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Posted by: Derek Korn 12. January 2015

Fifth Annual Top Shops Benchmarking Survey Online

Benchmarking survey participants will receive four reports including an Executive Summary that compares responses between the Top Shops benchmarking group and the rest of the participants.

Modern Machine Shop’s fifth annual “Top Shops” benchmarking survey offers shops of all types and sizes a chance to see how they rate against similar machining businesses. All data collected from individual companies will remain confidential.

Participants who complete the survey will be able to receive a series of summary data reports of the results. Participants are also encouraged to enter the Top Shops Honors Program by providing their full contact information at the beginning of the survey.

Take the survey here.

Learn more about the Top Shops benchmarking initiative here.

If you have questions, please send an email to me at dkorn@mmsonline.com.


Posted by: Mark Albert 9. January 2015

Register Now to Become a PMTS VIP

The Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) returns to Columbus, Ohio, April 21-23, 2015. Be among the first 1,000 to register and gain VIP status. VIPs earn rewards such as a free PMTS T-shirt, complimentary happy hour drink tickets, free registration and express check-in. Register early and be a VIP.

PMTS 2015 has more than 270 exhibitors displaying the latest in precision machining technology and showcasing ideas on how to improve processes and increase profits. Networking opportunities and other intangible benefits also set this show apart.

PMTS is presented by the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) and co-presented by Production Machining and Modern Machine Shop. PMTS is the precision machining industry’s signature event, offering the largest on-site gathering of precision machining equipment.

To learn more about the technical conference, special events, and to see who’s exhibiting at PMTS, visit pmts.com.


Posted by: Emily Probst 8. January 2015

January 2015 Digital Edition Now Available

The digital edition of Modern Machine Shop's January 2015 issue is now available.

The digital January 2015 issue of Modern Machine Shop is now available. The cover story delves into ISO 13399, a family of standards that specify a common format for identifying and describing cutting tools. Another feature reports what trends we discovered while at JIMTOF, the Japan International Machine Tool Fair. A third story details the invisible advantage to cutting tool edge prep, while a fourth story discusses tooling up for vertical turning. Our fifth-annual Top Shops survey is now online, so be sure to check that out.

Our Rapid Traverse section highlights two technologies we saw at IMTS—a vending system that uses a carousel with adjustable slots to hold box-shaped contents, and an inspection microscope with automatic focusing capabilities that can streamline the process. This section also highlights how high-speed spindles can be powered by coolant pressure, and it looks into a new website that enables shops with excess tooling to sell it to other shops.

This month’s Better Production section includes case studies about optimizing multitasking using custom clamping, how standardized CNC improved production of power-generation equipment, and how a trunnion table helped a VMC fill a utility roll for a shop.

The Modern Equipment Review section highlights robots and automation.


Posted by: Derek Korn 7. January 2015

Ball-Drive System for Accurate Table Rotation

Fourth- and fifth-axis rotary tables bring added flexibility to conventional three-axis VMCs. At IMTS, Koma Precision introduced the Tsudakoma RG series of rotary tables that uses a ball-drive system for table rotation.

As shown in the photo above, both sides of each ball remain in contact with the system’s worm gear, and each ball is located to within 1 micron of each other. The company says this design offers zero backlash/reversal error while providing a maximum indexing speed of 140 rpm with high accuracy, rigidity and torque transfer. In addition, the device, which is available in three sizes, is said to require no adjustments over its lifetime.


Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 6. January 2015

Product Spotlight: Robots & Automation

Industrial automation takes different forms for different shops. For some, “automating” might mean adding a pallet changer to a machining center to run longer unattended. For others, it might be installing a large cell of several machines with a tending robot so that parts can be machined complete within one area of the shop floor. Or it might mean automating a process in itself, as with welding robots, freeing up personnel for other tasks.

Click the photo above for a slideshow of these automation products and others featured in our January product spotlight. Also check out the Robots & Automation Zone for case studies, feature articles and more on this topic. 


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