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Posted by: Derek Korn 2. September 2015

Using an App to Adopt CNC Technology Faster

This story I wrote about Moser Engineering is interesting, albeit a bit different from the norm.

Most often, each shop I profile is already experienced with CNC machine tools, and the article I create highlights a way it has leveraged some new technology, process or approach to become more efficient at the process.

But in this case, Moser Engineering, manufacturer of racing axles and related components, had no prior experience with CNC equipment. It realized, though, that CNC would enable it to more effectively produce its custom axles in the guaranteed two-day turnaround it was known for.

Although it considered options for what type of machine it might purchase, what ultimately sold the company on the Okuma lathe it chose was a custom machine-operating/program-generating app created by Aaron King, applications engineer for machine tool distributor Gosiger Inc. In short, the app enables a person with no CNC experience to input a handful of specs for a given custom axle order via the machine’s THINC touchscreen control and then hit a button to automatically generate the machining code for that job. After that, it’s just a matter of fixturing an axle core in the machine and hitting cycle start. (It’s also interesting that the live-tool lathe performs no turning work.)

This type of operating- and automated-program-generating solution is not appropriate for all machine shop scenarios. For example, it likely wouldn’t make sense for a job shop to create apps for every small-batch job it runs. However, it might be an option for manufacturers such as Moser that have standard product lines and run high volumes of the same parts, or perhaps a manufacturer that has parts that share a common geometry but are available in a number of variations (like Moser’s axles). It might also be suitable for a contract shop that sees a lot of repeat work. An operating option using an app could enable any of those manufacturers to have less experienced machine operators tend to those jobs while more experienced personnel can be deployed to handle more complex work. It’ll be interesting to see how this technology impacts our industry moving forward.


Posted by: Russ Willcutt 1. September 2015

Online Education for Metal Cutting

Those interested in learning more about metal cutting can enroll in a new online program and complete coursework from any location. 

Interested in sharpening your metal cutting skills? A new e-learning program from Sandvik Coromant allows students to complete online coursework virtually and at their convenience, working through 75 training courses grouped in nine chapters toward a Gold Award. Training activities featured in the chapters are conducted at one of the company’s 27 Productivity Centers located around the world. There is also a 50-question interactive knowledge test on the fundamentals of metal cutting that enrollees can take before or after the training to gage what they know or how much they’ve learned. Watch a short video to learn more about this accessible online educational opportunity. Follow this link to sign up for the program. 


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 31. August 2015

Additive Manufacturing Conference Speaker: Mark Norfolk

The largest ultrasonic additive manufacturing machine has a work envelope of 6 by 6 by 3 feet. Developed by Fabrisonic, the machine is being built by Ultra Tech Machinery, another Ohio company.

Mark Norfolk, president at Fabrisonic, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Conference. His company makes an unusual additive manufacturing machine that builds parts without changing the state of the metal—read more here. The conference—October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee—focuses on industrial applications of additive manufacturing. Learn more and register to attend at additiveconference.com.

And speaking of additive … our Additive Manufacturing brand is about to grow. Soon, we will launch a new website devoted to additive manufacturing for industrial applicatons, and we will expand the publication that began as a small supplement into a full-size magazine. All of this will happen later this year. For now, stay apprised of these and other additive developments (and also give us a little encouragement) by joining us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


Posted by: Mark Albert 28. August 2015

Important MTConnect Deadlines Announced

The [MC]2 Conference focuses on MTConnect as a pathway to advanced, data-driven manufacturing. The Student Challenge was announced at this event last April.

Students and speakers interested in promoting the MTConnect manufacturing interoperability standard have two new dates to observe. Students now have more time to enter the first portion of the Student Challenge announced at the [MC]2 Conference last April in Chicago. Speakers interested in presenting at next year’s [MC]2 Conference have until October 16, 2015 to submit proposals for the first round of consideration. Dates for this conference are April 19-21, 2016.

For Students: The MTConnect Institute has extended the deadline for the Idea Creation portion of its MTConnect Student Challenge to December 15, 2015. In addition to allowing students more time to develop and submit their ideas, this nearly three-month extension also allows for more overall entries into the competition. Click here for rules and submission guidelines for the Idea Creation contest.

For the Idea Creation competition, students are required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges, describe potential solutions to that challenge and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. Winners will be announced February 5, 2016.

