Meter Tubes no Longer Manually Finished

An operator fixtures part for honing.


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An operator fixtures part for honing.

Computer controlled machine tools did not replace manual machining as soon as the more modern technology was proven. Rather, the CNC and PLC control took over metalworking only after they were proven and inexpensive. In some applications, those conditions are still being met for the first time. Many machining operations remain manual today simply because an automated solution has not been developed that is the right price for that particular niche.

Here is an article that gives an example. Thanks to the innovation of budget-price honing, finishing orifice meter tubes for the oil industry is now moving to electronically controlled machines.

One of my favorite parts of the article is the nod it gives to the fine tactical sense of the operators who have historically done this work. Part of the value of the new honing system (from Sunnen) is how it improves the productivity and saves on the fatigue of these operators.

Question: What machining work is still done on manual machines in your shop? E-mail your reply.