added together. 72 × 683 = 49,176 and 4 + 9 + 1 + 7 + 6 = 27 and 2 + 7 = 9. 

For a fascinating tale about this special number, read the book “Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code” by Cecil Balmond.

I bring this up because IMTS 2016 will mark my ninth International Manufacturing Technology Show, so I expect it will be the best to date.

This issue of CTE includes our IMTS 2016 Show Preview, featuring show highlights, information about the various pavilions, a guide to Chicago attractions and an extensive array of announcements about what exhibitors plan to showcase. The latter includes machine tools, software, workholders, automation equipment and cutting tools. 

One new and beneficial tool that caught my attention—even though it isn’t able to remove metal from a workpiece—is the Career Pathway Tool from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. According to NIMS, the institute will participate in the IMTS 2016 Smartforce Student Summit and present how its tool helps employers, educators and job seekers understand the numerous career avenues in the metalworking industry, how NIMS credentials help validate skills at a variety of levels, and how those credentials can be earned to help students enter the industry and advance their careers.

“We enjoy participating in the Smartforce Student Summit because it’s our way to really engage with the younger generation and show students that maybe they have the knowledge, expertise or even passion, in one way or another,” for a career in the industry, said Angela Lashinske, program associate at NIMS. 

“We try to let students know not only what the financial benefits are from being in the industry, but also about job security,” she added, “which the younger generation is more interested in than people realize.”

Lashinske emphasized that a successful career may not take a “traditional” approach, but that financial and structural systems are in place to support the path for and pursuit of any type of metalworking job—from entry level to executive. For more information about the NIMS Career Pathway Tool, visit www.nimsready.org.

The Additive Manufacturing Pavilion, which was part of the former Fabricating/Laser/Additive Pavilion, will also premiere at IMTS 2016. Additive manufacturing continues to make impressive technological gains and inroads into new markets, but research Argonne National Laboratory conducted signal a limitation of 3D-printed metal parts.

ANL targeted Ti6Al4V and reported that powder-based printing via electron-beam melting increases porosity—the quantity and size of pores—in the final product. Porosity can decrease the material’s resistance to fatigue, or cyclic strain, leading to breakage.

The researchers expected to find a “sweet spot” at which they could set printing parameters to significantly reduce or eliminate porosity. However, they discovered there is no sweet spot for flawlessly printing the most common titanium alloy. That’s OK for 3D-printed eyeglass frames and jewelry, but, for mission-critical applications, it should give pause.

Related Glossary Terms

  • fatigue


    Phenomenon leading to fracture under repeated or fluctuating stresses having a maximum value less than the tensile strength of the material. Fatigue fractures are progressive, beginning as minute cracks that grow under the action of the fluctuating stress.

  • metalworking


    Any manufacturing process in which metal is processed or machined such that the workpiece is given a new shape. Broadly defined, the term includes processes such as design and layout, heat-treating, material handling and inspection.



Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Including his 20 years at CTE, Alan has more than 30 years of trade journalism experience.