Posted by: Emily Probst 29. May 2015

Amerimold: The Event for Mold Manufacturing

Are you looking for machines, tools, software and materials? Register today for Amerimold 2015, a regional show running from June 17-18 at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The show will give you a first-hand look at the leading suppliers of product technology for tool and mold making. It also provides at least three opportunities to improve your business:

  • Exhibit Hall. Meet exhibitors featuring technologies impacting every aspect of the mold manufacturing business, from mold design to 3D part machining.
  • Education. Focused on end-user processes that will improve your expertise and efficiency in designing, building and maintaining molds.
  • Events. Exclusive networking events aim to connect builders, buyers and suppliers for production sourcing, technology transfer and business development.

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

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 28. May 2015

Okuma Supports Aerospace Excellence

Okuma has invested in nine machines worth $6.5 million to fill the 10,000 square-foot space, designed for aerospace manufacturers to test the latest CNC machining processes.

A recent visit with Okuma America at U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, allowed me to take a tour of the company’s new Aerospace Center of Excellence. Okuma has invested in nine machines worth $6.5 million to fill the 10,000 square-foot space. This space enables aerospace manufacturers to test cuts, check accuracies, determine effectiveness and prove out the latest Okuma CNC machining processes.

The center also includes a fully operational metrology room with CMM equipment and other quality measurement devices, as well as a conference room for group discussions. Visitors also have access to the Partners in THINC facility, housing an additional 16 machines ranging from entry-level CNC lathes to machining centers and grinders.

Aerospace manufacturers are invited to contact Okuma America to schedule a visit to the new center, and to collaborate with its experienced engineers in discovering the most accurate and productive means of machining the next generation of aerospace components. Watch the video tour of the new Aerospace Center of Excellence. 

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 27. May 2015

3 Reasons Why Additive Manufacturing Belongs on a Machine Tool

Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies makes an award-winning head that enables additive manufacturing capability to be added to a standard machine tool. Far from being competing capabilities, Hybrid cofounder Jason Jones, Ph.D., says “subtractive” CNC machining and additive manufacturing complement one another. Additive makes sense on machine tools, he says, for three reasons:

1. Setup reduction. A production metal part made through additive manufacturing is probably going to need machining before it is complete. Mating surfaces and threaded holes, for example, need to be machined. Therefore, why not perform the additive build on the machine tool, where this finish machining can be performed as part of the same cycle?

2. Energy expense. Additive manufacturing requires a heat source intense enough to melt metal. If you are going to invest in the power needed for this melting, then why limit the capability to the small build volume typical of a stand-alone additive machine? Bringing additive manufacturing to a big machine tool permits the use of that machine’s travels.

3. Less dramatic shift. Cultural inertia impedes the adoption of additive manufacturing. Longtime manufacturing professionals are familiar with CNC machine tools, but the additive machines are strange to them. Adding the additive capability to the machine tool provides an easier path to adoption.

Read more about the arrival of hybrid additive/subtractive machines.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 26. May 2015

The Evolution of Automotive Automation

Back in the days when kitchen refrigerators were loaded with ice instead of making it, and stoves were heated with wood or coal rather than gas and electricity, the Ford Motor Co. made automobiles by hand. That was a long time ago, and just as we now dispense ice through the doors or our fridges and own home ovens worthy of a bakery, cars are pieced together on an assembly line by increasingly complex articulated robots. Here’s a slideshow of how robots have progressed over the years on the Ford assembly line. As remarkable as the progress of autonomy has been in robotics, a recent development is called the “collaborative” robot, meaning it is designed and built to share space and work near human beings. The CR-35iA robot from FANUC, for instance, is ideal for assembly and transferring various parts. In addition, the new M-2000iA/1700L super-heavy payload robot transports completed cars from one position to another high above the factory floor.

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 25. May 2015

May 2015 Slideshow: Micromachining

Click the image above to access the micromachining slideshow.

While micromachining is not a specific type of machining process or strategy, it often demands specialized equipment and tooling. Micro milling and drilling requires tiny tools as well as a machine with the spindle speed to cut effectively with them (as this manufacturer and shop owner learned). As another example, it’s possible to cut micro features with abrasive waterjet, but the nozzle orifice, mixing tube and abrasive particles must be downsized appropriately.

Click the image above to view a slideshow of products designed and suitable for micromachining. Also visit the Micromachining Zone to learn more.

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