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 25. August 2015

Growth in Robotics Good for U.S. Manufacturing

Assembled and tested, Fanuc robots await shipment to a variety of facilities found around the world, including manufacturing plants located in the United States. 

Good news for American manufacturing comes from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), which reports that the North American robotics market experienced its fastest start ever in 2015. A record 14,232 robots valued at $840 million were ordered from North American robotics companies in the first half of the year, representing an increase of 1 percent in units and 7 percent in revenue over the same period in 2014, which held the previous record.

Much of this growth has occurred in industrial segments including coating/dispensing (36 percent) and material handling (27 percent). RIA estimates that some 232,000 robots are now at use in the United States, making it second only to Japan in robot use. This continues a trend reported here by the Boston Consulting Group.


Posted by: Russ Willcutt 18. August 2015

Education and Innovation

Experienced gear manufacturers and those thinking about getting into it will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field and to review the latest machine tool technologies in October when the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) holds its Fall Technical Meeting conjointly with Gear Expo 2015. As any tradeshow veteran knows, advance planning allows you to maximize the experience and create a balanced schedule, sitting in on educational presentations and then walking the show floor to meet with top OEMs from around the world.

A look at the technical meeting’s lineup reveals 27 papers on topics including materials and heat treatment, gear manufacturing and application, lubrication, and ways to minimize noise and vibration. Presenters represent companies such as Gleason Cutting Tools, Drive Systems Technology and Lufkin PTM. In addition, ASM International will host Heat Treat 2015 alongside Gear Expo at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

Also be sure to review Gear Production, a supplement to Modern Machine Shop, to learn about the latest processes and trends in the gear manufacturing industry.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 12. August 2015

Drawing Millennials to Manufacturing

It is projected that more than 6,000 positions in advanced manufacturing will be open in Northern Kentucky by 2022.

Reaching out to millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—is critical to the future of manufacturing. One way to do so involves sharing the testimonials of those within that age group who’ve already begun successful careers in advanced manufacturing. That’s the mission of the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition of Northern Kentucky, which has launched a marketing campaign targeting millennials that could be a model for other states.

The coalition is co-chaired by industry leaders, including regional entities involved in workforce development, which developed the campaign to find job-seekers to fill a multitude of advanced manufacturing jobs in the region. The $110,000 campaign includes $80,000 in funding through a grant obtained by Gateway Community and Technical College.

The target of the initial campaign is 18- to 30-year-old men and women who live in the region. It will utilize digital advertising, radio and TV commercials, advertising on Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) buses and Pandora Internet radio, as well as T-shirts and posters. The campaign is reaching out with voices of people who have already chosen advanced manufacturing proclaiming, “I made it in NKY.”

Rose Communications surveyed young people currently working in advanced manufacturing in Northern Kentucky. “What our team learned through these surveys is that these young men and women see great opportunities for themselves to have rewarding careers,” says Mike Vogt, co-chair of the coalition and vice president of human resources and general affairs for Mazak Corp., which makes advanced turning and milling machines at its Florence headquarters.

It is projected that more than 6,000 positions in advanced manufacturing will be open in Northern Kentucky by 2022. Learn more about the program by watching this short video

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 5. August 2015

The Lowdown on Machine Tool Lubricants

Proper lubrication management is central to the long service life of your machine tools. Choosing the right mix for the type of work you’re doing, as well as the environment you’re doing it in, will pay off in the long run. To aid in selection, Klüber Lubrication has developed a new content hub website that provides insights for a variety of markets into how the proper lubricant solutions save energy, protect equipment and enhance processes. The kind of information you’ll find includes:

  • Product spotlights that describe lubricant properties and areas of likely applications such as couplings, joints and gears.
  • Blog overviews from a Klüber expert about special application issues like the advantages of using synthetic ester oils, high viscosity index (VI) base oils or high-performance NSF H1 food-grade lubricants.
  • White papers that provide in-depth information about test procedures, lubricant properties and application techniques.
  • Case histories that detail successful application in various industries, climates and hazardous environments.
  • News releases on the latest developments in lubricant solutions for new applications, government regulations and other timely issues.
Posted by: Russ Willcutt 28. July 2015

Dock in the House

Caption:  The PM 750 from R&P Metrology is a portable device used to measure large parts on production machines lacking onboard inspection.

The PM 750 from R&P Metrology is a portable device used to measure large parts on production machines lacking onboard inspection. A docking system with a rotary table is also available. 

It’s always good to have options, and that’s what the PM line of gear inspection and measurement systems from R&P Metrology provides. Designed as a portable device, it is used to measure large parts on production machines lacking onboard inspection. It allows for inspection to be conducted on many different machines with a single measurement unit that is easy to transport between locations. In addition, a new docking station with a base plate and rotary table transforms the device into a standalone, full-featured, four-axis (+1 positioning) measurement system that is capable of profile and form measurements as well as gear inspection and 3D measurements.

The PM is a three-axis CNC measuring column, capable of gear inspection, form and profile measurements as well as 3D measurements. The system utilizes proven air bearing and linear motor technologies and industry standard 3D scanning probe systems from Renishaw. The standard models are the PM 750 and the PM 1250. The PM 1250EX (extended version) is also available for larger gears, as well as custom configurations.

R&P Metrology designs and builds its own metrology equipment concentrating on medium and large parallel axis gears, bevel gears, tools, shafts, bearing rings and 3D parts. It is represented in the United States by Kapp Technologies, which also provides support, service and sales throughout North America. Watch a video of the system in action.

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