Emily Probst is the associate editor for Modern Machine Shop. She joined the staff in the summer of 2006 as the editorial intern editing product releases for the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Hired full-time in 2007 after graduating with a B.S.J. from Ohio University, she edited product releases and columns until 2012, when she moved to her current role of writing and editing case studies for both print and online media channels. In this role, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world as well as visit some interesting shops and trade shows in the United States. She also administers Modern’s blog as well as its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
We hear the complaint time and time again: There’s a shortage of skilled labor in the United States. So what are we doing about it? One solution that has been getting results in Florida is the 80 to Work Program from Longwood-based Machine Training Solutions (MTS). This intensive virtual reality training program helped Hoerbiger Corp. of America have new employees on its shop floor moving on with the next phase of their training in two weeks. Read more here.
While Southfield Packaging in Stamford, Connecticut, is not in the business of making chips and cutting metal, it does face some challenges that job shops can easily relate to. Mainly, it needs to be able to access information about inventory, stock, order status and other key business operations in real-time to remain competitive at providing packaging and fulfillment services to manufacturers. When the company noted that order processing time was on the rise, it turned to Exact Software (Waltham, Massachusetts) for a cloud-based business software that substantially helped reduce project time. Read the full case study here.
Tool or die? Or mold or jig or fixture? If you answer yes (to any or all of the above), you should know about Amerimold 2016. It’s an annual event that benefits every aspect of a contract tool and mold manufacturing business. And, Amerimold has just recently announced its plans for 2016. Now in its 15th year, the event formerly known as the MoldMaking Expo will take place June 15-16, 2016, at Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace.
Presented by our friends at MoldMaking Technology, the two-day event will include an exhibit hall filled with equipment for designing, machining and maintaining tools and molds; a technical program featuring experts on product technologies and process innovations being developed and adopted by leading manufacturers, and there will be ample formal and informal business networking opportunities.
But, how does the event benefit every aspect of a tool and mold manufacturing business.?
Equipment: The Amerimold exhibit hall will feature leading suppliers of machine tools, materials, components, cutting tools, software and more. By visiting the show, you’ll be able to research and discover the latest equipment technologies. You can also meet with applications experts and sales engineers that can assist directly with addressing your production needs and challenges. Here is a list of who is already exhibiting.
Operations:The Amerimold technical conference includes sessions on designing, machining and maintaining molds. Participants in the conference walk away with real, applications-based solutions and strategies that can immediately impact business. Take a look at last year’s program.
Sales: In recent years, Amerimold has become an event the serves the sourcing needs of the tool and mold manufacturing market. Buyers from OEMs and large manufacturers attend the event to meet with contract tool and mold manufacturers. In fact, in 2015, Amerimold featured a record number of exhibiting tool and mold makers, who invested in displaying their services to interested buyers. These are those tool and mold makers.
So, if your business involves making tools or dies (or molds or jigs or fixtures) and you are involved in managing your equipment, your operations or your sales – set aside June 15-16, 2016, to participate in Amerimold 2016. In the meantime, be on the lookout for Amerimold announcements on conference programming, registration, special events and more. AmerimoldExpo.com is a great place to look. Or, you can connect to Amerimold on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).
To remain competitive, manufacturers need to find ways to eliminate unplanned downtime, minimize scrap rates, ensure consistency and produce high-performance precision parts at a reasonable price. According to Optis, a joint venture that brings together the machining expertise, analytic tools and process improvements of TechSolve with the heritage of Castrol, OEMs currently demand between a 3 to 5 percent reduction in costs for their parts each year and they expect each supplier to achieve or exceed these targets.
Jon Iverson, CEO of Optis says it is important to take an integrated approach to improving manufacturing performance and lists six key considerations that should form an integral part of the manufacturing strategy. Those considerations include machine tools, cutting tools, work material, cutting fluid, machining accessories and machining parameters. Read his full explanation here.
An integrated, holistic approach that considers and optimizes all six factors will lead the manufacturer to a more profitable state of operations, Mr. Iverson says. By thoroughly understanding and acting on these elements, he says manufactures can overcome many of the primary barriers to competitiveness and compliance.
Dr. Joachim Hümmler and Matthew Mayer cut the ceremonial ribbon during Röhm's grand opening celebration in Suwanee, Georgia.
German workholding technology provider Röhm has opened its new 32,000-square-foot North American headquarters in Suwanee, Georgia. The facility is three times larger than its previous one, enabling the company to manufacture in the United States for the first time as well as expand the service and support it provides.
During the recent grand opening event, Dr. Joachim Hümmler, CEO of the Röhm Group, said being a local partner will enable the company to meet its customers’ needs faster. For example, instead of waiting 8 to 10 weeks to ship jaws from Germany, they can be delivered in as little as 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the jaw size and configuration. Having better control over the manufacturing process will enable the company to improve its price points and become more competitive.
This is important as the manufacturing sector has been showing signs of softening for the past 6 months. Matthew Mayer, CEO of Röhm Products of America says Rohm needs to be fast and flexible enough to react to the market. “As you know, oil and gas was like a light switch. It’s not easy to plan for, and it’s not easy to ramp up production.”
Yet this is what the company has already done. Last year, its primary focus was on oil and gas products, and this year it’s automotive. In fact, Sven Haag, CMO of the Röhm Group and member of the board, said 30 percent of the company’s revenue currently comes from this sector.
However, Rohm isn’t throwing in the towel on oil and gas quite yet. “We aren’t stopping development of products for this area because it will come back, and we want to be prepared for it,” Mr. Hümmler said.
It’s more important now more than ever for oil-pipe producers to run more efficiently, he says. When the oil and gas sector ramps back up, these producers need to be able to do more with less. For example, Röhm makes a six-jaw, oil-pipe chuck that eliminates 10 minutes of setup time. It also makes a swivel chuck for threading couplets that eliminates two handling operations. Payback on these investments would be realized very quickly, Mr. Hümmler said.
Rohm’s strength lies in its large product line, which encompasses virtually every sector in the industry. Given this diversity, Mr. Hümmler said the company plans to triple its sales volumes in the next 5 years.