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Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 27. February 2015

Are You Using the Right High-Pressure Coolant?

High-pressure coolant operating at 1,000 psi and higher can significantly reduce tool wear, enable higher cutting speeds and provide other benefits for manufacturers working with tough materials. However, using the wrong coolant in a high-pressure system can cause foaming and hinder potential gains, as LB Pipe & Coupling (Mongolia, Texas) discovered.

LB Pipe began experiencing foaming problems during the initial startup of a new robot-tended cell, halting production before it had even started. After trying a number of modifications to the coolant lines, pump, tank, tooling and nozzle configurations, the ultimate solution turned out to be the simplest: change the coolant. Read the full story here


Posted by: Mark Albert 26. February 2015

Winner Named in First-Ever International Additive Manufacturing Award

Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Ltd. will receive the inaugural International Additive Manufacturing Award (IAMA) for its innovative methodology that enables metal deposition (via laser cladding) to be integrated on a multi-axis CNC machine.

The IAMA is the result of a partnership between AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology and VDW-Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association). AMT and VDW, with media support from Gardner Business Media and VDI Nachrichten and sponsored by the European Machine Tool Association CECIMO, announced the annual IAMA at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014. The award will be presented on March 6, 2015, during a reception at The MFG Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The winning submission from Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Ltd. of the United Kingdom and Plano, Texas, is a method to combine additive processes to an existing CNC machine tool. Combining CNC and additive enables component fabrication and surface finishing to be achieved in a single setup. It also allows different compositions of materials to be used in the same component. Finally in-process inspection can assure quality, which is otherwise impractical or impossible to evaluate. For more about this process, click here.

“Hybrid technology is exciting because it offers a new way to adopt additive manufacturing—as an upgrade to a CNC machine tool. Adding tool-changeable deposition heads to an existing CNC machine enables 3D printing of metal, without the need to buy a separate machine,” says Dr. Jason Jones, co-founder and CEO of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies. “This significantly reduces costs and provides an intuitive adoption path for CNC operators. The combination of additive with machining offers new capabilities, including in-process finishing, that cannot be delivered by either technology independently.”

The IAMA selection jury included international leaders from industry, academia, military, media and trade associations. It considered innovations from the United States and the European Union from varied leaders in the additive field.

Along with the award, Hybrid Manufacturing Ltd. will also receive a $20,000 cash prize and a media package valued at $80,000 to promote its winning hybrid kit innovation. The second award trophy will be presented at METAV, the International Exhibition for Metalworking Technologies, in Dusseldorf, Germany, in February 2016.


Posted by: Emily Probst 25. February 2015

Now Is the Time to Register for Amerimold

Looking for a mold manufacturing event to attend this summer in the Midwest? Well you’re in luck. Exhibit hall and technical conference registration is now open for Amerimold 2015, which will take place June 17-18 at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The annual event is presented by Gardner Business Media, in partnership with Modern Machine Shop, and its sister publications MoldMaking Technology, Plastics Technology and Automotive Design and Production. The event connects more than 2,500 of the top owners, executives and engineers involved in the plastic injection mold manufacturing industry. It includes an exhibit hall, technical conference and production sourcing opportunities.

Pre-registration extends through May 1 and includes:

  • Complimentary Amerimold exhibit hall access
  • Discounted technical conference registration
  • Free show floor education sessions
  • Onsite business development opportunities 

Amerimold visitors will see the latest machine tools, materials, tooling, software, services and components for mold manufacturing. In addition, new this year, Amerimold will co-locate with the leading injection molding conference, Molding 2015


Posted by: Emily Probst 24. February 2015

Case Study: Chip Conveyor System Saves Floor Space

Hennig Inc. put together this video case study that shows how Advanced Machine and Engineering used the Hennig CDF (chip disc filtration) system to effectively remove chips when cutting tombstones and save floor space.

About 34 seconds into the video, Brad Patterson, director of operations and continuous improvement at Advanced Machine and Engineering, says AME purchased a Toyoda machine to improve on-time delivery of workholding products. Since the machine can run lights-out, it was important to make sure the total package—including the chip conveyor—was working as needed.

What’s special about this particular application is that floor space was a major constraint. Also, the machine is used to cut cast iron, steel and aluminum materials, producing anywhere from cast fines to long, stringy chips. According to Scott Cooley, business unit manager – chip conveyor and filtration systems at Hennig, AME needed a hinged belt conveyor system as opposed to the standard scraper design. By using the Hennig CDF, the company was able to save more than 2 feet of space from the standard design.


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 23. February 2015

Strongest Year Ever for Robots in North America

This robot cell used by an oil-industry manufacturer produces various parts in batch sizes of less than 100. Read more.

“This is an extremely exciting time to be involved in the robotics industry,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). His group reports that 2014 was the strongest year yet for robot demand in North America, with 27,685 robots valued at $1.6 billion ordered from North American companies. That was an increase of 28 percent in units and 19 percent in dollars over 2013.

The most significant industry driving this demand is automotive manufacturing, which increased its orders for robots by 45 percent over 2013. The most important application is arc welding or spot welding, each of which increased its demand for robots by around 57 percent over the previous year.

My own observations suggest that machine tending for unattended CNC machining—in many industries, not just automotive—must also be feeding the robot demand. And perhaps in 2015 this application will feed it to an even greater extent. Most shops I’ve spoken with lately are at least seriously considering an investment in robotic automation. One shop owner recently told me that his lender is more inclined to provide financing if the capital investment aims at lights-out machining. He is liable to buy a robot with his next new VMC for this reason.

Read more detail about robot demand in the RIA report. And for more on robots, robot-related products and successful applications of robotic automation in machining, visit our Robots & Automation Zone.


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