Keeping abreast of the on-going globalisation of the world economy, Japan has continually taken the credit of supplying high-performance machine tools to the world manufacturing industry. As a step towards attaining this edge, the 28th edition of the Japan International Machine Tool Show was recently held at the Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan.
Organised by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association and Tokyo Big Sight Inc, the six day event tinted a paradigm shift towards IoT and cutting-edge trends on connectivity. Since
JIMTOF 2014, the sales of machine tools have remained steady and mainly driven by foreign demand. The sales volume started to decline at the end of 2015, and currently stands around JPY100 billion/month.
Speaking on the exhibition, Yoshimaro Hanaki, Chairman, Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association, “The major highlight of the exhibition was the use of IIoT capabilities to the fullest. “Enhancements in smart manufacturing will optimise the product cycle. Underlining this, we have focussed on themes like Additive Manufacturing, advances on automation, advancements of 5-axis machining centre and turning centre and the announcement of latest machine tool technologies.”
Spread across 98,540 sq mts, this is the 28th edition of JIMTOF
Under the theme of “The future is here”, a total of 5,518 booths at the exhibition
Around 969 exhibitors, 112 co-exhibitors, 95 indirect exhibitors
1 keynote, 4 lectures, 43 conferences, 6 student seminars
Participation from countries like India, China, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, USA, UK, Turkey, Switzerland, Netherlands, Portugal, etc
The exhibition witnessed trends like IoT, Predictive Maintenance, robot development, hybrid technology, Additive Manufacturing and advancing trends on connectivity
Overviewing the exhibition
Underlining the theme ‘The future is here’, the six-day event attracted a footfall of 147, 602 (11, 585 overseas) visitors, widely catering to the future of the Japan machine tool development. A special focus was given on smart manufacturing practices and IoT-based applications. In addition, process automation solutions and hybrid solutions were also touched upon. Additionally, programmes and discussion for promoting SMEs and robots was also hosted by the organisers. Keeping in mind the shift towards automotive, healthcare and medical industry, JIMTOF 2016 witnessed exhibits displaying Japanese craftsmanship of artistic metal spinning and making of eyeglasses. The spotlight of the exhibition was on advances in data-driven manufacturing, IoT and connected factories.
The keynote speech was delivered by Junichi Tsujii, Director, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), where he highlighted the future development of artificial intelligence to industrial machinery. The workshops during the exhibition included ‘The latest 5-axis machining for die & mould’ by Makino Milling Machine and ‘Providing Industry 4.0 conformed 3D CAD data on cutting tools’ by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. In addition, lectures and seminars included ‘The global economy and near future business management of the manufacturing industry’ by Professor MotoshingeItoh, The University of Tokyo.
Also, the Japan Machine Tool Importers’ Association hosted Swiss Day in association with the Swiss Embassey, Swiss Business Hub and Swiss Association of Mechancial and Electrical Engineering Industries. The last two days witnessed researchers and engineers present on 15 interesting themes under ‘Exploring emerging technologies of manufacturing innovation’. Also, a poster session of 67 latest research findings was displayed.
“We are targeting to achieve 27% growth in the Japanese market. The only challenge here is to meet the growing requirements of the industry. In Japan, laser lines and grinding machines are quite popular. We are introducing models of predictive maintenance as well as smart factories and devices. At JIMTOF 2016, we showcased Magerle MFP 50 and MFP 100, the fully automatic composite machining of complex workpieces.”- Stephen Nell, CEO, United Grinding
“We are trying to enter the laser cutting technology in Japan. Today, it is vital to understand how Industry 4.0 can help cost-cutting in SMEs and MSMEs. Our product showcase in JIMTOF 2016 included the different versions of TruLaser Series, TruLaser Cell, TruLaser Station, etc. We have also used automation for combination machines. In addition, preventive maintenance is quite sought today to keep up the maintenance standards.” - Hartmut Pannen, President & Representative Director, Trumpf
“This is the first edition of JIMTOF with Industry 4.0. There was a c llaboration of subtractive and additive technologies, display of more miniature machine tools and modular designs, as well as optimum utilisation as per the need of cost-effective automation centric solutions.”- Rajashekara HV, Senior Director— Design Institute, IMTMA
Lately, we have moved into a new factory in Japan and also increased our manpower by 20%. We are focussing on a variety of robots—single axis, 6-axis along with delta and scara robots. Speaking on the trend, there is more of connectivity today—the equipment is connected with machines and 5-axis machines are connected to 3D applications. At JIMTOF 2016, we have showcased single and multi-axis robots, ballscrews series, precision bearing equipment, series of linear guideways, etc.”- Angel Peng Executive Vice President— Marketing Group, Hiwin Technologies
“We are focussed on high-quality customers for the technology or automation space. With a growing rise on the Industry 4.0 model, we are emphasising on automation solutions. At JIMTOF 2016, we have displayed products like MW35/twin spindle CNC chucker, MW120EX/twin spindle CNC chucker, MW200EX/high productivity multitasking machine, MT100/CNC shaft turning machine, etc. Also, there has been a shift towards sheet metal cutting technologies and a focus on fibre and metal cutting technologies.” A V Srinivasan, CEO, Meiban Engineering, associate company of Muratec Japan
“We are more focussed on turning race and have seen a growing demand in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Today, there is a shift in the machine architecture. Complex machines are coming in, where turning and milling operations can be done in a single machine. We have displayed in JIMTOF combined CNC lathe with upper/ lower Y-axes specialised for bar machining (TM-4000Y2) and products like TF-2600, TS- 5000Y and TT-2100G.”- Takao Uchida, Advisor—Sales Control 3 Section, Business Administration Department, Takisawa Machine Tool
Overviewing the industry
Machine tool orders: In 2015, the total amount of orders amounted to 1, 480.6 billion yen, down 1.9% YOY, marking a decline for the first time in two years. On one hand, domestic orders increased to 586.2 billion yan, up 18.1% YOY. This marked the three consecutive years of increase and on the other hand, foreign orders amounted to 984.4 billion yen, down 11.7% YOY. This marked the decline for the first time in two years.
Machine tool production: The value of production of machine tools in 2015 amounted to 1,258.1 billion yen, up 6.1% over the previous year. This topped 1 trillion yen for two consecutive years.
Import & export: The value of machine tool imports in 2015 amounted to 17.3% over the previous year. This marked six consecutive years of growth from the previous year. In terms of exports, to Korea and Taiwan, it amounted to 357.7 billion yen, down 6.9% from the previous year. Export to Thailand and India amounted to 200.6 billion yen.
As per recent IFM reports, the growth rate of Indian market has been 7.4%. According to Hanaki, India has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. “India has a huge market potential & our focus is on the mid and long-term period,” he said.
Currently, India ranks 13th in production and 10th in consumption of the global machine tool industry. Concluding the major trends of JIMTOF 2016, Rajashekara HV, Senior Director—Design Institute, IMTMA, opined that India has witnessed 20% rise in the market in 2016. “There was a collaboration of subtractive and additive technologies, display of more miniature machine tools and modular designs, as well as optimum utilisation as per the need of cost-effective automation centric solutions.” ☐