FABTECH 2019Click image to enlargeFABTECH 2019

From virtual reality glasses that place you inside a machine to examine it in detail to purchasing a press brake directly on the Internet, FABTECH 2019 in Chicago, IL, took attendees on a journey into the future of metal fabricating and welding. 

Thousands of North American manufacturers explored the emerging technologies that were on display and that are shaping metal fabricating, forming and welding. 

While much of the equipment on display featured “smarter manufacturing” technologies and concepts such as machine-guided press brakes and cutting machines, “merged” virtual reality interactive software and innovative flexible and mobile automated systems, what was of particular note is the increasing role of digital technologies in linking entire processes together on one platform to increase control, transparency and efficiencies. 

At the same time that digital technologies gain a foothold in the metal fabricating, forming and welding industry, suppliers are working at making these technologies more accessible and more user friendly to help overcome the stigma associated with them among many small and medium sized manufacturers. 

There is no doubt that digital technologies will evolve even further and will be evident at future FABTECH shows. FABTECH 2020 takes place November 18-20, in Las Vegas, NV. 

Beginning in 2021, FABTECH Chicago will shift its dates to September. FABTECH 2021 will take place September 13-16 at McCormick Place in Chicago and will remain in September in future odd years that FABTECH runs.

Amada's robotic bendingClick image to enlargeAmada's robotic bendingArc Specialties' SnapCut and Universal Robots' easy automation plasma cutting and welding solutionClick image to enlargeArc Specialties' SnapCut and Universal Robots' easy automation plasma cutting and welding solution.

Attendees at Amada's booth to hear about debut fiber laser cutting and bending.Click image to enlargeAttendees at Amada's booth to hear about debut fiber laser cutting and bending.

Bystronic's flexible automationClick image to enlargeBystronic's flexible automation

Lincoln Electric's plasma automationClick image to enlargeLincoln Electric's plasma automation

LVD Stripit automationClick image to enlargeLVD Stripit automation

Mazak Optonics' part sortingClick image to enlargeMazak Optonics' part sorting

MC Machinery's automated part sorting systemClick image to enlargeMC Machinery's automated part sorting system

Prima Power's laser automation material handlingClick image to enlargePrima Power's laser automation material handling

TRUMPF's connected factoryClick image to enlargeTRUMPF's connected factory

TRUMPF's Track & Trace connected solution for intralogisticsClick image to enlargeTRUMPF's Track & Trace connected solution for intralogistics


Shopping for machine tools at the Joint Open House


The Joint Open House, now in its 13th year, attracts hundreds of manufacturers from the Southwestern Ontario area.

Jeff Krause new head for SME

Jeffrey M. Krause has been named the new executive director and CEO for SME, based in Dearborn, MI.

Federal development dollars support three Montréal SMEs

The Government of Canada is providing three Greater Montréal companies with a total of more than $1.9 million to acquire machinery and improve productivity.

Ferro Technique, Windsor University collaborate

Machine tool distributor Ferro Technique and the University of Windsor's Engineering deparment are holding a "Research Showcase" on April 13 in Windsor that will highlight the collaborative efforts between the two groups.

Ontario insolvencies declined sharply in 2020

Despite the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, insolvencies in Ontario declined by 24 per cent in 2020 to the lowest annual level since 2000, according to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO).

Quebec firm is ESAB's first NA automation partner

ESAB Welding and Cutting Products has named AGT Robotics, Trois-Rivieres, QC, as its first North American automation partner in its Integrator Partnership Program.

Free trade deal will cost Canada 58,000 jobs: Study

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), designed to create the world's largest free trade area, will cost Canada 58,000 jobs according to a US study.

GTA’s most forward-looking employers recognized

The Globe and Mail has published its “GTA’s Top Employers 2019” list, and a number of companies in industries of relevance to Shop Metalworking Technology readers have made the cut.

Okuma's summer showcase event

Okuma held its 2017 Summer Showcase event July 19-20 at its North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC. More than 200 customers from 100 companies attended the event. Okuma created a video to highlight the event.

Autodesk completes Delcam acquisition

Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, CA, has completed its acquisition of Delcam, the Birmingham, England CAM software supplier. (Delcam Canada is based in Windsor, ON.)

Autodesk announced its intent to acquire Delcam last November.

"The acquisition of Delcam is an important step in Autodesk's continued expansion into manufacturing and fabrication and beyond our roots in design. Together with Delcam we look forward to accelerating the development of a more comprehensive Digital Prototyping solution and delivering a better manufacturing experience," says Buzz Kross, senior vice president for Design, Lifecycle and Simulation products. "We welcome the Delcam employees, customers, partners and community to Autodesk."

Business Outlook

This transaction is expected to have no impact on Autodesk's guidance issued on November 26, 2013. Autodesk expects this transaction to be dilutive to its non-GAAP earnings in fiscal 2015 and accretive to its non-GAAP earnings in fiscal 2016.


Economic outlook brightens for Ontario, Maritime provinces

Despite the economic uncertainty many of Canada's provinces have faced in the past year, Ontario and the Maritime provinces are expected to grow in 2016, according to the Conference Board of Canada's Provincial Outlook Spring 2015.

EMEC Montreal open house draws crowds

EMEC Machine Tools held its Montreal open house recently to showcase the latest in machine tool technologies.

Boeing’s 737 Max production halt could impact manufacturing in Canada

Boeing’s announcement that it is suspending production of the 737 Max will impact manufacturers in the U.S. as well as any Canadian shops who provide parts for the aircraft.

Manufacturing slowdown in March

Overall business conditions in Canada’s manufacturing sector grew in March – but at the slowest rate in two and a half years.

Inter Pipeline nabs $408M provincial grant

Inter Pipeline Ltd. will receive $408 million from the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) to support the company’s Heartland Petrochemical Complex (HPC).

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