MMS Blog

The image gallery above, based on Modern Machine Shop magazine’s Modern Equipment Review Spotlight, features machining centers: powerful milling machines with moving tables, enclosures, CNCs and toolchangers. More than one of the products highlighted include dual spindles for double the productivity. 

Swipe through the gallery for details, and follow the caption links for more information about each item. 

Because no job shop is alike, it can be difficult to find an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that can manage all aspects of the business, from job orders to managing materials and inventory. Too often, a shop settles for a system that limits management capabilities, sacrificing key functions for a system that only assists in a few areas. On the other side, a company might settle for a system with too many functions or those that just don’t align with the company’s operation.

With a “configurable” ERP system, shops can control as much of the business as possible within a single system. That’s why the KeyedIn Manufacturing ERP system provides the basic functions necessary for running a business and lets you customize the rest...READ MORE.

The parts running through the dedicated centerless grinding cell pictured in the slideshow above are not arthroscopic shaver tubes, but they might as well be. Comparable in size, shape and material and adhering to the same stringent specifications as their real-world counterparts, these samples are ideal for demonstrating a process that can be adapted for virtually any arthroscopic shaver manufacturer. So says John Bannayan, president of turnkey grinding specialist Glebar, which developed the cell for medical manufacturers frustrated by multiple setups and quality issues. Leveraging a quality-data feedback loop, the auto-correcting, automated grinding process can churn out one of these 6- to 8-inch-long parts every 20 seconds, piece-to-piece.

Available in various sizes and configurations, arthroscopic shavers generally consist of two stainless steel tubes, one fitting inside the other. As the inner tube spins, precisely formed cutting edges on one end shave small amounts of bone or tissue through a corresponding opening in the side of the outer tube. Ensuring debris flushes harmlessly away through the interior at speeds ranging to 10,000 rpm requires keeping the gap between the spinning inner and stationary outer tube as tight as 0.0005 inch.

The inaugural Ohio Manufacturing Summit (OMS), sponsored and organized by Ohio Business Magazine, met recently in West Chester, Ohio, to discuss manufacturing in the Midwest. The OMS gathered about 200 Cincinnati-area manufacturing professionals to hear a panel of four machine shop and manufacturing experts discuss issues relevant to the industry. The panelists included Dan Janka, president of Mazak Corp.; Greg Knox, president of Knox Machinery; Josh Mook, innovation leader at GE Additive; and Peter Zelinski, editor-in-chief of Modern Machine Shop. They fielded moderator and audience questions about the current boom in the manufacturing industry, educational needs, technological innovation, environmental issues and cybersecurity.

The panel’s consensus was that opportunities abound for the manufacturing industry. Mr. Janka said, “I can honestly say there’s no better time to be in manufacturing than right now. When we look at the global economies and how they’ve synchronized in terms of recovery, manufacturing makes up about $2.5 trillion of our economy and there’s 12.7 million people employed, and that number’s been going up since the end of the recession.”

Cutting tool measurement is a necessary evil to determine offsets when setting up new jobs. This can be done manually: machinists can perform test cuts, use calipers or V-anvil micrometers to determine cutter diameters, or use the “sliding paper test” to determine Z-axis offset. However, these methods are time consuming and lead to extended machine downtime. Presetters are valuable in that they enable tools to be measured offline, reducing machine downtime by measuring tools for upcoming jobs while other jobs run. Still, some human intervention is required to load new tools into the presetter and, in some cases, enter offset values into the machine control.

On-machine probing systems, be they contact or non-contact using a laser, offer advantages in terms of fully automatic tool measurement. Installed on the bed of a machine, these probes can be used to measure tools during setup, automatically feeding tool offsets back to the machine’s CNC. They can also be used to measure tool runout and periodically check for broken tools during a machining operation. Typical laser probes feature a U-shaped body with an emitter and receiver with a laser between them. The laser measures tools as they interrupt the beam between the emitter and receiver. For additional value, these probes perform measurements with the tool spinning and the machine warmed up. This accommodates for any potential Z-axis spindle growth that might occur, which can’t be detected through manual measuring methods or using an offline presetter.

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