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Posted by: Derek Korn 21. May 2015

What’s a Journeyman’s Card, Anyway?

Machine tool builder Grob Systems is located in Bluffton, Ohio. While that location is centrally located among a number of the company’s automotive customers, it isn’t exactly a hotbed for shopfloor talent. That’s why, from the get-go, the company started an apprenticeship program based on its German parent company’s model. However, it recently modified the program to offer an associate degree instead of a journeyman’s card.

As the program’s training supervisor asks, “How many kids (or parents) know what a journeyman’s card is? On the other hand, they’re certainly familiar with an associate degree.”

Learn more.


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 20. May 2015

Video: Robot Loading at Rekluse

Rekluse is the motorcycle clutch maker that spun off a new company, VersaBuilt, after its own challenges with fluctuating production demand led to the development of a system for robotically loading not just the machined part but the part and workholding together. We described the significance of this approach to machine loading in a recent feature article. Now, ABB Robotics has produced this video describing Rekluse and VersaBuilt’s story, and showing the robot in action. Note also in the video how the robot, shelving system and controller all are wheeled as a single unit up to the face of the machining center.


Posted by: Russ Willcutt 19. May 2015

Liebherr Gear Seminar to be Co-Hosted by Ingersoll Cutting Tools

I recently spent an informative day in Saline, Michigan, meeting with Peter Wiedemann, president of Liebherr Automation Systems, Co./Liebherr Gear Technology Inc., along with Scott Yoders, vice president of gearing sales, and Kevin Heise, vice president of automation sales. Mr. Wiedemann provided an overview of the company’s global structure and a tour of its U.S. headquarters (pictured), which offers sales and support services for its aerospace and machine tool product divisions. U.S. manufacturing operations are located at its plant in Newport News, Virginia. Parent company Liebherr Verzahntechik GmbH is based in Kempten, Germany.

While in Michigan, I learned of the upcoming Liebherr 2015 Gear Seminar, which will take place June 23-24. It will be co-hosted by Ingersoll Cutting Tools at its technical center in Rockford, Illinois. An annual event for the past 20 years, the seminar offers technical presentations on the latest developments in gear cutting and inspection technology made by experts from Liebherr Gear Technology, Liebherr Automation Systems, Ingersoll Cutting Tools, the Saacke Group and the Wenzel Group. Qualified guests will have the opportunity to tour the Ingersoll shop floor and to witness a hobbing demonstration on Liebherr’s LC 500. Those interested in attending can contact Liebherr at 734-944-6369 or info.lgt@liebherr.com. I hope to see you there!


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 18. May 2015

Now Available: Additive Manufacturing May 2015 Digital Edition

The cover story in the May issue of Additive Manufacturing highlights International Additive Manufacturing Award winner Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, and also gives a snapshot of the development to date of the idea of hybrid manufacturing—or applying both additive and subtractive processes within the same machine. Also in this issue, a custom molder describes lessons learned in applying 3D printing for short-run production of plastic parts. Another article considers the value of CT scanning for additive-manufactured part inspection. Read these stories in the digital edition of the issue. To subscribe to Additive Manufacturinggo here.


Posted by: Mark Albert 15. May 2015

MTConnect Institute Announces Student Challenge

Doug Woods (left), president of AMT–The Association for Manufacturing Technology, announces the MTConnect Student Challenge at the recent [MC2] Conference. Assisting him on stage are Joel Neidig and Valerie Pezzullo Fadool, winners in a previous MTConnect Challenge competition.

Announced at the recent [MC]2 Conference in Chicago, the MTConnect Student Challenge is offering a total of $33,000 in cash prizes for winning submissions from college students. This competition is designed to encourage these students to think creatively about concepts and applications for improving manufacturing with the MTConnect standard. The aim is to generate awareness of advanced manufacturing technologies, as well as lead to innovations that help manufacturers, especially those serving the defense industry.

To participate in the challenge, students at the undergraduate and graduate level in community colleges and universities are invited to submit ideas in applications utilizing the MTConnect standard. The competition is expected to be of particular interest to those studying manufacturing-related fields; electrical, mechanical or industrial engineering; as well as software engineering and IT-related studies. MTConnect is an open-source, XML-based communications standard that fosters connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices.

The MTConnect Student Challenge has two parts: Idea Creation and Application Development.

For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges, describe potential solutions to those challenges and create conceptual mockups for solutions. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. Submission opens June 11, 2015 and closes September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available here.

For the Application competition, students will be required to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations. These benefits include improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, and the like. The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place and $5,000 for third place. Submission opens June 11, 2015 and closes January 31, 2016. Winners will be announced April 20, 2016 at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Full rules and submission details are available at here.

“The MTConnect Student Challenge seeks to engage the higher education community to promote innovative thinking and ideas, and ultimately to enable manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs for the defense manufacturing industry,” says Douglas K. Woods, president of the MTConnect Institute and president of AMT–The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Mr. Woods says he hopes the competition will inspire a broader base of software and system architects; build a new, skilled workforce by increasing students’ awareness of advanced manufacturing technologies; and develop MTConnect applications that can be easily adopted by manufacturers of all sizes.

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.


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