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During the annual International Technology Tour of the American and Canadian Association for Tooling and Machining, eighteen high-ranking representatives from the manufacturing sector visited various European companies at the beginning of April, gaining a fascinating insight into the new technologies and strategies that could be employed in their own production facilities too.

Over six days, the participants toured a total of five production plants at leading suppliers of machine tools, special equipment and precision tools in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. In addition to HEIDENHAIN, BIG KAISER, Blaser Swisslube and Speroni, the lineup also included a day visit to GROB-WERKE. The managers were able to enjoy a varied agenda of technical presentations, impressive live demonstrations and an exciting plant tour.


A glimpse behind the scenes at GROB-WERKE


During their visit to one of Europe's largest production plants for machine tools, GROB-WERKE in Mindelheim, the delegates of this year's International Technology Tour were shown what it takes to achieve contemporary and innovative manufacturing processes that ultimately guarantee the customer the best possible product quality. In its technical applications center, GROB also demonstrated through live machining operations on its 5-axis universal machining centers how a horizontal spindle and an indexing and tilting table can improve access to the component while facilitating overhead machining at the same time.


A real privilege


"We discovered something new every day. Not only did we become more closely familiar with the products and expertise of our association members, we also learned how manufacturers around the world square up to similar challenges. Such as how improvements to processes can be achieved and how the problems associated with increasing levels of automation can be resolved," explains James Mayer, National Account Manager of the "National Tooling and Machining Association" (NTMA). Robert Cattle, Executive Director of the "Canadian Tooling & Machining Association" (CTMA) added: "It was a real privilege to be able to visit five world class companies and become more familiar with the development of their technologies and training opportunities, their values and their culture."


And GROB-WERKE was also delighted to have been part of this year's International Technology Tour: "It was a pleasure to experience the huge interest shown by the delegates in the event as a whole – especially at the live machining demonstrations. There was a lively exchange of experiences with our applications engineers on matters such as the machining of difficult materials, volume cutting of aerospace components or the demands on the center for highly dynamic 5-axis simultaneous machining", said Markus Geier, Head of Universal Machining Center Sales International at GROB, summing up.