Precision Tool Technologies found capacity for diversification not by adding machines, people or space, but by freeing up time. Running unattended—running so it can machine through all 168 hours in the week—has enabled this shop to use hours when staff is present to deliver work that lands outside its established specialty. To achieve unattended machining, some of the biggest challenges have related to basic details such as chips and coolant.
Topology optimization, 3D printing and a material change for this milling cutter resulted in an 80 percent reduction in mass.
Part of the strangeness is this: There is not much to understand! Cheap sensors, fast connectivity, and data storage and applications in the cloud all come together to simplify certain kinds of automation needs. A band saw in the lab at Georgia Tech illustrates how manufacturers might put this to use.
A hybrid system combining metal 3D printing with machining gives the Marine Corps perhaps its most effective resource yet for obtaining needed hardware in the field. It also offers an extreme version of the experience a machine shop might have in adding metal AM to its capabilities.
For machine shops, the transformation that data-driven manufacturing promises to bring begins with machine monitoring, and there is a human component to this.
Not just writing, but writing with integrity, is the work and the craft to which Mark Albert gave his career.
A companion to the recent Modern Machine Shop cover story on a moldmaker’s commitment to emotional intelligence, here is a look at the culture change at this shop through the words and perspectives of team members.
Thanks to a culture change founded on a commitment to emotional intelligence, this mold supplier solved its skilled labor problem and increased throughput per employee.