MMS Blog

Burnishing Face Mill Eliminates Manual Lapping, Polishing

In some cases, hand polishing or lapping is required to remove cutter witness marks and improve the finish of large, flat, machined surfaces. Results depend on people’s skill levels, and such tasks can prevent them from performing other, more value-adding duties. The Diamond Burnish Face Mill tool from Cogsdill installs in the spindle of a CNC machining center to enable it to perform a burnishing operation after machining. The tool can achieve surface finishes down to 0.01 HRa, depending on the material.

These rotating tools use multiple, spring-loaded nibs with diamond tips that cold-flow material peaks into valleys in one pass, leaving mirror-like finishes on the surfaces of most metals. These tools feature through-coolant delivery and can be used with any type of coolant, such as straight oils, soluble oils and synthetics. In operation, the nibs are brought into contact with the workpiece perpendicular to the surface being finished. The tool is then fed down into the workpiece an additional 0.002 to 0.003 inch to enable the diamond tip in each nib to disengage from stops and contact the material surface. The rotating tool then traverses the top of the part and completes the burnishing operation in one pass (multiple passes are required when the part surface is wider than the tool). The tool can also be used for interrupted-cut applications, such as the face of a flange with a keyway or multiple bolt holes. Spare diamond inserts are said to be easily replaced and available from stock. According to the company, achieving a uniform burnished finish requires a part surface flatness deviation of no more than 0.002 inch to keep the nibs preset spring load consistent.

One Example Changed the Course of 3D Printing at This GM Plant

General Motor’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, facility had a problem in 2017 — but those who worked there didn’t know it yet. The assembly plant was paying $37 a piece for a part used in more than 80 different jigs, fixtures and hand tools across the facility. This component was critical to maintaining smooth operations. It was also quite simple: a washer.

A moment came in 2017 when a purchasing manager was about to order more of these washers. It was then that Chris Gaddes found his opening.

By: Wayne Chaneski 3/12/2020

How To Audit Your Machine Shop Improvements

How To Audit Your Machine Shop Improvements

Often, companies do some pretty impressive things that make their operations better. Unfortunately, in too many situations, these impressive initiatives fade out. The improvements start to wither and the gains eventually disappear. It happens in more cases than we’d like to admit. Why?

We can point to many possible reasons, such as changing priorities, excessive effort required to sustain improvements, limited resource availability and more. Yet what is at the heart of these failures is often a lack of follow-up or willingness to audit the changes made.

For This CNC Machine Shop, Growth is Both Wonderful and Hard

The title of this column is something Matt Wardle, president and CEO of JD Machine, said to me during a recent chat to reconnect. The Ogden, Utah, contract shop was a Top Shops Honors Program winner in 2013. Since then, its annual sales have nearly doubled. In fact, the shop has averaged 18% annual sales growth since his father, J. Don, started the business in 1980.

Mr. Wardle points to JD Machine’s production system, quality management system, enterprise resource planning system, continuous improvement initiatives and machine operator accountability concept (determining if hourly scheduled production numbers are being met) as helping both spur and manage that growth. The shop currently employs 205 people compared to 135 in 2013. Although it maintains a low turnover rate, it faces the same challenge as other shops in recruiting potential new hires, which is exacerbated by its continued growth. Mr. Wardle says this is especially problematic in Northern Utah because it is a strong manufacturing hub with some big players. “Competition for shopfloor talent is high. As a result, manufacturing employers have to take it upon ourselves to address this problem,” he notes.

As scary as headlines and the associated economic headwinds may be, panicking about the novel Coronavirus benefits no one. Rather than acting rashly based on guy instinct, businesses should analyze and act on evidence, particularly data of the sort provided by Modern Machine Shop publisher Gardner Business Media’s own in-house intelligence division. Here, I talk to Michael Guckes, chief economist of Gardner Intelligence, about the data we track, how the metalworking economy is responding to the virus, and the advantages of a rational, data-driven response.