MMS Blog

The Reshoring Initiative tracks news related to the return of manufacturing jobs to the United States. Here are recent news items the Reshoring Initiative has shared:

Sherrill Manufacturing (Sherrill, New York) has received the 2019 National Metalworking Reshoring Award. The award, given by the Reshoring Initiative, the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), honors companies for effectively reshoring products, parts or tooling made primarily by metalforming, fabricating, casting or machining (including additive manufacturing).

Production with additive manufacturing (AM) has always been the goal for Incodema3D. The company has been acquiring metal 3D printing equipment over the last seven years. In that time period, the company has helped customers develop and validate 3D printed parts while also engaging in some AM production work, primarily for the aerospace industry. 

But while that work has been piecemeal—a few hundred parts per year, or a few dozen every few months—the meaning of “production” at Incodema3D is about to change. The company just recently launched into its first continuous-flow job to be made with metal 3D printing. Incodema3D will now manufacture about 5,000 cylindrical parts per month to meet this contract, an order that will keep four or five of its EOS M280 3D printers running two shifts a day. 

Precision Tool Technologies of Brainerd, Minnesota, is a shop that uses bar-fed multitasking CNC lathes and bar-fed five-axis machining centers to run unattended not only through the night but through weekends as well. We recently covered this shop’s journey to what it calls “168 machining,” or machining so the shop keeps producing well beyond the one staffed shift and through all 168 hours in a week.

The bar feeders serving these automated machines come from LNS, and all perform well for the shop. Trusting them to deliver work into the machine is no problem. The more difficult challenge relates to the other end, the finished parts. What happens to the part after the machining is done can affect the capacity of the unattended process or the quality of the pieces.

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), in partnership with Festo Didactic, is developing skills standards and credentials for jobs involving manufacturing digitalization and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies. The partnership will combine NIMS’s credentialing and training resources with Festo’s Industry 4.0 Learning Factories, courseware and e-learning integration. 

“This is an exciting development for manufacturers and educators, as it directly addresses both the data-driven revolution happening in manufacturing today and the skills gap,” says Montez King, executive director of NIMS. “There are so many interdependent functions and abilities surrounding Industry 4.0. This effort will help to bring clarity to the proficiencies required, train people extremely well and validate their expertise.”

Data-driven manufacturing does not have to be overwhelming or complex. Simple feedback loops from a measurement instrument to a CNC can provide a means for skills-strapped manufacturers to ensure quality parts with minimal involvement from shop personnel.

This was my thinking upon encountering an automatic gaging station that calculates and corrects turning insert wear offsets in real time. Available from Marshall Automation America Inc., the new U.S. arm of Indian machine tool builder Marshall Machines Ltd., SmartCorrect is designed to ensure defect-free, high-production turning in environments where skilled machine operators and inspectors are scarce. In a recent conversation, CTO Gaurav Sarup detailed how the system works.

RSS RSS  |  Atom Atom