MMS Blog

Within a manufacturing enterprise, who should own the decision to implement additive manufacturing (AM)?

If you think about additive manufacturing as purely a manufacturing tool, it makes sense that this task would fall to manufacturing engineers. But AM is not just a manufacturing tool. AM’s promise is not that it offers a different way of building the same part, but that it enables additional benefits such as changing the way that part is designed, limiting the amount of material it uses and reducing its lead time. These benefits to the part also have further implications for the supply chain, such as reduced assembly work and transportation needs.

Choosing what topics to write about for Modern Machine Shop is all about maintaining balance.

One reason is that MMS is a horizontal brand, not a vertical one. That means we have to cover a range (rather than a small niche) of machining technology, equipment and processes that shops might apply to grow their businesses and become more efficient, capable and profitable. To ensure we present such a well-balanced smorgasbord of stories, we create a yearly editorial calendar that identifies specific topics we must cover in each month’s print issue. This discipline keeps us from writing about the same few concepts over and over, and it enables us to bring fresh ideas to your attention that could help your operation. In this way, our magazine continues to be a means for discovery, spurring you to research topics you learned about that piqued your interest.


Update: MT360 has been rescheduled to May 12-14, 2020. The column below has been revised to reflect the new dates. The speaker lineup is expected to remain the same. Save the date for the launch of this new tech-meets-manufacturing event.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to make industrial equipment predictive maintenance truly predictive.

One example I wrote about last year was Cosen Saws’ cloud-based predictive maintenance app that not only monitors blade life for the company’s CNC saws, but also predicts blade failure well before failure is immenent. A similar example is Mazak’s AI-based Spindle Health Monitoring System (SHMS) that is currently an option for its HCN horizontal machining centers (HMCs).

The Additive Manufacturing Workshop for Plastics has announced its complete lineup of technical sessions. Presented by sister brands Additive Manufacturing Media, Plastics Technology and MoldMaking Technology, the workshop will present practical applications of 3D printing technologies related to plastics processing. Topics include production at scale, digital modeling, design considerations, 3D printing versus injection molding and medical applications. The workshop will take place alongside Amerimold in Rosemont, Illinois, June 13.

Opening the Additive Manufacturing Workshop for Plastics at Amerimold, Editor-in-Chief Peter Zelinski will lead a discussion with guests Marc Mitchell, design center manager, Byrne Tool + Design and Lester Jones, vice president, Custom Mold & Design and TeamVantage. Mitchell and Jones will briefly share their experiences using additive manufacturing for multiple uses including the creation of prototype parts and 3D printed molds, giving a brief look into how AM is reducing production costs and increasing consistency in the process.

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