MMS Blog

The Additive Manufacturing Conference returns to Knoxville, Tennessee, for its 2017 edition, happening October 10-12. This annual event focuses on industrial applications of additive technologies for making function components and end-use production parts.

Past presentation topics have included application success stories, materials, design, postprocessing, production via AM and much more. (For highlights from the most recent conference, see this series of articles and our interview series on YouTube.)

‚ÄčIn preparation for February’s edition of Machine/Shop, I checked in with some of the “power users” among those registered to access Techspex, the free online machine tool database. It’s interesting to learn about how different users approach the database tools for different needs. After all, Techspex users range across end markets, from aerospace to medical, from energy to automotive. They also vary widely in size and scope, including job shops of all sizes, as well as big manufacturers like General Electric, Boeing and Nissan North America.

Mirko Dakic, for example, is a capital planner for Magna Powertrain, a global automotive manufacturer, assisting its North American divisions in capital investment. He explains how he uses Techspex to help him do his job: “As capital planner, I use Techspex to cross-reference and learn about different machine brands and models capable of the same job. In order to gather three competitive quotes, I use the list of machine tool builders along with the list of current and previous models to find possible alternative suppliers.”

The presenters we’re currently putting together for this conference will cover a range of topics related to practical machining- and business-related practices that can be immediately implemented in your operation. That said, we’ve also put out a call for papers if you feel you can offer expertise in topics including:

•Advanced machining technology

Tri-State Tool Grinding in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a CNC tool grinder with a workpiece carrier intended for production grinding of carbide blanks. The small shop wanted to adapt this carrier for unattended regrinding of tools that already have the precision geometry.

The shop’s solution illustrates a point worth noticing now and again—namely, the extent to which a machine shop is routinely an inventor. Frequently, that invention takes the form of fixtures and other in-house workholding for machining centers, but this video shows it applied to the creation of a workholding device used for holding tools during regrinding.

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