Posted by: Russ Willcutt 18. June 2015

When the Chips Are Down

Every machine shop has developed its own procedure for chip disposal. This is necessitated by concerns such as the configuration of the facility, the metalworking fluids in use, the materials being machined and the type of chips being produced.

Whatever type of system a company has developed, I generally encounter a desire for a better process, or for certain improvements, during the shop visits I make. For example, one company would like to automate the process to the greatest extent possible, while another is interested in environmental compliance. Others want to reclaim fluids from chips to lower new coolant costs. Whatever the situation, the basic steps involve:

  • Transport: Getting the chips from the machine tool to the processing system can be accomplished in many ways, either manually or via conveyors.

  • Size: Grinding or sorting chips to a uniform size.

  • Separation: Once the chip size is relatively standard, and tramp metals such as bolts, etc., have been removed, the chips are introduced into a centrifugal spinning device, sending coolant to a filtration system and dry chips to a bin.

  • Disposal: Dry chips are transported to a bin and handled by a disposal company. In the example photographed above, the dry, uniform chips are driven by air through overhead piping to the bin, which can automatically send emails to both the machine shop’s general manager and the disposal company that the bin is full and ready for pickup. 

One of the most efficient systems I’ve seen first-hand was during a visit to Brek Manufacturing, which had recently installed a leading-edge system with another one soon to be installed. 

Posted by: Derek Korn 17. June 2015

Two-Minute Video: Advantage of Twin-Pallets/Dual-Station Vises

The BT-360D VMC from Bulova Technologies includes an integrated twin-pallet changing system. This video (okay, it actually runs 2:01 minutes) shows how this type of machine platform, combined with Toolex dual-station vises, can maximize spindle up-time by enabling operators to change-out workpieces on one pallet while parts are machined on the other.

Posted by: Emily Probst 16. June 2015

June 2015 Digital Edition Now Available

Click the image above to access a digital edition of the June issue
Modern Machine Shop.

“It’s like shuffling a deck of cards every day,” says Paul Hogoboom about the challenge of managing ever-shifting job priorities at P&J Machining. The shop has a long history of light-out machining on flexible machining systems and palletized cells, yet its newest system, which consists of two four-axis Matsurra HMCs with a Fastems pallet storage and retrieval system, represents what Mr. Hogoboom considers the most important advance in this sector of lights-out aerospace machining, namely, the control software’s capability to automatically reschedule job priorities on the fly based on shifting demands in production from customers. Learn more here.

Also in this issue:

Read the full issue here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 15. June 2015

Video: Vertical Machining Centers at Taylor Guitars

Loading the player ...

When I visited Taylor Guitars to learn about its manufacturing process, one of the manufacturing technologies I encountered was vertical machining centers. While some of the VMCs at the company’s factory in El Cajon, California, produce metal tooling for in-house use, most of these machines are carving wood to sculpt the guitars. In this video, factory neck department manager Julie Gardiner talks about this machining center application. Also, company founder Bob Taylor describes the challenge of making a product out of wood. An organic workpiece material, wood is very different from metal, in part because the quality of the material available is gradually in decline.

I visited Taylor as part of a film shoot for a forthcoming Edge Factor documentary on music-industry manufacturing. Find updates about the progress of this project at

On that same trip, we also shot this video at DW Drums.

Posted by: Mark Albert 12. June 2015

Learn about 3D Printing of Large Parts at Amerimold 2015

Amerimold 2015 has announced that Dr. Chad Duty from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will host complimentary showfloor presentations on “Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM)” at next week’s Amerimold Exposition and Technical Conference. Amerimold is scheduled for June 17-18 at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

In his 11th year at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dr. Chad Duty has shifted gears to focus on improving the mechanical performance of polymer-based additive manufactured components and the development of a large-scale system, called Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM), capable of depositing parts 10 times larger and 100 times faster than current technology.

At Amerimold, Dr. Duty will examine the technologies being developed and applied at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. In particular, the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine, which was used to produce the 3D-printed Shelby Cobra that debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

“Chad and his team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are very much at the forefront of not just developing but also applying advanced manufacturing technologies, specifically additive manufacturing, to advance tool and mold manufacturing” says Dave Necessary, show manager. “We are very excited to offer all Amerimold attendees and exhibitors the opportunity to learn technologies that are being used to take time and take money out of the tool and mold manufacturing process.”

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will exhibit and present at booth 723. Presentations will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 and again at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 18. A representative from ORNL will also be on-hand to answer questions and discuss BAAM technology.

Registration is still open for Amerimold 2015. 

Amerimold is North America’s premier event for mold manufacturing. Presented by Gardner Business Media, in partnership with MoldMaking Technology, Plastics Technology and Modern Machine Shop, Amerimold connects global and domestic technology leaders involved in all aspects of mold manufacturing. 

« Prev | | Next »
Additive Conference

Subscribe to these Related
RSS Blog Feeds

Channel Partners
  • Techspex