Videos are now being used to attract younger people to manufacturing and reinstate ‘industry’ as a cool career choice. After all, the men and women working in manufacturing are superheroes...building up the economy by making parts for life-saving medical equipment, producing innovative automotive designs, machining breakthrough materials for aerospace and supplying components for energy-efficient devices that can help save our planet. What could be sexier?
Topics: manufacturing news
We all used to think that 3D printing (additive manufacturing) was like magic – parts just popped out of the printer perfectly formed – like a Star Trek replicator. While 3D printing technology is very cool (and getting ever-cooler) still, the completed product, especially using metal powders, can be fairly unrefined. A solution to achieving highly accurate, quality finishes on the 3D metal part surfaces that matter most, lies in combining two advanced technologies – 3D printing with high-speed CNC machining.
How can you minimizing tool clamping, reduce the machining time, simplify machining processes, machine in hard to reach areas and cut costs while doing it? Try combining the advantages of high speed machining coupled with an Angle Head configuration for greater flexibility; increased accessibility in confined spaces, and expanded capabilities for three-axis machines.
Increasing demands for quality and efficiency in machine tooling and processes leaves no doubt that end users have become a very discriminating audience. Therefore it's vital to provide them with test and validation reports that present reliable, in-the-field stats of product performance.
Basic tool geometry is determined by the rake angle of the tool; which is always at the top side of the tool. With the tool tip at the center line of the workpiece, the rake angle is determined by the angle of the tool as it moves away from the workpiece center line location. Rake angles influence both tool strength and cutting pressure.
What if you're not an early adopter by nature; the kind of person who automatically says "if it's new, I'll take two"? What if you're more like "I'll wait a few years to see where this is going"? There's nothing wrong with playing it safe and sticking with the status quo. However when a reluctance to go where few have gone before stands in the way of achieving more, competing better and growing your business, then it's time for a rethink.
High Pressure Coolant (HPC) has proven itself in many dedicated turning and milling applications and on difficult-to-machine materials; at removal rates up to three times more than conventional flood coolant systems. Users report elimination of chip jamming, faster cutting and much longer edge life in outer and inner diameter turning as well as grooving, parting and hole-making.
Many manufacturers do not have up-to-date drawings of the parts they make and some have never had part drawings of any kind.
Tapping is still a commonly used internal threading process, since it's a relatively easy, machinist-friendly method. However the highly efficient thread milling technique is gaining ground fast in becoming the foremost method of thread cutting.
Machining gurus have a mantra: "Look at the chips, they'll tell you everything." Identifying various chip characteristics and understanding what they signify can really help you to optimize CNC Machining to achieve improved throughput, prolonged tool life and a better surface finish.
Anyway you cut it, it's cheaper to manufacture in China; low wages, cheap rent, lax quality, etc. Although they may be lagging now in the high-end market; precision parts, hard or exotic materials, compliance to standards, quick turnaround and so on, China's metalworking industry is slowly but surely closing the gap.
Swiss-type machining has evolved well beyond what its original developers could have ever imagined. And although Swiss-type machines of the 21st century are not necessarily made in Switzerland, they are all primarily designed to turn small, complex, precision parts predominantly for the automotive, medical and electronics industries.
Machine shops vary in many aspects; from practical expertise to work ethics; and the options seem endless. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what a machine shop is capable of doing, but rather what they prefer doing. What types of work do they like to do and what kind of jobs do they consider a hassle?
Titanium – it's an almost supernatural substance, with an amazing strength to weight ratio, the ability to resist fatigue and stress fractures in radically divergent temperatures, superior corrosion resistance properties, and wonderfully human-friendly biocompatibility. Parts made from Titanium and Titanium alloys are invaluable for use in ultra-harsh environments; from the ocean depths to outer space and even inside the human body.
2016 is wrapping up with a few big machining and metalworking trade shows in the offing; including ABM, IMTS and JIMTOF to name a few. But with all the information available online, you can easily access the material you need regarding CNC metalworking equipment, machine tools and new machining technologies right from the comfort of your office chair. So why pack a bag, book a hotel, bust your budget and rush halfway around the world to attend a trade exhibition?
Industry analysts are predicting swift changes ahead that will transform manufacturing processes as we know them. They call it by many names; Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Factory or Brilliant Factory. Whatever you call it, will manufacturers really be able to count on IoT based factory operations anytime soon?
Although shop owners may turn a blind eye to it, or coworkers may be reluctant to blow the whistle, sabotage in the machine shop is a serious issue — not to be swept under the factory rug. Not only does it cause productivity downtime and damage to machines, but most importantly, it endangers the safety and welfare of the workers.
The increased popularity of composites in aerospace applications creates new challenges for machine shops that are used to cutting metal. One of these substances, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), can be especially difficult to drill because instead of executing a clean cut, tools often ‘push’ through the material.
Engraving production codes, lot numbers, logos and complex designs in metal parts with varied topographies is demanding work. You could end up with a perfectly engraved frown on your face when trying to cope with the extreme attention to detail, exacting finishes and tight tolerances required in these kinds of engraving operations. However achieving quality results combined with optimum machining efficiency may be simpler than you think.
New ideas, new processes and new technologies are appearing on the industrial scene almost faster than our ability to absorb them into existing manufacturing routines. Before they can be counted as a practical and reliable change for the better, these new processes must first be idiot-proofed - tested and validated the Poka Yoke way.