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Posted by: Mark Albert 12. December 2014

The Man behind the Strati 3D-Printed Car to Be Keynote Speaker

When industry innovators partnered to create the world’s first 3D-printed, electric car on-site during IMTS 2014, they made manufacturing history. Some say the remarkable collaborative process that created this car is the real history-maker in this scenario. Such collaboration may be the key to success in all manufacturing in the years ahead—and thus a most appropriate topic for the keynote address at The MFG Meeting (Manufacturing for Growth) March 4-7, 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida.

No one may know more about this collaborative process than Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, the man and the company behind the “Strati,” the name given to this revolutionary automobile. Rogers, in fact, will deliver this keynote address, which will introduce MFG attendees to the third industrial revolution and explain the implications of large-scale and subtractive manufacturing processes. He will detail the collaborative process—from conception to test drive—that made this innovative idea a reality.

Registration for The MFG Meeting will open soon, but booking a hotel room for the event is urgent—the cut-off date for the group discount is January 30, 2015.


Posted by: Peter Zelinski 11. December 2014

United Technologies Optimization Tool Added to Vericut

Machining verification and simulation software developer CGTech says it prefers to develop its software capabilities internally rather than licensing capabilities that were developed outside. It made an exception in the case of Vericut Force, a physics-based machining optimization tool newly made available for the company’s Vericut software. This resource was developed not by another software company, but by manufacturer United Technologies Corporation, or UTC, the OEM owner of Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Otis Elevator and other industrial brands.

Within UTC, streamlining machining processes using the optimization tool, which was formerly called PromptFM, has cut some cycle times by 50 percent. The company manufacturing leaders and researchers involved in developing the utility therefore want to see it used by company suppliers (ultimately saving cost for UTC). To realize this hope, however, the company needed an established software provider willing to back the product and support its users. Allowing CGTech to adopt it was the answer.

Vericut software from CGTech already has machining feed rate optimization capability. This existing optimization is based on the simulated sweep of the tool’s envelope through the workpiece material. Feed rate changes are calculated from changes in the area of the tool’s material engagement throughout the cut. By contrast, Vericut Force’s optimization draws on modeling of the cut based on metalcutting theory combined with machining experimentation. UTC researchers ran and monitored cutting trials with various tools at various conditions, then interpolated within those results and iteratively refined the software until it produced recommendations that accord with real-world testing.

CGTech says the result is more effective optimization of the cut when cutting conditions are unusual or extreme. Its existing optimization and Vericut Force produce similar results during typical roughing in freer-machining metals, but in finishing hard metals with complex cutter contact conditions, for example, the UTC system offers feed rate recommendations that are nearer to the ideal for that cut.

The initial release of Vericut Force is to UTC companies and their suppliers. The existence of this potential customer base was part of the business case that made licensing the external software product appealing to CGTech. After proving out the new option with these customers, the company says it will extend its availability to the rest of Vericut’s users.


Posted by: Derek Korn 10. December 2014

How Important Is Oil Filtration for Grinding?

The 250-gallon centrifuge filtration system for this external thread grinding machine removes swarf as small as 5 microns from the full-synthetic oil coolant the machine uses. 

B&R Grinding, located just south of Chicago’s O’Hare airport, specializes in precision thread grinding. Its latest CNC external thread grinder, a GS:TE 200 unit from Drake Manufacturing, offers a 1-meter grind length and180-degree grinding wheel power helix. This machine enables the shop to accommodate the longer, higher-helix-angle thread grinding work its customers are asking it to perform.

Another important component of this machine is its 250-gallon centrifuge filtration system that removes swarf as small as 5 microns from the oil. That prevents the swarf from being introduced between the wheel and the workpiece, which could create scratches. It also cools the oil to a consistent 70°F, and some of it is delivered through the machine’s headstock to prevent spindle expansion during grinding operations.

Learn more about how the shop leverages this machine capability and others in this article


Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 9. December 2014

Take the 2015 Media Survey

How do you find out about new products or processes? Stay on top of industry news and events? Make purchasing decisions?

We’d like to hear your answers to these questions. Take part in the 2015 Media Use in Manufacturing Survey to tell us how you find, access and share industry information. Here’s what you’ll gain from participating:

  1. You’ll get a first look at the survey results and learn how your colleagues, peers and competitors are finding and accessing information—which can help you do the same more effectively.
  2. You’ll have a voice in defining how manufacturing professionals use media, and help us learn how to serve you better.

All responses will remain anonymous, and your contact information will only be used to deliver the survey results to you. 


Posted by: Emily Probst 8. December 2014

December Digital Edition Now Available

The digital edition of Modern Machine Shop's December issue is now available.

The digital December issue of Modern Machine Shop is now available. The cover story details how U.S. investment in machine tools is poised to reach a remarkable level. Another feature discusses how one shop uses an atypical means to fixture thin parts that are prone to flexing when conventional workholding clamps are used. A third story details how a shop that specializes in precision thread grinding not only provides an environment in which its machinists can fully focus on challenging tasks, but also the advanced equipment needed to accurately complete them.

Our Rapid Traverse section features three short technical pieces about manufacturing titanium.

This month’s Better Production section includes case studies about how face mills kept a shop from making a large capital expenditure, how software helped race-team mechanics become CNC programmer-machinists, and how a cutting tool helped an automotive manufacturer implement a design change, and how a video measuring system ensures diamond quality for waterjets.

The Modern Equipment Review section highlights machining center equipment.


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