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“It’s all about productivity and…flexibility,” said Scott Yod- ers, vice president of sales for Liebherr Gear Technology Inc. (Saline, MI). “Changeovers are becoming more and more the norm. You have to have more flexible machines. You have to make simple, fast production changes for the operator.”


“Machine manufacturers have to fig-


ure out how to make these small parts on these small machines and still keep the machine robust,” said Scott Knoy, vice president of sales for German Machine Tools of America (GMTA; Ann Arbor, MI). “To make the big old clunker isn’t cost-competitive anymore.” The auto industry is one of the biggest markets for gears. Automak- ers are under regulatory pressure to increase fuel mileage. US vehicle fleets must average 54.5 mpg (23.2 km/L) by 2025. Automakers are looking to lighten their vehicles as part of their strategy for meeting the mandate. What’s more, automatic transmissions continue to add more speeds, another step toward boosting fuel economy. Automotive customers also are looking to pare the noise from transmissions. All of that affects the makers of ma- chine tools for gearmaking. The Gear Generation pavilion will be in the North Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place. The IMTS Web site lists about 60 booths for the pavilion, with companies of varying sizes having displays.


What follows is a sampling of the views of major exhibitors about what is happening in the industry.


Focus on Flexibility EMAG’s Kirk Stewart said his company is looking to adjust to shifting customer demand. “We see many new product designs shifting away from costly and weight-sensitive joining technologies


Booth N-6930


Liebherr Automation Systems Co. 1465 Woodland Drive Saline, Michigan 48176-1259 Phone.: +1 734 429 72 25


E-mail: info.lgt@liebherr.com www.liebherr.com


The Group August 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 99


to that of lighter and more compact weldments,” he said. “This creates great opportunity for those of us supplying laser welding solutions designed for powertrain components.”


Improve machine utilization.


Even in the dark. Rotary Loading System RLS – Your Entry into High-Efficiency Production


Economical – A basis for the cost-effective machining is optimizing the feeding of parts in and out the machining center Flexibility – With its modular design, the Liebherr RLS Rotary Loading System offers a high degree of flexibility User-friendly – The proven Soflex PCS cell controller is user-friendly and offers integrated order planning


Quality and Reliability – Quality is the top priority for Liebherr. When producing our products, every stage is monitored ensuring world-class products with the highest reliability and service life


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