Posted by: Russ Willcutt 3. March 2015

Strong Growth Projected for Industrial Robots

Lower costs and increased ease of use will spur significant growth in industrial robotics over the next decade, according to a study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the global management consulting firm and business strategy advisor. Forecasts indicate that the transportation equipment, computers and electronics, electrical equipment and machinery industries are expected to account for around 75 percent of advanced robotics installations through 2025. By then, robots should be able to handle 30 to 40 percent of automatable tasks in these industries. The biggest gains in labor savings will occur in nations that are at the forefront of deploying industrial robots, such as South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Germany, the study says. When adjusted for normal inflationary increases and other productivity measures, manufacturing labor costs in 2025 are projected to be 18 to 33 percent lower in these economies when advanced robots are factored in. 

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 2. March 2015

Reasons for In-Sourcing Machining

Having twin-spindle/twin turret lathe technology in-house lets Comp Cams produce billet racing camshafts more quickly than when it outsourced camshaft machining.

Effort Foundry used to send castings away for machining, but the company recently invested to create a new, in-house CNC machine shop. Quality control was a big part of the reason for taking ownership of this operation. See the link below for more detail.

This is just one of the potential benefits of retaining control of machining. The reasons why companies have brought or kept machining in-house includes all of the following:

  1. Quality control. Example: Effort Foundry.
  2. Potential to scale up for increasing demand. Example: Ergoseal.
  3. Manufacturing efficiency that comes from knowing the product very well. Example: Reid Machine.
  4. Inventory control. Example: E.F. Bavis.
  5. Fast introduction of new designs. Example: Comp Cams.

Of course, to bring machining in-house, a company needs staff to do the machining. Finding the strategy to develop this staff might be the reason machining returns. PEP Lacey is an example of this. 

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 27. February 2015

Are You Using the Right High-Pressure Coolant?

High-pressure coolant operating at 1,000 psi and higher can significantly reduce tool wear, enable higher cutting speeds and provide other benefits for manufacturers working with tough materials. However, using the wrong coolant in a high-pressure system can cause foaming and hinder potential gains, as LB Pipe & Coupling (Mongolia, Texas) discovered.

LB Pipe began experiencing foaming problems during the initial startup of a new robot-tended cell, halting production before it had even started. After trying a number of modifications to the coolant lines, pump, tank, tooling and nozzle configurations, the ultimate solution turned out to be the simplest: change the coolant. Read the full story here

Posted by: Mark Albert 26. February 2015

Winner Named in First-Ever International Additive Manufacturing Award

Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Ltd. will receive the inaugural International Additive Manufacturing Award (IAMA) for its innovative methodology that enables metal deposition (via laser cladding) to be integrated on a multi-axis CNC machine.

The IAMA is the result of a partnership between AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology and VDW-Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association). AMT and VDW, with media support from Gardner Business Media and VDI Nachrichten and sponsored by the European Machine Tool Association CECIMO, announced the annual IAMA at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014. The award will be presented on March 6, 2015, during a reception at The MFG Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The winning submission from Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Ltd. of the United Kingdom and Plano, Texas, is a method to combine additive processes to an existing CNC machine tool. Combining CNC and additive enables component fabrication and surface finishing to be achieved in a single setup. It also allows different compositions of materials to be used in the same component. Finally in-process inspection can assure quality, which is otherwise impractical or impossible to evaluate. For more about this process, click here.

“Hybrid technology is exciting because it offers a new way to adopt additive manufacturing—as an upgrade to a CNC machine tool. Adding tool-changeable deposition heads to an existing CNC machine enables 3D printing of metal, without the need to buy a separate machine,” says Dr. Jason Jones, co-founder and CEO of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies. “This significantly reduces costs and provides an intuitive adoption path for CNC operators. The combination of additive with machining offers new capabilities, including in-process finishing, that cannot be delivered by either technology independently.”

The IAMA selection jury included international leaders from industry, academia, military, media and trade associations. It considered innovations from the United States and the European Union from varied leaders in the additive field.

Along with the award, Hybrid Manufacturing Ltd. will also receive a $20,000 cash prize and a media package valued at $80,000 to promote its winning hybrid kit innovation. The second award trophy will be presented at METAV, the International Exhibition for Metalworking Technologies, in Dusseldorf, Germany, in February 2016.

Posted by: Emily Probst 25. February 2015

Now Is the Time to Register for Amerimold

Looking for a mold manufacturing event to attend this summer in the Midwest? Well you’re in luck. Exhibit hall and technical conference registration is now open for Amerimold 2015, which will take place June 17-18 at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The annual event is presented by Gardner Business Media, in partnership with Modern Machine Shop, and its sister publications MoldMaking Technology, Plastics Technology and Automotive Design and Production. The event connects more than 2,500 of the top owners, executives and engineers involved in the plastic injection mold manufacturing industry. It includes an exhibit hall, technical conference and production sourcing opportunities.

Pre-registration extends through May 1 and includes:

  • Complimentary Amerimold exhibit hall access
  • Discounted technical conference registration
  • Free show floor education sessions
  • Onsite business development opportunities 

Amerimold visitors will see the latest machine tools, materials, tooling, software, services and components for mold manufacturing. In addition, new this year, Amerimold will co-locate with the leading injection molding conference, Molding 2015

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