Russ Willcutt

Russ Willcutt joined Gardner Business Media as associate editor of Modern Machine Shop in January of 2014. He began his publishing career at his alma mater, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he produced magazines for the Schools of Engineering, Business, and Medicine, among others. After working as group managing editor for the HealthSouth Corp. he joined Media Solutions Inc., where he was founding editor of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Venture magazines before heading up the Health Care Division for Cahaba Media Group.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 31. March 2015

Getting into Gearing?

Are you a machine shop that is considering getting into gear manufacturing as a new revenue stream, or has already purchased the necessary equipment to do so and wants to learn more? If so, Gear Production—the quarterly supplement to Modern Machine Shop—is for you. And you’ll also want to know about a valuable training opportunity that’s coming up soon. For nearly four decades engineers, technicians and others have gained an understanding of the mechanisms of gear noise generation, measurement and reduction by attending the Gear Dynamics and Gear Noise Short Course at The Ohio State University (OSU).

Beginning with the fundamentals of gearing, gear dynamics, noise analysis and measurements, the four-day course blends lectures with demonstrations, all powered by data compiled by OSU’s Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory. Attendees will learn why gears make noise, how the source can be identified, and methods for addressing gear noise challenges. Lecturers will also concentrate on gear system dynamics and acoustics, transmission error calculations and advanced signal processing. Real-world case studies will be presented, along with laboratory demonstrations and problem-solving exercises.

The course organizers are Dr. Donald Houser, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at OSU and founder of the Gear Dynamics and Gear Noise Research Laboratory, and Dr. Rajendra Singh, director of the university’s Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory. All gear manufacturers will benefit from attending, but especially those targeting automotive, aerospace, process machinery and wind energy markets. The event will be held September 28 through October 1, 2015, on the OSU campus in Columbus, Ohio. Learn more by visiting

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 12. March 2015

Samchully Celebrates New Facility

Find a link below to a slideshow of photos taken at the grand opening.

Samchully Machinery Co. Ltd. celebrated the official opening of its new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Incheon, South Korea, on Friday March 6, 2015, with friends who gathered from around the globe, including strategic business partners and members of the trade press. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, President Hong Suk Seo addressed the crowd in the company’s spacious auditorium, saying “Samchully places technology and quality above all else. I believe that superior technology and quality are the result of skilled technicians and premium quality machinery.”

Both were on display immediately following Mr. Seo’s presentation when he personally led guests on a top-down tour of the facility, beginning with the rooftop soccer field and basketball court. From there visitors walked through various staging areas, watching technicians assemble manual, power and special chucks, drilling and tapping machines, rotary tables, and milling vises. Manufacturing operations are powered by machine tools from Doosan, DMG MORI and Gleason, including a new Yasda jig borer—the vast majority of this equipment was purchased specifically for the new facility, in fact. The event concluded with dining and musical entertainment in the company’s well-appointed cafeteria, where employees gather for their meals each day. Other amenities include locker and break rooms, a game room with ping pong tables and a café.

The day prior to the event, trade editors and Samchully dealers from Russia, France, Poland, South America, the U.K, the United States and Canada attended seminars and hands-on training sessions during which workholding devices were disassembled and then reassembled by company experts. Click here to view a slideshow of the new facility and the grand opening ceremony.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 3. March 2015

Strong Growth Projected for Industrial Robots

Lower costs and increased ease of use will spur significant growth in industrial robotics over the next decade, according to a study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the global management consulting firm and business strategy advisor. Forecasts indicate that the transportation equipment, computers and electronics, electrical equipment and machinery industries are expected to account for around 75 percent of advanced robotics installations through 2025. By then, robots should be able to handle 30 to 40 percent of automatable tasks in these industries. The biggest gains in labor savings will occur in nations that are at the forefront of deploying industrial robots, such as South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Germany, the study says. When adjusted for normal inflationary increases and other productivity measures, manufacturing labor costs in 2025 are projected to be 18 to 33 percent lower in these economies when advanced robots are factored in. 

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 10. February 2015

Koepfer America Hosts Italy Gear Tour

Members of the “Italian Gear Tech Tour,” sponsored by Koepfer America. 

As important as it is to pay close attention to your business’s daily operations (and see how it ranks next to your peers), it’s also a good idea to occasionally break out of your routine and make time to network with suppliers both in the United States and abroad.

In this case, Koepfer America, a supplier to the gear manufacturing industry, recently made such an opportunity available to a select group of individuals by sponsoring the “Italian Gear Tech Tour” in November. Representatives of U.S. gear companies visited Italian machine and cutting tool manufacturers to learn about new technologies scheduled to be introduced in the North American market. Learn more about who attended, and their activities during the tour, here

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 25. November 2014

Okuma’s Aim Is True

Okuma has released a series of videos demonstrating how its CNC machines are used in manufacturing gun parts. The six videos currently posted on YouTube demonstrate the machines and processes necessary to manufacture the following parts:

  • Rifle Stock Mold—In the video embedded above, a five-axis vertical machining center cuts a custom-designed rifle stock mold
  • AR15 Upper—A horizontal machining center machines an AR15 upper
  • Gun Barrel Extension—Cut on a horizontal lathe, the machining of this gun barrel extension uses a variety of cutting tools and operations
  • Commemorative Plaque—this video shows the CNC milling of a gun-shaped plaque for a firearms event
  • 1911 Trigger Housing—Machining of a 1911 trigger housing using a vertical machining center equipped with a rotary table
  • Gun Cylinder—A .50 caliber revolver cylinder is cut on a three-turret horizontal lathe 

There are clearly opportunities for growth in this market. According to the Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (U.S. Dept. of Justice), some 8,578,610 guns—including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and miscellaneous firearms—were manufactured in 2012, the last year for which complete figures are available. This is up from 6,541,886 in the same categories manufactured in 2011. Have you had success working in this particular market? Share your story here. 

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