Stephanie Monsanty worked as a summer intern in 2012 and joined the Modern Machine Shop team as assistant editor later that fall. She edits product and industry news for the print magazine as well as MMS Online. Stephanie completed her M.A. in professional writing at the University of Cincinnati in 2013, and also holds a B.A. in English literature and history from the University of Mount Union.
Click the image above to access a digital edition of the May issue
of Modern Machine Shop. Cover art by Orlando Arocena.
The 2015 World Machine Tool Output & Consumption Survey (the basis for May’s cover story and artwork seen above) indicated that U.S. machine tool consumption surpassed $8 billion in 2014, a significant capital investment driven in part by low interest rates. For a complete overview of the data and what it means for manufacturers worldwide, find the story and an infographic on page 72 of the digital edition.
Also in this issue:
How a contract shop minimized the impact of part measurement by implementing lights-out inspection;
What a good breakfast has to do with efficiency in machining Inconel;
Why you should mind tool center heights when turning small diameters;
How a CAM program helped a shop increase efficiency and reduce labor costs in designing high-density fixtures;
How a collaborative robot helped deliver crowns to dentists faster; and
What’s new at the Eastec 2015 trade show, happening this week.
Did you or one of your kids ever play with one of those pin impression boards? The idea was that you could press any object—a smaller toy or a hand, for instance—gently into the pins on the back of the board and see a crude relief image on the other side.
A clamping element from Euro-Tech called “The Jaw” (pictured above) works in a very similar fashion. The product has a number of hydraulic pins on each side that quickly conform to the shape of any part placed between them. Internal clamping sleeves lock the pins in place, and the company says that the form fit reduces required clamping force. The adaptable system can be used as jaws for vises, as supports, and in combination with robot grippers and other custom solutions.
A lathe or multitasking center equipped with both a main spindle and subspindle enables turned parts to be machined on both ends in one setup, by simply passing the bar from one spindle to the other. But what if you don’t have a subspindle? A robot flipping system can be a cost-effective automated solution.
The video above from Methods Machine Tools shows a Nakamura AS-200 multitasking machine equipped with a FANUC LR Mate 200iD7L robotic arm with two sets of grippers. Around 3:06 in the video, the robot removes the first workpiece, swaps in a blank, then sets the first workpiece unmachined-side down on a shelf just to the left of the machine door. The robot then grasps the part from underneath, flipping it over to be placed back in the spindle for machining on the other end. The configuration enables a two-spindle process to be completed with just one spindle on a smaller machine.
Click the cover image above to access a digital edition of this month's magazine.
The motorcycle part manufacturer featured in the cover story of Modern Machine Shop’s April issue struggled to keep up with the cyclical demand for its products—until it added the robot-tended cell visible in the cover image. Another shop featured in this issue shares its experience moving from manual to automatic pallet-switching and a third was able to reduce machine run time with an automated five-axis cell, additional examples of automation used to reduce setup time and streamline operations. Also look for stories on these topics:
How to make sure MTConnect is a good fit for your shop;
How a company made material handling safer by adding high-pressure coolant to its CNC vertical lathes;
Why a desktop 3D printer can be a valuable job shop resource;
How an EDM drilling unit improved part turnaround for an aerospace manufacturer; and
How abrasive waterjet can be used as an additive process.
This month’s product spotlight highlights turning equipment—lathes, turning centers, mill-turn machines and even a CNC specifically designed for turning. Many of the turning machines covered have features designed to make them more flexible. For example, the EcoTurn 650 turning center from DMG MORI can be equipped with an optional C axis for turn-mill machining. Meanwhile, the Hwacheon VT-1150 vertical lathe has a geared drive system that enables high-torque turning at low speeds as well as high-speed turning. Click the image above to access the slideshow featuring these machines and more.