Posted by: Emily Probst 16. February 2015

GE Aviation Inspection Technologies Challenge Announced

NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company, is accepting entries for its Inspection Technologies Challenge through February 24. This challenge is designed to find technologies, processes or approaches that can greatly increase the speed and accuracy of aviation parts inspection and greatly increase manufacturing efficiency.

Participants will compete for as many of three cash prizes of $15,000. Winning respondents who enter into a joint development agreement with GE will be awarded a $35,000 development grant to collaborate with GE to develop proposed solutions.

For this challenge, participants are asked to demonstrate their abilities by inspecting a Victorinox 4 inch paring knife instead of actual high-precision aircraft parts.

Visit this site for more information about the challenge and read the official rules. There is also a forum in which you can post questions about the challenge.

Posted by: Derek Korn 13. February 2015

2015 Top Shops Survey: Time’s Almost Up

Ever benchmarked your machine shop against others? Here’s your chance.​

The online survey for the 2015 edition of Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops benchmarking program ends February 28. Hundreds have participated thus far, so please take time to complete the survey if you  haven’t already. Participants will receive a number of survey reports and have the chance to be profiled in the magazine. All it costs is a bit of your time.

Read this to learn more about the survey or go directly to this link to participate.

Posted by: Emily Probst 12. February 2015

February 2015 Digital Edition Now Available

The digital edition of Modern Machine Shop's February 2015 issue is now avilable.

The digital February 2015 issue of Modern Machine Shop is now available. The cover story discusses the challenges that modern medical machine shops face and how they have helped shape one shop in particular. Other stories discuss how a castings supplier opened a fully equipped in-house machine shop, how a hydraulic system producer implemented an ERP solution and strategies in chip processing and coolant filtration.

Our Rapid Traverse section highlights EDM in three articles. The first is about a control that uses touchscreen navigation to help the basic user match the productivity and capability of an experienced operator. The second details how simultaneously rotating and tilting the workpiece enables the EDM wire to cut complex openings that may have different paths at the top and bottom of the opening. The third story discusses how the wire “spark erosion process” is used to dress a metal-bonded grinding wheel while still mounted in the grinder.

This month’s Better Production section includes case studies about how CAM software and new employees helped a job shop ramp up on a small budget, how a tool management system improved plant-wide communication, and how a vise-within-a-vise system enabled economic five-axis machining.

The Modern Equipment Review section highlights grinding equipment.

Posted by: Derek Korn 11. February 2015

Marshall Manufacturing Wins Romi Lathe at IMTS

Mike Burchill, president of Marshall Manufacturing in Minneapolis, stands next to the GL 170G gang-tool lathe that Romi provided for winning its IMTS 2014 machine giveaway.​

Mike Burchill, president of Marshall Manufacturing in Minneapolis, is the winner of Romi’s IMTS 2014 “It’s time I had a Romi in my shop” machine giveaway.

I know. You’re thinking, “IMTS was months ago…why are you just now announcing this?”

Well, there’s a reason.

You see, the prize Romi offered was a C 420 turning center. However, Mike says that particular model is a larger, more heavy-duty machine than Marshall could effectively use in production. Learning this from him wasn’t surprising because I had visited Marshall some time ago to develop this article about its machining (and bending) capabilities geared primarily toward medical customers.

So, Marshall and Romi worked together to identify options for swapping that lathe for a smaller, higher-speed model that was better suited for the work that flows through the shop. Mike explains that in the end, Romi generously honored the shop’s request to substitute the C 420 with a GL 170G gang-tool lathe, which Marshall is currently using to machine extruded ABS core tubes for reverse osmosis water filters. Mike says the new lathe is much more reliable and productive than the 20-year-old machine it replaced.

So, congrats to Marshall for winning the contest, and kudos to Romi for providing the shop with an alternative machine.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 10. February 2015

Koepfer America Hosts Italy Gear Tour

Members of the “Italian Gear Tech Tour,” sponsored by Koepfer America. 

As important as it is to pay close attention to your business’s daily operations (and see how it ranks next to your peers), it’s also a good idea to occasionally break out of your routine and make time to network with suppliers both in the United States and abroad.

In this case, Koepfer America, a supplier to the gear manufacturing industry, recently made such an opportunity available to a select group of individuals by sponsoring the “Italian Gear Tech Tour” in November. Representatives of U.S. gear companies visited Italian machine and cutting tool manufacturers to learn about new technologies scheduled to be introduced in the North American market. Learn more about who attended, and their activities during the tour, here

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