MMS Blog

In 2014, brothers Mitch and Brian Olson started Olson Custom Designs (OCD), based in Pittsboro, Indiana. Although they had extensive backgrounds in both motorsports racing and fabrication, neither had much experience with CNC machines prior to starting the company. So, because CNC machining is the backbone of OCD’s custom machining and fabrication operation, investments in the right machines were of vital importance to the family-owned job shop, which services myriad industrial markets including aerospace, medical, motorsports and agricultural. 

The Olsons purchased two vertical machining centers from Haas Automation: a VF-4 Profile and a VF-2YT Profile. The VF-4 provides a machining area of 50 by 20 by 25 inches, with a vector drive of either 30 hp or 22.4 kW, and a spindle speed of 15,000 rpm. It is equipped with an inline direct drive and a 40-station carousel toolchanger. The VF-2YT provides a machining area of 30 by 20 by 20 inches, with an 8,100-rpm spindle, internal coolant system, direct drive and a 20-station toolchanger. 

Sponsored Content 14. August 2018

Putting Cutting Tool Vibration Control to the Test


For cutting tools, a passive approach to vibration control requires the use of short, rigid tools and replacement of steel toolholders with those made of stiff tungsten carbide.

Bourn & Koch is inviting the manufacturing community to a “Made in America” open house at its Rockford, Illinois, headquarters Wednesday, September 12, and Friday, September 14. Tours will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both days, including a display of original prints from Blanchard, Fellows, Springfield, DeVlieg, Bullard, Barber Coleman and other classic machine tool companies. Factory tours also include the 130,000-square-foot shop floor where the company remanufactures machine tools and builds Springfield vertical grinders, Blanchard rotary grinders, Bourn & Koch gear hobbers, Fellows shapers and DeVlieg milling machines. A redesigned and reengineered Blanchard 22AD-42 rotary surface grinder will be highlighted. The company is located in Rockford’s industrial zone, which is approximately 90 miles from McCormick Place, the location of IMTS 2018. For those who cannot attend the open house during IMTS, other tour dates are available by appointment. Learn more.

Here is some more news to note: 

Disruptive. Transformative. Futuristic. Revolutionary. These are some words that are often used to describe the technology that is on display at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Ignore them for a moment. For job shops and contract manufacturers, a better word to have in mind is “renewal.” IMTS is about renewal: moving from the usual, the old or the familiar to the fresh, the improved and the exciting. Renewal is especially important for smaller manufacturing companies right now, because the opportunities for them are ripe (and some serious threats are closing in as well). Changing with the times is a necessary adventure.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why IMTS leads to renewal, with the idea that renewal is a positive, compelling and reassuring way to think about this important show.

“A lot of the motivation for me personally was that we were such a small operation,” James Pershken says. “Basically everyone is trying to do a lot of things, and it really helped me kind of offload some of this monotonous work from my plate and be able to help out in other areas.”

Mr. Pershken is not talking about robotics or sophisticated software here, but something a little less obvious: fixturing for coordinate measurement machine (CMM) inspection. As a mechanical quality engineer at Cincinnati Inc. (CI), he manages the CMM inspection of machined parts for the company’s 3D printers. The benefits outlined above came from actually using those very same 3D printers to make custom CMM fixtures that, in turn, support the manufacture of new printers.

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