The Gauge and Tool Makers Association (GTMA) is organizing a trade mission to Beijing, China, for which it has secured funding of £750 from UK Trade & Investment for each eligible company participating. Firms that are not GTMA members are welcome to join the mission, which takes place October 15–22, 2005.

The trade mission coincides with the 2nd International Die & Mould Conference in Beijing. Participants in the GTMA delegation are invited to join the itinerary arranged by the China Mould and Die Association, which includes visits to mould making and plastics companies. Alternatively, they may make their own arrangements.

The GTMA is the UK’s leading trade association representing toolmaking, metrology, precision machining, rapid product development, and tooling technologies. In addition to sponsoring trade missions, the association develops engineering standards, technology seminars, and training initiatives, and collects UK and global market intelligence on relevant industry topics. It is a founding member of the International Special Tooling & Machining Association and the European Length Measurement Association.

At EMO, Missler Softwareannounced that it will launch the 2006 version of TopSolid’Cam in the last quarter of 2005. This new version will include important improvements for production machining, especially for the mold making and aeronautical domains.

TopSolid’Cam is an integrated CAM software for the manufacturing of machined parts. Based on the automatic recognition of topological properties, TopSolid’Cam identifies individual shapes and can thus suggest the best machining method to use. Machine simulation, collision checks, management of the stock, spindle synchronization, raw part updating and visualization of material removal are important elements of TopSolid’Cam for tool path programming.

Key improvements in TopSolid’Cam 2006:

  • The automatic transformation of 3-axis tool paths into 5-axis tool paths.
  • This function, a significant improvement for mold makers, permits the use of shorter tools to machine the part, which in turn favors good cutting conditions, a decrease in possible vibrations, and a significant reduction in cycle times.
  • TopSolid’Cam 2006 automates the emptying of 5-axis pockets, which in turn considerably reduces the number of steps necessary to perform this action. The new version of TopSolid’Cam automatically evacuates the holes followed by a pocket wall finishing using the swarf machining technique.
  • Drilling on wire-frame geometry, allowing the machining of identical holes not modelled in the CAD file which have different orientations. In addition, this function enables faster 5-axis drilling.
  • TopSolid’Cam 2006 gives the operator the possibility to manage production by “assembling” several different parts and their machining processes on the same machine. In other words, the operator can assemble parts already programmed without needing to reprogramme the parts. In case of a machine breakdown, for example, the operator can change machines without reprogramming the parts.
  • TopSolid’Cam 2006 offers turning cycles adapted to Swiss turn lathes. In fact, all turning cycles such as roughing, finishing and breakdown have been adapted to the Swiss turning process.
  • Tool length management by separating 3D machining processes, an improvement that lets mold makers make surface and cutting condition improvements. This function automatically divides the machining operations in such a way that they are carried out by both a short and long tool. Thus, cutting conditions are optimised and cycle times are reduced.
  • TopSolid’Cam 2006 manages ¾ gun drills used for deep drilling. This new function offers special cycles for ¾ gun drills, which are mainly used by mold makers in the drilling of cooling circuits in mold plates.

Missler Software is one of the leading global suppliers of CAD, CAM and ERP solutions. The company’s product lines include TopSolid, TopManufacturing, and Goélan. Missler offers a uniquely integrated solution for the mechanical engineering industry (general mechanical design, special machinery, tooling, and boilerwork) and for the sheet metal and wood industries.

The seventh edition of the metalworking industry’s leading trade fair for southeastern China, Metal Working China 2006 (MWC), will offer suppliers from around the world a dynamic international market showcase when it is held in Shanghai October 10–13, 2006. MWC focuses on machine tools, sheet metal–working machines, wire-working machines, pipe-machining equipment, metal-forming machines, precision tools, and tool and mould making.

MWC is the only trade fair in the southeastern Chinese economic zone to cover the whole spectrum of metalworking and related processing. Many world-famous companies have used the fair as a platform for growth. A record 500 exhibitors are anticipated in 2006 (compared with 377 in 2004), filling around 35,000 m² of floor space. Some 50,000 visitors attended in 2004.

National pavilions for Europe, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, France, South Korea, the USA, China, and Taiwan will offer smaller companies access to the promising Chinese market. China, the world’s sixth economy and third-leading trading nation, is now the largest market for machine tools.

Leading industry associations on the consumer side are supporting MWC, including the China Automotive Industry Association, China Aviation Industry Corp., and China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. Major national machine tool associations taking part include the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), the Association of Spanish Machine Tool Factories (AFM), the Swiss Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Industries (Swissmem), and the Korea Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (KOMMA).

MWC is organized by Hannover Messe International GmbH, Hannover Fairs China Ltd., Shanghai, and China National Machine Tool Corp. The venue for this exhibition, as well as for four simultaneous trade fairs whose topics tie into the capital goods focus of MWC, is the state-of-the-art Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Pudong, which was inaugurated in 2001 as a pioneering joint venue for the Hannover, Düsseldorf, and München trade fair companies and their Chinese partners.

A supporting programme highlighting key developments and market trends in the sector while addressing practical issues will feature the Metal Working Summit, company presentations, forums, and plant visits.

“Nowadays, no export-oriented machine tool producer can afford not to be a player on the Chinese market,” commented Wolfgang Lenarz, CEO of Hannover Messe International GmbH.