Posted by: Derek Korn 4. February 2015

A Side Benefit to Benchmarking: Gaining a Customer

JD Machine maintains a clean, organized shop in Ogden, Utah.

Our fifth annual Top Shops benchmarking survey is now live through the end of February, and this article explains more about it.

Another element of Top Shops is an Honors Program that highlights successful participating companies in each of the survey’s four primary sections: machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategy and human resources. Honors Program winners are profiled in the pages of Modern Machine Shop and on our website. Ogden, Utah’s JD Machine was a winner in 2013, and Matthew Wardle, company president, says that the resulting exposure helped net a nice contract from a new customer. 

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 3. February 2015

Spotlight Slideshow: Grinding

Grinding has an incredible range of uses in the machine shop—from roughing out a geometry to finishing workpieces with tight tolerances to threading parts to machining cutting tools. The selection of equipment featured in February’s Modern Equipment Review Spotlight slideshow reflects that variety of applications. Click on the image above for a slideshow of grinding equipment ranging from grinding wheels and abrasives to complete grinding systems equipped with automation and metrology capabilities. 

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 2. February 2015

The Changing Shape of Manufacturing

What is topology optimization? It is the use of mathematical analysis to achieve a part form that is suited purely to the load and function of the part, omitting all superfluous material. “You could think of it as being like a game of Jenga,” says David Ewing, technical marketing engineer for Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division. That is, the objective is to remove blocks from low-stress areas that aren’t contributing to the strength of the part, leaving the part’s essential structure intact.

Topology optimization produces organic forms that generally can’t be produced through conventional manufacturing. However, realizing optimal part forms is one of the promises of additive manufacturing, which excels at producing complex shapes.

Mr. Ewing wrote this article on how topology optimization enabled Empire Cycles to produce a bike frame bracket 44 percent lighter than the bracket’s original design—even though the new, lightweight bracket is titanium when the heavy bracket had been aluminum.

Read more about topology optimization in this article about additive manufacturing at Penn State University.

Posted by: Mark Albert 30. January 2015

Three Things to Know about the Additive Manufacturing Conference


Well, maybe there are four things you should know about the Additive Manufacturing Conference. The first is the date: October 20-21, 2015.The other three key facts are

  1. It’s designed exclusively for industrial applications.
  2. The acclaimed Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will be part of the event.
  3. Several presenter slots on the program are still open. Abstracts for consideration are welcome.

The Additive Manufacturing Conference is a new edition of the original that debuted at IMTS 2014. The site for the conference is in Knoxville, Tennessee, home to ORNL. The conference will include a facility tour of ORNL, a global leader in advanced manufacturing technologies with a strong commitment to developing cutting edge industrial additive applications.

This technical event is about industrial applications of additive technologies. Specifically, it will cover processes, applications and materials to give you knowledge on how to (or if you should) implement additive in your facility. It is not designed for hobbyists or casual users of 3D printers.

If you have a topic you would like to present at this year's conference, please submit an abstract for consideration. The conference program will be filled with expert technical speakers, but there is room for users with positive, useful experiences to share.

Other event highlights include an opportunity to tour Local Motors’ new facility, which is opening next to ORNL in June of 2015. Local Motors made headlines at IMTS 2014 with its innovative Strati, whose major body components were created directly from a digital design using additive manufacturing technology.

One more thing: Space for the event is limited, so if you're interested in attending or have any questions, please complete this brief pre-registration form. By pre-registering, you will be the first to know when the program is announced and when registration opens.

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 29. January 2015

Slideshow: Houstex 2015 Preview

Houstex organizers refer to Houston as the “energy capital of the U.S.,” and with oil and gas production in the United States on the rise, the city’s manufacturing sector has been going strong. Taking place February 24-26 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houstex 2015 has a special focus on oil and gas, petroleum, and related industries—but fabricating, medical and aerospace manufacturing, among others, will also be well-represented. Special events scheduled during the show include a Student Summit, additive manufacturing presentations, and talks on search marketing, energy industry outlook, and more. The trade show is produced by SME.

Register for the show here, and click the image above to view a slideshow previewing a selection of the products you’ll see on the show floor. 

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