MMS Blog

It is impossible to write a comprehensive article that thoroughly covers all the new technology presented at a manufacturing trade show. Take, for example, the Taiwan International Machine Tool Show (TMTS) I attended last November in Taichung. TMTS is presented by the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association (TMBA), and its location at the Taichung International Exhibition Center is close to many of the country’s machine tool builders.

Last year’s show drew more than 86,000 visitors, featured more than 4,000 booths, and took up more than 414,000 square feet of floor space. It included a range of new machine tool, cutting tool, workholding, software, automation and other manufacturing equipment offerings. Technology supporting Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) concepts was conspicuous there, too, demonstrating how disparate manufacturing elements can be connected to enable data sharing, collection and analysis so more informed decisions can be made on the shop floor. In fact, some of this I learned about during another recent Taichung trip to see machine builders YCM, Cosen, Goodway, Quaser, Tongtai and Fair Friend Group.

Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops Conference is where leading shops and industry professionals connect to celebrate their contribution to the manufacturing community and to learn from their peers about the tools and technologies that will help them continue to lead and succeed. With the conference’s “call for papers” now open, you have the opportunity to share your industry and technology expertise on a broader scale. Taking place September 9-11 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the third annual conference is the only event developed by and for job shops and contract manufacturers.

“The goal of this conference is to present practical new technology, strategies and concepts that attendees—owners or managers of CNC machine shops—can quickly implement in their businesses to help them grow and become more efficient,” notes Derek Korn, executive editor of Modern Machine Shop. “The key word here is business, which is why the conference will include presentations about new machining technology and shopfloor practices as well as business strategies and workforce development.”

Risk mitigation is something that all companies must address to protect themselves from the unexpected. Often, these unexpected outcomes can have severe consequences, both within the company and in the market where products and services are used. Even new quality management standards, such as ISO 9001, have included risk mitigation requirements for products and processes. Although there are many techniques to assist companies with risk mitigation, one of the most commonly used is Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). It is effective and can be adopted by manufacturing companies of all sizes relatively easily.

FMEA is a proactive system for evaluating a process or design in terms of where and how it might fail in use. FMEA seeks to assess the impact of different types of failures to identify which design components or process steps are most in need of change. Evaluating a design or process’s failure potential helps identify causes and prioritize them to mitigate the most severe ones. This upfront investment of time and effort will yield downstream benefits in safety, risk (liability), quality, productivity, cost and customer satisfaction.

The fixturing on which an indicating instrument is mounted often leads to gaging-error questions such as “what is spring rate?” and “how do you test for it?” Most fixtures are made of several component parts and are, in essence, a variation of the well-known C-frame. If the user is aware of the common problems that can affect the use of the C-frame and other fixture designs, it can be easy to detect and eliminate possible error sources.

All substances, regardless of their hardness, have some degree of elasticity. Small as it may be, elasticity is a real and vital condition to be considered in a precision gaging setup. One must accept that the frame arrangement inevitably will deflect from even the slightest pressure. This deflection becomes significant when it is great enough to affect calibration.

It gets hot in Dalton, Georgia, where Tuftco Corp. manufactures carpet tufting machines. These machines, which feature a long row of needles used to stick carpet threads onto their common base, present particular challenges for machining. When the company needed a more accurate machine tool capable of handling extremely long horizontal travels, Bertsche Engineering Corp.’s XiMill machining center presented itself as a solution. Even with the new machine, however, extreme environmental and part temperatures required further process changes.

One key component of a carpet tufting machine is the needle bar, which has thousands of precisely drilled holes in bars as long as 210 inches. The accuracy of these holes is critical to the reliable operation of a tufting machine, because thousands of needles reciprocate at very high rates of speed when it is operating. Particularly important to Tuftco is the accuracy of the bars. These bars wear out and must be replaced regularly. When that happens, the spare parts must match the original parts exactly.

RSS RSS  |  Atom Atom