MMS Blog

CNC machine shops are typically quick to use traditional resources , such as their local bank or perhaps their cash on hand. However, there are other financing strategies that shops can benefit from that they might not consider enabling them to keep their cash or line of credit for expenses such as expansion, payroll or raw material. In the video below, Huong Do, vice president of business development for Machinery Finance Resources, describes ways shops can benefit from an alternate financing strategy.

A producer of pavement marking technology came to Graydon Udelhoven, owner of Forbidn Manufacturing (Billings, Montana), to commission the design of a feed dispenser for a spray gun. After Mr. Udelhoven built a prototype that delivered significant performance improvements, the client placed an order that required Forbidn to quickly ramp up of production so the part could be incorporated into the spray gun product. 

With features on all six sides, the complex part had to be held to close tolerances. Producing it on Forbidn’s Mazak VTC300 vertical machining center would have required six setups to expose each side to the spindle, taking as much as seven hours of setup and machining plus an hour of deburring to make a single part.

Moldmaking Water-Flow Simulation Makes 3D-Printing Practical

During the past two years, B & J Specialty has gotten used to leaving customers a little nervous after meetings.  

This is no concern for the Northern Indiana plastic injection mold manufacturer. So says Jarod Rauch, a design engineer who has played a leading role in the company’s drive to push metal 3D printing as an alternative to CNC machining. Education is the antidote to fear, he continues, and B & J is more than capable of proving the merits of new methods. In any case, shocked looks and skeptical headshakes are becoming less common as broader attitudes shift. “We’re seeing more large companies wanting to go this way without a manufacturer like us having to sell it,” he says.

Capturing in a single photo what’s inside of a 461,000-square-foot facility is impossible, but here’s my attempt at it while touring FANUC America’s new North Campus in Auburn Hills, Michigan:

The North Campus houses several of the company’s departments, including engineering, product development, reliability testing and warehousing as I learned during a grand opening ceremony October 22. Time from groundbreaking to full operation was 364 days. With this addition, the manufacturer of robots, CNCs and factory automation systems occupies more than 1 million square feet of building space in Michigan’s Oakland County and has 25 facilities throughout the Americas.

Until recently, shops had two options to machine circular grooves in the face of a part. One is to spin a part in a turning center and feed in a static face-grooving tool. The other is to use a machine tool to circle-interpolate using an end mill. Shops typically go with the latter option when the part cannot be chucked in a turning center, has a geometry that includes bosses or features impeding tool access, or would create an out-of-balance condition when spun. However, tool breakage and long cycle times can be an issue, especially when using small-diameter end mills. Plus, those tools create only symmetrical groove profiles.

Recently, Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Co. has developed a trepanning-type tool based on the static, lathe, face-grooving inserts it has offered for many years to enable single-point cutting of grooves on a machining center. Called Mill A Groove, this line of tools installs in a user’s boring head to enable a range of groove diameters — with a symmetrical profile or not — to be created.