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.
It’s become a tradition for me, as this blog’s moderator, to look back on the year and see which posts resonated best with our readers. I “geek out” running the reports each year wondering what kind of content is going to come out on top. Did you like our posts about additive manufacturing best, or maybe you were really interested in automation? What kinds of content did you prefer? Long-winded, in-depth looks at new technology, brief pieces of news or lighthearted viral-types of shares?
Well, the numbers are now in. Here are the top 10 most popular posts from 2015:
Aside from realizing that our readers appreciate a well-produced, informative video, I learned that there isn’t a particular technology that stood out as a clear trend this past year. I was a bit perplexed by this at first. How could there NOT be a technology trend on our blog? But then I thought of the big picture: Obviously, there are big trends in manufacturing right now—the Industrial Internet of Things, additive manufacturing and automation, to name just a few—but Modern Machine Shop covers more than just the trends. We cover a wide variety of day-to-day manufacturing topics that we hope you find useful and informative. Our hope is to continue bringing you this type of information in the upcoming year.
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.