Posted by: Peter Zelinski 27. March 2014

The Case for VTLs

Joe Thole, applications engineer with machine tool distributor Hartwig, says the VTL (vertical turning lathe, vertical turret lathe or vertical table lathe—take your pick) offers advantages that go beyond the main advantage most people see.

That main advantage is that a VTL offers a practical way to turn large and heavy parts. The part sits atop the spindle like it is resting on a table.

But there are other advantages, he says. A VTL is inherently rigid, because cutting force is directed down into the base of the machine. Also, this lathe type is more floorspace-efficient than a horizontal lathe, because in the case of the vertical, the machine’s volume extends upward instead of being spread out across the floor.

Then there are the myths. VTLs are not more difficult to program, he says—programming is essentially the same as for a horizontal lathe. More significantly, VTLs are not dependent on large parts. Shops question whether they have enough large-part machining work to justify a vertical lathe, but the question really should be whether they have enough work in general. When there are no large parts to be run, the VTL can still deliver value by running average-sized workpieces.

Read more of what Mr. Thole has to say about VTLs in this article.  

Photo courtesy of Okuma.

Posted by: Derek Korn 26. March 2014

Finishing Fillets

Here’s one method of finishing a fillet using an 80-degree insert.

Just because a pocket calls for a fillet with a tight radius doesn’t mean the entire thing should be rough-machined with a tool having that radius. As cutting tool manufacturer Greenleaf explains, radii like these typically are small. Therefore, a tool having such a radius is generally weak and must be indexed or changed numerous times if the plan is to use it to complete the entire operation. However, there are a number of effective methods available to finish fillet radii after performing roughing operations using a different, more appropriate tool. The company highlights four of them here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 25. March 2014

Video: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Visits Cardinal Manufacturing

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently toured Cardinal Manufacturing, the Eleva-Strum High School manufacturing program that operates as a commercial manufacturing business. Read about Cardinal Manufacturing here. Todd Schuett of Creative Technology captured photos of Governor Walker’s visit as well as video footage. In this video, the governor lays out some of the numbers that account for why he advises children to view manufacturing as not just a job but a potential career.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 24. March 2014

New Chicago Headquarters Improve Training, Customer Service

Dealers, end-users, and members of the trade press got their first glimpse of Hyundai Wia’s new headquarters and technical center in Itasca, Ill., Monday, March 17. Twenty active machines were on display and ready for demonstrations at the new facility.

The centralized location is designed to provide greater access for customers than the previous site in New Jersey, the company says, adding that the move has greatly enhanced training opportunities for both sales personnel and machine operators. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration enabled guests to mingle with Hyundai Wia executives and staff. Corporate representatives included Jun-Mo Yoon, president and CEO, and In-Sig Lee, senior vice president and CFO—both of the Hyundai Wia Corp.—and “Brad” Bok Sup Lim, CFO of the Hyundai Wia America Corp., among others.  

Confetti canons sent streamers soaring across the main hall as Hyundai Wia executives cut the ribbon introducing the new facility

Active machines representing the company’s complete line of equipment are on display at the Itasca, Ill., facility. They are available for training and process demonstrations. 




Posted by: Mark Albert 21. March 2014

How to Promote Careers in Precision Manufacturing

Step one: create a great manufacturing training program with good instructors and a well-equipped machining facility. Step two: create a compelling video that sells the program to high school seniors about to choose a career path. The ITAMCO Manufacturing Education Center at Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Indiana has both steps covered.

The video above describes the program through the voice and viewpoint of a student, which is a nice touch! Tom Felke at Plymouth High School filmed and produced the whole video.

The public/private partnership behind this program is a team effort by Plymouth High School, Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO). Especially commendable is the contribution from ITAMCO, which donated $100,000 worth of equipment in addition to technical assistance to the program. 

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