Peter Zelinski has been a writer and editor for Modern Machine Shop for more than a decade. One of the aspects of this work that he enjoys the most is visiting machining facilities to learn about the manufacturing technology, systems and strategies they have adopted, and the successes they’ve realized as a result. Pete earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and he first learned about machining by running and programming machine tools in a metalworking laboratory within GE Aircraft Engines. Follow Pete on Twitter at Z_Axis_MMS.
The surge in shale gas production is not just a game changer for the energy industry, but also a major positive development for U.S. manufacturing. That is the message of a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that says the “shale effect,” the increase in U.S. natural gas production, is likely to achieve annual cost savings for U.S. manufacturers of $22.3 billion per year by 2030. Read more.
Jim Carr and Jason Zenger have launched a new audio podcast devoted to the business of CNC machining. “MakingChips” landed on the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” list within two weeks of its launch.
Both hosts are based in the Chicago area. Mr. Carr is a job shop owner (we wrote about his shop here.), while Mr. Zenger is the president of an industrial supply company with a particular focus on cutting tools. The two friends say they’ve been planning the podcast and working toward the day of its launch throughout the previous year.
To listen to episodes, visit the podcast’s website, or subscribe via iTunes (for iPhone) or Stitcher (for an Android device).
The tool in this video shot at Effort Foundry is not drilling, but actually turning. A feature of the Siemens CNC on this Fryer machining center controls spindle revolution in time with the helical interpolation in X-Y-Z to move a single-point boring tool around the bore ID. That feature saves significant time and cost for the Bath, Pennsylvania, foundry, because the part seen here needs a turned finish on the precision bore, not the finish that would be produced if helical milling achieved the hole. The control feature therefore avoids the need for a separate setup on another machine.
Common manufacturing hardware turns into an impressive feat of engineering when the scale is large enough. TMX Workholding Solutions provided this photo of an example. The company recently delivered this 71-inch, 8,000-pound, forged steel chuck for an oil-and-gas industry customer in Louisiana.
Company Vice President Shawn Luschei (pictured) says, “Working closely with the customer, we developed this four-jaw, heavy-duty chuck for use on a large welding positioner. The manufacturer needed a large chuck to hold its blowout prevention valves while it completes its cladding process.”
He adds that this chuck actually will soon be outdone. “We are now in the process of designing a 74-inch version of the same chuck for a slightly larger positioner.”