Derek Korn

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.

Posted by: Derek Korn 18. February 2016

On-Machine Probing of My Kind of Workpieces

On-machine probing offers a number of advantages. Probing routines using a touch-trigger probe installed in a machine’s spindle can speed setups by establishing the exact location of a workpiece fixtured on a machine so the part program can be aligned to it. This type of probing can also be applied in a more sophisticated manner for process control, using part measurement data to automatically apply cutter compensations.

We’ve written a number of articles on the topic, and I’ve linked to a few of them below. None of them address the types of workpieces being probed in the video above, however. (Thanks for letting me know about this Production Machining.)

Posted by: Derek Korn 2. February 2016

Five Patent Points to Consider for Your Job Shop

This article highlights a few reasons why owners and managers of job or contract shops—companies that often don’t have their own product lines—should be mindful of patents. The registered patent attorney who provided the information in that article says it is important for shops to:

  • Think processes, not just products.
  • Clarify employee assignments.
  • Know what a patent grants and doesn’t grant.
  • Know when you might be liable for patent infringement.
  • Think early when thinking about a patent.
Posted by: Derek Korn 28. January 2016

The Value of Benchmarking

Here are a few past Top Shops “Honors Program” winners showin’ the goods.

This is the time of year when I ask shop owners and managers to consider participating in our magazine’s annual Top Shops benchmarking survey. There are a variety of reasons why I feel it’s valuable to participate, which I outline in this article. That article also includes comments from past participants about past survey results they found interesting or surprising, how they’ve applied what they’ve learned from the results, and so on. 

Posted by: Derek Korn 19. January 2016

“Swiss Automatic” Grinder…Made in Jersey

The CAM.2 microgrinding machine from Glebar uses a hydrostatic bushing to offer support very near the area of contact between the part and the grinding wheel. There’s pretty much no limit to the length of wire to be ground, as shown in these demonstration parts with tiny ground flats, tapers, threads and so on.

Glebar, a New Jersey manufacturer of OD grinders, plunge grinders and other types of grinders, developed an interesting technology for grinding long, small-diameter parts. We’re talking workpiece stock as small as 0.005 inch in diameter and a minimum grinding diameter of 0.0005 inch for applications such as medical guidewires that can range to 16-feet long.

The way it does that is by applying a concept that’s similar to a sliding-headstock, Swiss-type lathe and its signature guide bushing. Learn more.

Posted by: Derek Korn 4. January 2016

Three Design Elements for Effective Turning on a Five-Axis Machine

The rotary table balance control system on this five-axis machine enables 600-rpm turning of non-symmetric parts weighing as much as 8,818 pounds.

I like to use numbered or bullet lists in my articles. These visual tools make it easier for readers to quickly scan an article for relevant information. It also makes the article shorter and easier to digest, in part because there’s no need to include transition sentences taking the reader from one paragraph to the next. Instead, key points are provided in meaningful little portions.

In a recent print article, I wrote about three design elements said to enable the MCT five-axis machine platform from Burkhardt + Weber, part of Industrias Romi SA, to be effective at turning operations. These include:

  1. Turning tool adapter (Because turning with a tool in the main spindle limits production and damages bearings.)
  2. Table balance control (Because parts to be turned on a five-axis machine often aren’t symmetric.)
  3. Thermal isolation system (Because introducing heat isn’t helpful here.)

Learn more.

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