The National Manufacturer's  NMW Exhibition Melbourne 2015

When ever NMW exhibition is on in Melbourne I will take a day off work and attend work. Sort of like a bus man's holiday. I have been going for the last 12 years and every year without fail  have seen something I was not expecting. In those years I have seen novel ideas become mainstream and an ebb and flow of technologies.

This year was somewhat subdued when compared with previous years, now that Australia no longer has a native automotive  industry to which you could sell really big machines.  It was sad to see the usual reliable   BIG exhibitors like Trumpf , Bystronic,  Salvergini , Haas and others  not having their big  laser cutters and mills out on the floor doing their thing  as they never fail to impress. CO2 lasers are following the dinosaurs and being re-placed by smaller disk-fibre lasers.  The multi-axis CNC  mills have become commonplace and most on display were only static, inert displays.  A CNC mill performing its appointed duty does not need a salesman,  it sells itself.

3D printing was largely featured this year.  I have watched the evolution of this art from small water jet on plaster machine for modelling  to fully featured photo-polymer production oriented machines. There was only one metal dust printer, sadly only a static display. Chinese mainland manufacturers occupied about 1/3 of the booths and were hawking everything from services, machine tools, nuts-n-bolts to tunnel boring machines.

The real gem of the show was the K-TIG welder, developed ,so I was told by the CSIRO, that could routinely produce
perfect full thickness welds in heavy steel pipe for the pressure vessel and petro-chemical industries. The quality of the weld seam had to be felt to be believed and I took a while to comprehend that it required no filler material.

I spent one entire day there, starting at row 1 booth 1 through to the bitter end when sore back,feet and a migrane said
"go home". Enjoyed every minute of it,  spoke to many engineers and proudly waved the flag for Monash University.  

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the only 3D metal dust printer on show turbines parts that were 3D printed
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turbines parts that were 3D printed this mill could mill, drill,punch and plasma cut as required
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measure everythingmeasure everythingmeasure everything
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what is special about this mill ? it is made from diamond. It can mill "a n y t h i n g" !
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these 3D printers print with ultra voilet light into a photosensitive liquid resin
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injection molding dies from tool steel there is still a market for traditional lathes and they are not expensive
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on show was this beautifully restored treadle lathe, hy
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I cannot figure out what this is fora show case water jet cutter pump
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a serious hacksawthese  perfectly serviceable spur gears were cut with this water jet cutter
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observe this little Press,  there is a laser sensor at the far end that measures the profile of the work piece and dies.  If there is something in the maw of the press that does not look right , like a misplaced work piece or a weary operator's hand in the wrong place,  the press will halt.
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3D printers were a feature this year.  Are they yet not ready for mainstream mass production ? Apparently not.
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a  serious "baddass" wire brush for cleaning  sheet, deburring  etc
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so solid copper table for spot welding
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"pan brake" with slitter for seriously large sheets
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this punch could produce punchings this fine !

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frictionless power lead screw. The internel balls along the screw race are returned in an endless cycle via the rhombohedral  housingextremely large and thin preciscion bearingsconveyor belt made with interlocking nylon  subunits
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thumb.imgp7884-nmw.jpg in the corner we have a fair dinkum 5000 Farad capacitor.  Who remembers their tech school instructor saying from his test ..."that you will never see a 1 Farad capacitor..."

this dude  hould track your gaze and stair at you will its lcd screen rendered eyeballs.  It tries to make eye contact and then market things to you.  Cheaper than an MBA with his Red Porche entitlement issues !
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thumb.imgp7896-nmw.jpg "K-tig"  is a "fillerless" welding technique for guaranteed full thinkness welds for pressure piping.  This was one othe shows hidden gems.
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after a long day walking around the show it was now time to go home and admire the Melbourne CBD skyline from the entrance to Jeff's Shed, Southbank