Suggestion: Manufacturers with connections at local community colleges, engineering schools, colleges or universities should consider reaching out to these institutions to encourage participation in this contest.

The second portion of the Student Challenge, Application Development, has an unchanged submission deadline of January 31, 2016. Winners of this portion of the challenge will be announced at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, Texas, April 20, 2016.

For Speakers: AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology and MTConnect Institute have issued a call for speakers to present at the 2016 [MC]2 Conference. Proposals should be submitted by October 16, 2015, for the first round of consideration. Submission details are here.

Conference organizers are seeking experts to present on the following topics:

  • Digital Factory, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0
  • Big Data and analytics
  • Industrial automation
  • Cyberphysical security
  • Workforce and talent development.

Information about the proposed presentation must include title, target audience, top three takeaways from the presentation and an abstract. 

Suggestion: Because real-world case studies and end user stories are particularly valuable to conference attendees, manufacturers that have successfully implemented an MTConnect-enabled application should consider a presentation. These presentation proposals will be especially welcome.   


Posted by: Emily Probst 27. August 2015

Seven World Premieres Highlighted at Innovation Days Event in Japan

More than 8,900 people visited DMG MORI's newly remodeled Iga Solution Center
during "Innovation Days" in Japan.

During DMG MORI's “Innovation Days” event July 22-25 in Japan, the company showcased 58 machine tools in its newly renovated Iga Global Solution Center, which boasts 3,500 m2 (37,674 ft.2) of floor space. I, along with other members of the international press, got the chance to visit the spacious new addition, which also houses "Excellence Centers" for automotive, aerospace, die and mold, and medical—four industries in which the company expects continuous growth. The DMG MORI Porsche car is also on display.

During the event, Dr. Thorsten Schmidt, deputy chairman of the executive board, commented on the high stability of machine tool consumption this year. He says that machine tool consumption in the United States is up 6.9 percent, with Japan seeing an 8.1 percent increase, and a worldwide consumption increase of 3.3 percent. Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of DMG MORI, outlined the company’s product offering plans for the future. By 2020, he says DMG MORI wants to reduce its product models from 300 to 150, and provide a wider range of solutions with extensive applications. The company’s goal is to achieve the capacity to produce 18,000 machines a year.

Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Mori spoke to the international press.

Seven machine tools were introduced during the event, one of which was the Lasertec 4300 3D. Perhaps the most fascinating machine for me to see in person, the Lasertec integrates additive manufacturing into a turning/milling machine. The machine uses a directed energy deposition process by means of a powder nozzle, which is said to be 20 times faster in deposition than a powder bed. And as many as five deposition heads can be automatically parked in a secure docking station while turn/mill operations are being performed. The deposition heads can be prepared for ID deposition, OD deposition, large diameters of deposition, or small, heat-treating, surface-hardening, or welding.

According to Rory Dudas of DMG MORI, “Additive is where the future is going.” The fact that the technology can be used to produce complex parts with exotic materials—and it can be used in combination with traditional subtractive machining methods on the same platform means the technology is no longer restricted to the production of prototypes and small parts. Prior solutions were restricted to the build of a single alloy, while the new method enables the machine to use multiple materials—via laminations or gradual transitions from one alloy to another.

According to Dr. Mori, the company is currently selling one additive machine per month, but his goal is to raise that number to five or six.

Other machines that made their world premieres at the event include:

  • The NLX 300 | 300. This high-rigidity, high-precision CNC lathe features 3,000 mm between centers. It is well-suited for machining workpieces ranging to 3,123 mm long and 430 mm in diameter.
  • The A-18S (DMG MORI Wasino). This high-precision, compact, multi-processing turning center is equipped with a Y-axis turret and milling functions. It features 18 tool stations—the largest number in its class.
     
  • The G-07 (DMG MORI Wasino). The super-high-precision lathe reduces cycle times due to its gantry-type tool post. The gang-type lathe is said to achieve high accuracy in finishing, hard turning and high added-value machining.
     
  • The ecoMill 600 V, ecoMill 800 V and ecoMill 1100 V. The newly designed ecoMill V series of vertical machining centers features 6 micron accuracy (without direct scales) due to direct coupling in the X and Y axes. The series does not include a belt drive, which eliminates backlash. To increase productivity, the machines feature a 12,000-rpm spindle speed, 119 Nm of torque and 560 mm of stroke in the Y axis.

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