While machining large workpieces made from ductile iron for the heavy truck and military drive train markets, Acurate Gage of Rochester Hills, Michigan noticed an iron sludge buildup in its coolant tanks that required frequent maintenance and machine downtime. By incorporating four Chip Disc Filtration (CDF) conveyors from Hennig to run in tandem with its Niigata SPN 701 HMCs, the company was able to reduce downtime for maintenance.
Hennig’s magnetic chip disc filtration system caught the attention of the team at Accurate, because change-over seemed relatively easy compared to the traditional drum screen filtration systems. As Accurate’s Engineering Manager Mark Tario says, “Replacing the drum filter screen is not an easy task, in fact, it can be downright miserable. The Hennig disc arrangement seemed much easier to operate and maintain. The incorporation of rare earth drum and scraper assembly inside the conveyor appeared to be a great solution for minimizing the amount of cast iron fines reaching the coolant tank side of the system.” Mr. Tario notes the heavier-duty mechanical components and drive chains used on the Hennig conveyor could provide greater wear life and reduce likelihood of downtime.
Downtime for maintanence was perhaps Accurate’s biggest challenge. Machining cast iron creates considerable problems, such as the frequent need to replace conveyor chains, drum screens and other mechanical components that get infiltrated by the iron files and lock up.
Accurate found Hennig’s conveyor chains to be stronger and not need frequent repair and replacement. The discs can be removed and cleaned on a workbench rather than reaching through narrow access ports to wrestle with a drum-style filter. This entire process takes as much as two hours and screen replacements can be done in 30 minutes or less, Mr. Tario says.
Accurate has already installed four Hennig systems, just received an additional three and plans to purchase two more in the near future.
This batch of parts produced through direct metal laser sintering
was made by one example of an EOS user, C&A Tool.
At next month’s International Manufacturing Technology Show, various new developments reflect IMTS attendees’ heightened interest in additive manufacturing and the sizable number of exhibitors offering additive manufacturing services or technology. This category has now added its name to a pavilion: This year the North Hall will house the Fabricating/Laser/Additive Pavilion. In addition, a new event has been added to the show: the half-day Additive Manufacturing Workshop September 9.
One other significant additive manufacturing development is this: EOS, the maker of additive manufacturing machines for metal and plastic parts, has for the first time brought its North American User Day to IMTS. The recurring event that gathers together users of EOS laser-sintering technology will take place Wednesday, September 10, and is open to both EOS customers and IMTS attendees. Speakers will include Dr. Hans Langer, the company’s founder and CEO, as well as companies offering solutions related to additive manufacturing such as MicroTek Finishing, Shapeways and Within. To register or learn more about either the EOS North American User Day or the Additive Manufacturing Workshop, visit this page.
The open architecture of Okuma’s THINC-OSP control makes it possible to easily install computer applications that allow for myriad conveniences right at the CNC. In fact, the company is introducing its new app store at myokuma.com. Okuma users can download a range of helpful apps to their THINC-OSP controls that have been created by Okuma’s own engineering staff as well as its distributors’ engineers and customers.
The online store provides apps for CNC control functionalities that increase productivity and streamline machine tool processes. Apps will be added on an ongoing basis, and users can even create custom apps that address their individual needs. Examples include:
Machine alert. Monitors machine alarm status and automatically send an email, text or phone message to the user when an alarm condition is activated.
Part flip monitor. Checks the chuck clamp status to be sure the operator has opened/closed the chuck before cycle start is pressed for Op20 of the part flip program. This reduces the chances that a part will be scrapped.
Visual assistance support. Displays helpful on-demand images for the operator at any point in a part program or process. The images assist with machine setup, visual part inspection and other functions.
Scheduled maintenance. Shows a reminder of the scheduled maintenance needed for the specific machine where the application is installed. This prompts the user to complete daily inspection tasks that maintain optimal machine performance.
This new app store will be demonstrated in the company’s IMTS Booth S-8500. Attendees who participate in the app store demos will be entered to win one of six Microsoft Surface tablets (one winner each day).
Cutting tool supplier Widia and manufacturing media firm Creative Technology produced this video titled “Why Not Me?” to illustrate manufacturing careers, and to highlight young people who have chosen this work as well as their employers and teachers. The video visits various sites where manufacturing is either performed or taught, including Cardinal Manufacturing, Chippewa Valley Technical College, MRS Machining and Prototype Solutions Group. Carlos Cardoso, chairman, president and CEO of Kennametal Inc. - Widia Product Group, appears in the video to make the case for the value and opportunity of manufacturing careers.
AMT’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC) at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014 promises to “wow” visitors by giving them a glimpse of the most important “technologies of the future.”
“At IMTS 2004 we created the Emerging Technology Center to present manufacturing ‘technologies of the future’ from leading universities and government research labs,” Peter Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, recalls. “This feature returned IMTS to its roots as a forum where the latest technologies are first seen. This year is no exception, and we are confident that this will be the most exciting ETC effort yet.”
Eelman says the number one “wow” factor in the ETC will be the construction of a 3D-printed electric car by IMTS partner Local Motors. The car builders will start from scratch using direct digital manufacturing techniques and technology integration to make the parts and assemble the vehicle on site.
Also part of the ETC will be the Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation that make up the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. They will show how regional hubs leverage public-private partnerships to strengthen the position of U.S. manufacturers. Each hub has a special focus, as presented at IMTS:
America Makes (additive manufacturing technologies)
Power America (energy efficiency)
Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (reducing the time and cost of manufacturing)
American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (new alloys that cut weight and promote automation)
To learn more about the ETC at IMTS and to register, visit imts.com.