MMS Blog

What does it take to employ the full cutting capabilities of today’s machining centers? According to Senior R&D Engineer Dennis Noland of Niagara Cutter, one important factor is the modern programming software of today’s CNC tool grinding machines. These advanced programming capabilities recently allowed Niagara to realize design features on its “Stabilizer” end mill that had previously been imagined, yet were impractical for the company to achieve in years past. Starting last year, however, the company began leveraging the most up-to-date programming capabilities of its Rollomatic and Walter grinders to manufacture a revised and more capable version of this heavy-roughing end mill, the Stabilizer 2.0. Mr. Noland says the new tool routinely achieves two times the metal removal rate possible with its predecessor—to the point that even on powerful 50-taper machines, the tool can make use of all the machine’s power in heavy roughing cuts.

Niagara Cutter is a Seco Tools company, acquired in 2010. Mr. Noland was part of a press event at the Niagara facility in Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, that aimed to show the results of the parent company’s ongoing investment in this location. With more than 110 people on staff and 70 CNC tool grinders, the Niagara site has become a major manufacturing plant for Seco, capable of producing not just Niagara-brand products but any other Seco product as well, such as the Jabro Tools end mill line. Indeed, Seco's solid carbide FeedMax drill line is made here currently, and Seco North America President Rob Keenan says investment into the Niagara plant will continue at the level of $25 million over the next three years.

Modern Machine Shop magazine has a sister publication devoted to—and named—Additive Manufacturing. So why add a new, monthly columnist on additive manufacturing to MMS?

Answer: Because we feel that every issue of MMS ought to give at least some attention to the emerging technologies likely to affect readers soon. That is why we launched a regular column on data-driven manufacturing, and that is why Timothy Simpson, Ph.D., has now joined us as a regular columnist in MMS.

Operating a lathe means turning barstock into parts. Bar feeders push (or feed) a bar of stock into the lathe until the bar has been fully utilized. Then the bar feeder continues to load bar after bar until the job is complete or the hopper is out of stock. However if only a single bar of stock is necessary, or a shop does not have the space or money for a bar feeder, a bar puller can be used to easily automate any CNC lathe or turning center.

Like a bar feeder, a bar puller can improve productivity by enabling CNC lathes to run unattended and permit operators to handle other tasks. Under the right conditions, bar pullers have a number of advantages. They are inexpensive (just hundreds of dollars) and can be easily fit to most CNC lathes.

By: Steven Kline, Jr. 18. April 2017

GBI: Metalworking March 2017 – 56.4

With a reading of 56.4, the Gardner Business Index showed that the metalworking industry grew at an accelerating rate in March for the third month in a row, again reaching its highest point since March 2012.

New orders increased for the fifth straight month and at a similar rate to February’s. The same was true for the production subindex, which also grew for the fifth consecutive month but at its fastest rate since June 2011. The backlog subindex grew for the second month in a row, a trend that indicates that capacity utilization should increase in 2017. Employment increased for the fifth time in six months, although at a slightly slower rate. Exports continued to contract, but this subindex did reach its highest level since December 2014. Supplier deliveries lengthened at their fastest rate since April 2012.

The slideshow above, based on our April 2017 issue’s Modern Equipment Review Spotlight, features grinding and abrasive equipment ranging from flap discs and grinding wheels to multitasking machining centers.

Click through the slideshow for details and follow the links for more information on each item.

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