New heights for aircraft market.

Position:The view from IMTS 2008

IMTS 2008 takes place at a time when the manufacturing of aircraft parts has been a driving force in the industry, says Scott Walker, president of Mitsui Seiki.

"Our most significant machine tool developments in the last two years have been for this market," says Walker.

It's precisely in this area that Walker expects to see the most productivity advancements at IMTS.

Some of that is reflective in the changing technologies. Where aircraft have traditionally been built out of aluminum, today's newer generation are crafted from carbon fiber, composites, and new titanium grade materials.

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New machines incorporating low frequency machining designs, new tool/spindle taper interfaces for high bending moments, and high powered spindles and servos will be prominent at IMTS, predicts Walker.

"These features are required to provide the extended tool life needed with the high stock removal conditions to keep costs in line," says Walker.

Engines have changed as well. Part cost is...

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