MMS Blog

On the rare occasion when friends or family members become interested in the specifics of what I write about, blisk-milling videos are an easy go-to. There are few better ways to gain an appreciation for modern machining technology and skilled CNC programming than watching five axes maneuver in concert through the twists and turns of these fan-like turbine components.

Like many of the shop owners and managers I visit, these friends and family members might be surprised to learn that there is a direct link between this process and the technology driving the latest smartphones. Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology is here, and it provides sufficient speed for data feedback loops between CNCs and workzone-mounted sensors to compensate for machining vibration in near real time.

Former NBA star Michael Jordan has talked about moments on the court when scoring was so effortless that it felt like he was shooting into a giant bucket. We typically refer to this phenomenon — when we are fully absorbed and fulfilled by a task that utilizes our skill — as being “in the zone” or in a state of flow. In his book The Art of Leadership, author and psychologist Dr. George Manning theorizes that people are happiest during the moments when they are “in flow.” To achieve this state, Dr. Manning says a balance must be struck between the challenge of a task and the skill of the performer. Both must be sufficiently high and evenly matched.

All of us experience these moments. But can a job shop achieve a state of flow?

By: Anthony Staub 9/12/2019

Partnerships: The Ultimate Relationship

Have you had the opportunity to work with a customer who you consider a partner? Have they considered you a partner as well? There are numerous advantages to each if you’re fortunate enough to succeed. For the shop involved, you must create and establish a sincere effort to support your customer. You must display honesty, integrity and show real effort in making your customer succeed. For the customer, you must believe in your vendor and show them a high degree of trust, but not blind loyalty.

What are the goals? If your shop has a “one contract and done” mindset, then I’m not talking to you. If your objective is a long-term relationship, then you must first cultivate, then fertilize a relationship as it blossoms.

EMO 2019 is set to take place September 16-21 in Hannover, Germany. Editors Peter Zelinski, Derek Korn and Eli Plaskett will be there covering the show on foot and visiting booths, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for them to get back to learn about some of the manufacturing technologies being released and highlighted there. The gallery above includes some of the products to be displayed at the show. Swipe left and right to view them, and click the links to learn more. 

Billed as the world’s premier trade fair for the metalworking industry, EMO expects to bring in hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to see machine tools and other technologies. Industry 4.0 and digitalization are key focuses of the trade show. 

3D Printed Fixtures Speed Setup for Inspection

Evco Plastics, an injection molder based in DeForest, Wisconsin, wasn’t sold on 3D printed tooling from the outset. The company’s first 3D printer — a material jetting model — produced brittle parts that were fine as design prototypes, but prone to break if dropped or handled roughly. Evco later became an early customer for the Markforged Mark One, an extrusion 3D printer with continuous fiber-reinforcement capability. While the fiber placement capability wasn’t always necessary, this printer enabled the company to explore 3D printing strong, functional tooling in plastic.  

But it wasn’t until Markforged introduced Onyx, a composite plastic filament reinforced with chopped glass fiber, that 3D printing truly found its stride at Evco. The material has enabled the manufacture of tooling and end-use parts that are both durable and easy to print, without the fuss of fiber reinforcement.

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