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Stephanie Monsanty

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.

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 17. December 2014

Plasma Cutting on a Waterjet

Shown here on display at IMTS 2014, Esab’s Hydrocut LX combines waterjet and plasma cutting for greater efficiency. 

One advantage of cutting metal parts with a waterjet is the lack of heat distortion and mechanical stress, which translates into more accurate cuts. However, there’s usually a trade-off in speed for this precision. Depending on the type of material and its thickness, other processes like laser or plasma cutting may be able to cut more quickly and at lower cost than waterjet, though less accurately.

Machines that combine waterjet cutting with other processes can offer higher productivity and faster cycle times as a result. For example, the Hydrocut LX system from ESAB Cutting Systems combines the accuracy of waterjet cutting with a plasma system on the same gantry. The system enables precision without sacrificing speed on every cut, the company says. High-precision contours can be cut with the waterjet while non-critical contours can be cut with plasma for cost and time savings. The waterjet can also be configured with oxy-fuel cutting, plasma or ink jet marking, and drilling capabilities. 

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 9. December 2014

Take the 2015 Media Survey

How do you find out about new products or processes? Stay on top of industry news and events? Make purchasing decisions?

We’d like to hear your answers to these questions. Take part in the 2015 Media Use in Manufacturing Survey to tell us how you find, access and share industry information. Here’s what you’ll gain from participating:

  1. You’ll get a first look at the survey results and learn how your colleagues, peers and competitors are finding and accessing information—which can help you do the same more effectively.
  2. You’ll have a voice in defining how manufacturing professionals use media, and help us learn how to serve you better.

All responses will remain anonymous, and your contact information will only be used to deliver the survey results to you. 

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 4. December 2014

Spotlight Slideshow: Machining Centers

Attendees at this year’s biggest metalworking shows—IMTS and JIMTOF, to name just two—were treated to a slew of machining center releases. The December product slideshow covers some of these new VMCs, HMCs and five-axis machines. Some common features of these machines include configurable options, automatic pallet changers and support for additional automation. Check out the photos and captions by clicking on the photo above, or visit the Machining Centers & Milling Machines Zone for more on machining centers. 

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 28. November 2014

Build the Machine around the Workpiece

It makes sense to cut, mill, drill or tap a workpiece on the machine best-suited to the task, but sometimes it makes even more sense to assemble the machine tool specifically for the workpiece. Suhner Automation offers a range of machining units that can be combined into complete machining systems for large runs of specialized parts, especially those that are bulky or awkwardly shaped such as automotive and aerospace components.

The machining units, which can perform sawing, milling, drilling and tapping processes, can be arranged to operate simultaneously or in sequence. A display at the company’s IMTS booth, for example, showed how multiple drilling units could be arranged to drill multiple holes on the interior of a Corvette door in one pass (pictured above). Meanwhile, a separate demonstration featured a machining center consisting of four different types of machining units to demonstrate how workpieces could be machined complete in a single setup. Each time the machine indexed, it produced a finished part.

Each machining unit consists of a pneumatic spindle and toolholder with a durable cast iron body. The units are available in a range of different sizes with through-coolant variations and can be equipped with servomotors and ballscrews for greater accuracy. Suhner also provides the enclosures and systems necessary to form complete machining centers with the modular units.

Posted by: Stephanie Monsanty 18. November 2014

Product Spotlight Slideshow: Laser & Waterjet Machining

Flip through the Modern Equipment Review Spotlight on laser and waterjet machining in November’s issue, and you might notice evidence of a current industry trend: Builders are creating machines that can perform multiple processes. Examples include:

  • Esab’s Hydrocut LX, a combination waterjet and plasma cutting system;
  • Trumpf’s TruLaser Cell 3000, a laser cutting and welding machine; and
  • Tsugami’s S206-II, a Swiss-type lathe that’s also equipped with a laser cutting system.

For photos of these machines and other laser/waterjet equipment, view the slideshow here

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