Derek Korn joined Modern Machine Shop in 2004, but has been writing about manufacturing since 1997. His mechanical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science provides a solid foundation for understanding and explaining how innovative shops apply advanced machining technologies. As you might gather from this photo, he’s the car guy of the MMS bunch. But his ’55 Chevy isn’t as nice as the hotrod he’s standing next to. In fact, his car needs a right-front fender spear if you know anybody willing to part with one.
This rotary table has a through-hole diameter of 13.6 inches, which has previously been available only with rotary tables having a 31.5-inch face plate. It is also 484 pounds lighter.
Kitagawa-NorthTech notes that the size of cylindrical oilfield components are getting larger. This typically would mean that shops with limited size capacity for its machines would have to purchase a larger machine not so much to accommodate the part, but the big NC rotary table. That’s why the TP530 was developed to deliver the requisite through-hole diameter in a more compact overall size than comparable rotary tables so this type of work can be performed on smaller machines. Learn more.
IMTS 2012 saw the U.S. introduction of Universal Robots’ line of lightweight, six-axis robot arms for machine tending and other automated applications. Perhaps this equipment’s most distinguishing feature is that it often doesn’t require the enclosures that typical robotic loading applications do. Because the robot arms are compliant with the ISO 10218 safety standard for industrial robots, they can safely function alongside personnel with no safety guarding in many cases. If an employee was to contact the robot arm exerting a force of only 150 Newtons, the robot arm would automatically stop operating. (The arm measures electrical current in its joints to determine force and movement, rather than more costly sensor technology.) That said, all companies must carry out a risk assessment of their specific applications, considering how the arms are installed, what gripping tools are used and so on to determine if enclosures are needed.
Click here to learn more and see a video of one of the arms in action.
Today’s advanced machining technology is impressive. However, it’s nice to reflect on the history of machining in the U.S. from time to time. This cool video explains the origins of Central Texas Tools and how its three generations of manual machinists apply their skills at this job shop that primarily repairs and threads oil field parts. You’ll find no computers there. In fact, some of the equipment is belt-driven, and production planning is commonly performed by grabbing a welding rod and sketching out ideas in the shop’s dirt floor. And work stops for a bit every morning at 9:30. That’s soda pop time.
The online MyShow planner is again offered to help PMTS attendees streamline their visit.
The seventh edition of the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS), which takes place April 16 to 18, will feature more than 230 exhibitors—the most the show has offered its attendees. That said, its focus remains the same: highlighting specific equipment, services and ideas that can enable shops to more effectively produce precision turned and machined parts.
Read more to learn how the show has evolved over the years.
Total energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Manufacturing gross output decreased by only 3 percent over the same period. Taken together, these data indicate a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output. The significant decline in energy intensity reflects both improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix. Consumption of every fuel used for manufacturing declined over this period.
The broad U.S. manufacturing sector comprised over 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. It includes energy-intensive industries (those that use relatively large amounts of energy) such as petroleum refining, chemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, paper, wood products, and food, as well as less energy-intensive industries such as textiles, leather, apparel, furniture, machinery and electrical equipment.
Energy for manufacturing can be consumed in two ways: as a fuel or as a feedstock (material input to a final product). Energy consumed as a fuel includes all energy used for heat and power. Energy used as feedstock is the use of energy sources for raw material input or for any purpose other than the production of heat or power.
U.S. manufacturing used over 14 quadrillion BTU of energy as a fuel in 2010, a decrease of 13 percent from the 2002 level. Fuel consumption in the five most energy-intensive subsectors accounted for 81 percent of fuel use in manufacturing. Two energy-intensive subsectors (petroleum and coal products and food) showed 3.5 percent increases in their fuel consumption from 2002 to 2010.
Feedstock energy use in U.S. manufacturing accounts for more than 6 percent of all energy consumed in the country. Although nearly all manufacturers use energy as a fuel, 99 percent of feedstock energy use occurs in only three manufacturing subsectors: primary metals, chemicals, and petroleum and coal products.