EuroBlech, Day 3: Finishing up at Blech

Part 1: The third day of the five day EuroBlech 2008 was almost a carbon copy of the second. Hoards of people thronged the aisles, especially in Halls 11 to 13, which have the largest concentration of industrial laser exhibitors.

Hall 11 is dominated by a 2000 square meter TRUMPF exhibit that featured nine innovations for sheet metal fabricating. Gaining the most attention was the 7040 Trulaser, a dual cutting head gantry style system powered by a 6kW TRUMPF Disk laser, the first such commercial unit. A beam splitter divides the beam delivering get to each head so that simultaneous parts can be cut at very high speeds. The company also showed three other CO2 laser systems all designed for innovative production capabilities.

Bystronic had a large booth to show three laser cutters: the new 4.4kW Byvention, a 4kW Bysprint Pro, and the Byspeed with a 6kW laser. Tube Tech showed a thick wall tubing cutter powered by a TRUMPS 6kW CO2 laser. Mazak had a powerful exhibit if four CO2 systems, the 3D Fab Gear cutting tubing, a Hyper Gear, a Champ 3TX and a full FNS system.

Salvagnini, which always shows systems with classic Italian design flair, showed a new fully automated cutter powered by a 2.6kW IPG Fiber Laser. Adira, Balliu, LVD, Finn Power, Ermaksen, Baykal, and Durma all showed CO2 laser cutters that still continue to draw buying interest even though the fibers lasers at Air Liquide, Messer, Ravasi, and Eagle drew the most technically curious.

We came to EuroBlech with some apprehension about the current state of manufacturing in Western Europe. After three intense days at this, the largest fabricating show in the world, we are convinced that short of a real deep recession, laser sheet metal fabricating is facing a strong future here in Europe.

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