MMS Blog

For Gardner Business Media­, publisher of Modern Machine Shop and other brands related to manufacturing, workforce development is the overriding theme so far in 2019. We recently addressed the topic with an article about a machining business employing emotional intelligence as a means to attract and train staff. Here’s a video that takes a look at the culture change in that business through the words and perspectives of its team members. In the fields of moldmaking, additive manufacturing, composites, finishing and plastics, here are other ways the pursuit of manufacturing talent is advancing.

Along with working with Modern Machine Shop to cover training at mold builder Westminster Tool, sister publication MoldMaking Technology also recently wrote about three mold manufacturing companies that share how their workforce development strategies have evolved to meet the needs of today’s industry. In other words, today’s workforce needs more than metalworking skills to thrive.

DED is basically laser cladding on steroids. Layer by layer, it additively manufactures a part by feeding powder or wire into a melt pool created by a laser, electron beam or plasma arc. It helps address the scalability issues with powder-bed fusion (PBF), and it can often build parts faster than PBF. The downside is part accuracy, but DED also enables better material utilization because the “blown powder” is fed directly into the melt pool versus spread in a layer, as with PBF. Material utilization is even better when using wire feed instead of powder feed for DED.

Because powder is blown/wire is fed into the melt pool, you do not have to build on a flat surface when using DED. This is where the idea of the “machinist’s eraser” comes from: If you accidently removed too much material from a part during machining, it is easy to add back with DED and start again. Granted, this will not work for every material, but DED is one of the more flexible forms of additive manufacturing (AM) in terms of materials that can be processed.

Years of troubleshooting clutches for dragsters prepared Chris Nachtmann to open his own machine and engineering shop. Soon after, it became clear that he would need more CAD/CAM capabilities to advance his shop and meet the tight turnaround demands of traveling racecar teams. When a race team showed up needing a custom car component engineered in a flash, he used GibbsCAM from 3D Systems to get the job done.

Working as a clutch specialist for National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)’s Alan Johnson Racing, Mr. Nachtmann learned of the challenges faced by crew chiefs, including the maintenance and rebuilding of dragster clutches. Team owner Alan Johnson encouraged him, teaching him to pursue constant improvement and inspiring him to analyze and innovate. He would take these lessons into his future design and machining operations.

Make plans to catch one (or more) of the of nine different show floor product demonstrations offered during the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS 2019), which runs April 2-4 at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, Ohio. Each demonstration is scheduled to last 30 minutes and highlight specific equipment, services and ideas that can enable you to more effectively produce precision turned and machined parts in your shop.

The image gallery above, based on Modern Machine Shop magazine’s Modern Equipment Review Spotlight, features a selection of the products we have recently published related to coolant and chip management. Find more items in the product page of our Metalworking Fluids Zone

Swipe through the gallery for details on each product, and follow the caption links for more information.

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