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Chris Felix

With a degree in technical writing and editing, Chris began his career as an assistant editor with Modern Machine Shop, eventually moving into the role of production manager. After leaving the machine tool industry for several years to run his own marketing and web design business, he returned to Gardner in 2005 as associate editor of Production Machining. He has also served as editor of Process Cleaning magazine. Chris is an avid baseball fan (particularly of the Cincinnati Reds), but says he'd still rather watch his kids' sporting events any day.

Posted by: Chris Felix 11. September 2014

Discussing Manufacturing’s Future

A panel of industry experts in the Kennametal booth encouraged attendees to reimagine the future of digital manufacturing.

Earlier in the week, Kennametal presented in its booth (W-1522) an industry panel discussion about the future of manufacturing. Leading the presentation was Jim Carroll, author, who introduced the other panel members and initiated discussions about the importance of staying current on the latest industry trends and applications to keep pace with the accelerating movement of integrated digital manufacturing.

Other panel members included Dan Frayssinet, president of DP Technology, Alexander Zoller, president of Zoller, Andreas Haimer, president of the Haimer Group, John Reed, marketing manager of CGTech, and Pete Dragich, vice president, integrated supply and logistics, Kennametal. The group touched on some very significant points regarding the Internet’s effect on global manufacturing and the ability to facilitate the sharing of data. Most importantly, shops need to continue to work smarter and faster as products reach obsolescence much more quickly than before. Although the often noted skills crisis is reason for concern, the increasing use of digital manufacturing seems to be the key to reinventing the industry in such a way to spark more interest among young people.

Finally, the panel encouraged attendees to think hard about their future. Companies need a solid understanding of the direction they’re heading in the next two years and the next five years. Such planning can help in a step by step approach to growth, as these increments are more manageable. In 10 years, however, the world of manufacturing will be completely different, and it’s near impossible to predict what the requirements will be at that time.

Posted by: Chris Felix 27. April 2012

Seeing SIMTOS and More in South Korea

I had the opportunity to see South Korea for the first time last week. Traveling with Hyundai Wia, I spent a day at the SIMTOS manufacturing technology show. Then, I had a chance to tour two Hyundai Wia plants and two of the company’s supplier facilities. Overall (the extremely long flight notwithstanding), it was a nice trip. Here are some things I took from the trip:

 
— Hyundai Wia had a huge presence at SIMTOS. With 29 machines under power, it was easy to find something to pique my interest. One machine that caught my eye was the new LF2100M/2SP front-loading turning center. The separated bed design helps to minimize heat distortion and vibration to maintain stable cutting capacity. A high speed gantry loader and stacker are integrated into the machine, creating a flexible, automated work cell.
 

The LF2100M/2SP turning center features an integrated gantry loader design for high production applications and lean manufacturing environments.

 
— Hyundai Wia and its suppliers promote the importance of a clean and harmonious work environment.
 
 

The plants I saw on the trip were remarkably clean, and fish tanks were strategically placed in the work environment to promote harmony and serenity.

 
— Just as Hyundai Wia touches a broad spectrum of industries, so do its suppliers. Energy & Machinery Co., for example, while producing turrets and spindle units for Hyundai Wia’s CNC turning centers, also supplies the defense, power generation and energy industries.
 
 

Hyundai Wia supplier EMK also has its hand in the defense industry and other areas. I saw this tank axle arm being produced.

 
— The Korean people are very nice. Children routinely greet Americans with a smile, peace sign and an enthusiastic “Hello.” Service personnel at hotels and restaurants clearly respect the responsibility of their jobs to make sure their customers are happy. And the employees on the manufacturing plant floors seem genuinely proud of their work, encouraging us to take a closer look at any area in which we seemed interested.
 

A group of school girls was excited to see us as we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace.

 
— Although I had been alerted to be prepared for some outrageous cuisine, I really had no trouble finding foods that I enjoyed. Perhaps I was just fortunate to have been led to the right places, but I left every meal satisfied. Kimchi! 
 

Okay, so we did have some Western food on the trip as well. Or is that Australian?

 

 

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