MMS Blog

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Metalworking registered another month of mild contraction during October with a reading of 48.3. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50 the greater the change. So, an index reading that moves higher but is below 50 indicates that the rate of contracting business activity is slowing. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying index components observed that the Index — calculated as an average of its components — was supported by expanding activity in supplier deliveries, production and employment. Although new orders contracted slightly in October, the Index was weighed down only by exports and backlogs.

Within the last six months, the Index’s six components have moved in one of two diverging trajectories. Exports and backlogs have experienced an accelerating contraction that has weighted heavily on the overall Index. Conversely, supplier deliveries, production and employment have all rebounded from their 2019 lows and have since registering expanding activity levels for at least a month or more. New orders data, which collectively captures domestic and export activity, has also recovered to a lesser degree. Total new orders activity well above the level of export orders activity implies that domestic orders activity is most likely expanding.

By: Mike Lynch 11/7/2019

Improving Peck Drilling Canned Cycles

Improving Peck Drilling Canned Cycles

Most CNC machining centers provide two types of peck drilling canned cycles: G73 performs chip breaking for malleable materials and G83 performs chip clearing for deep holes. G73 is used to break chips as holes are drilled, retracting the drill a small amount at regular intervals (every 0.1 inch or 2.5 mm, for example). G83 is used to clear chips from the drill’s flutes as holes are drilled, retracting the drill completely out of the hole every three to five times the drill diameter.

What if you must machine deep holes into malleable materials? This requires a combination of the two canned cycles, and most CNCs do not have a canned cycle for this. With FANUC Custom Macro, however, you can create your own peck drilling canned cycle and make it behave any way you want it to. You can even create a modal calling command, and have it executed with a G code of your choosing, cancelling with with G80.

Metalworking News of Note: November 2019 has launched a free RFQ placement service designed to assist buyers in creating requests for quotes. The move is in line with the company’s goals of digitizing manufacturing work processes by giving buyers access to manufacturers’ extra capacity. 

“Providing buyers a streamlined service for helping them post and manage their RFQs to reach a broader market is a strategic goal that helps the industry holistically,” says Brian J. Smith, president of America. “ was conceived to benefit both manufacturers and buyers by finding them the right production partners quickly and efficiently.” He adds, “We are not here to reduce manufacturer’s revenue with high commissions, forced pricing or hidden fees, we pride ourselves on 100% transparency.” Read more.

What Can 3D Printing Really Do?

Is 3D printing a real option for production? How is it being used to make end-use parts today? How will additive manufacturing (AM) change the way products are made in the future? 

These are some of the questions that we at Additive Manufacturing, sister publication to Modern Machine Shop, seek to answer. Focusing purely on the technology and how it works doesn’t provide a complete picture of where AM is and what it can do, so we emphasize stories of real parts and users who are succeeding with 3D printing.

By: George Schuetz 11/4/2019

Getting More with Digital Indicators

The first practical digital indictors were introduced to the manufacturing world in the 1980s. These early models were basic: One might have read a comparative value, switched for inch/metric and maybe changed polarity. It seemed that these revolutionary new devices would make dial indicators obsolete within a few years.

Well, dial indicators are still here and may never go away in some form, but vast improvements have been made to digital indicators. They are not only replacing dial indicators but also approaching the performance of bench amplifiers at a fraction of the cost. Today’s digital indicators are smaller, more portable and better able to withstand the rigors of a production environment. Options are available that cost only slightly more than a good dial indicator, and other options cost a fraction of the price of a bench amplifier and probe.