Posted by: Chris Koepfer 27. May 2016

Mastercam Sails with America’s Cup

Mastercam is being used to help produce a racing yacht for the 2017 America’s cup

CNC Software, developer of Mastercam software, is part of the development team for Oracle Team USA, which is a participant in the 35th America’s Cup being held in Bermuda in 2017. Oracle Team USA is defending champion of the America’s Cup.

Mastercam software is being used by Core Builders Composites (CBC), which produces the carbon fiber components used in the construction of the Oracle Team USA’s racing yachts. The company has built all of the team’s yachts, including the trimaran that won the 34th America’s Cup.

Part designs originate with the Oracle team and are sent to CBC for production. Mastercam software is the bridge between the CAD file and the CNC machine tool, creating the necessary tool path to produce the part. These parts are produced by CBC on a five-axis machining center with a workpiece capacity of 59 ft. by 20 ft. by 10 ft. 

Posted by: Miles Free 26. May 2016

Manufacturing Sectors that Grew in the Year Ending in April 2016


While manufacturing growth remains essentially level, certain sectors served by the precision machining industry grew nicely in the year ending in April 2016. Dr. Chad Moutray, chief economist at National Association of Manufacturers, has compiled and shared the data for the past year in manufacturing.

Fabricated Metal is the sector in which precision machining is classified, and this data shows a minus 3-percent growth for the period of April 2015 to April 2016. But our shops also provide engineered components for Motor Vehicles and Parts (up 4.3 percent), Miscellaneous durable goods (up 5.2 percent) and Computer and Electronic Products (up 2.9 percent).

While the actual year-over-year growth for manufacturing eked out a 0.5-percent growth rate, there were clearly winning and losing sectors, as the chart below shows.

Here is a recap of the markets typically served by our precision machining shops: Machinery, Fabricated Metal, Aerospace and Miscellaneous Transportation Equipment, and Electrical Equipment and Appliances were down, while Miscellaneous Durable Goods, Motor Vehicles and Parts, Computer and Electronic Products showed gains ranging from 2.9 to 5.2 percent.

According to Dr. Moutray, manufacturing rebounded somewhat in April, as manufacturing production grew 0.3 percent, just offsetting the 0.3 percent decline in March. In April, renewed strength in the Machinery sector (up 2.4 percent) and Motor Vehicles and Parts sectors (up 1.3 percent) were positive signs.

According to the Federal Reserve, April Industrial Production moved upward by 0.7 percent, after two months of decline.

The PMPA Business Trends Index of Sales for April 2016 declined from the year’s March high of 131 to April’s 122. That 122 reading is up one point from the 2015 calendar year average.

While the economic news is not bubbling with enthusiastic reports of growth, we think the fact that the industry is operating even or above last year’s average is a positive story. It beats the alternative.

Certain sectors served by the precision machining industry grew nicely in the

year ending in April 2016.


Originally posted on blog.

Posted by: Chris Felix 25. May 2016

New Inspection and Measurement Zone on PM’s Website


Production Machining has a new Inspection and Measurement zone. It includes articles, new products, videos, and blog posts related to inspection and measurement equipment and processes that have been published in PM. Also, find contact information from equipment suppliers on this page.

Inspection and measuring equipment includes all of the tools and devices that are used to verify that a part’s dimensions all conform to the tolerances required by the part’s design. This includes various hand-held gages such as calipers and micrometers, as well as simpler gage blocks or plug gages.

However, inspection and measurement in most shops also goes beyond hand-held gages to include coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), the measurement machine tools able to execute programmed measurement routines. Also included in this category are devices such as profilometers that measure the finish of machined surfaces.

Check out the new zone for more information!

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 23. May 2016

Video: SkillsUSA Supports Career and Technical Education

Whenever I visit a machine shop, one topic inevitably comes up: the challenges associated with recruiting young students into manufacturing. One thing shops can do is support SkillsUSA, which is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization helps students excel by providing educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation’s classrooms.

As part of this mission, SkillsUSA—with support from The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)—will be in Louisville, Kentucky, Monday through Friday, June 20-24, for the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). More than 16,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners, are expected to participate in the event.

Delegate sessions for middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students are conducted by the national officers. The sessions provide a platform to conduct the organization’s official business, elect student leaders and recognize state association voting delegates.

SkillsUSA University is a program of educational seminars available to all participants Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The SkillsUSA Championships will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students—all state contest winners—will compete hands on in 100 trade, technical and leadership fields. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting and precision machining. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. The competitions are open to the public and free of charge.

The CNC mill, CNC lathe and CNC technician contests evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment in CNC programming while assessing the ability to write CNC programs, interpret prints, and measure/gage parts. Participants will also demonstrate theoretical knowledge of CNC machine configuration, setup and operations. CGTech technical support engineers will use Vericut software to evaluate the accuracy of the NC programs created, while also ensuring the programs will run without violating safety standards or damaging machines. After each student’s NC program has been simulated, the virtual workpiece is compared with the design model.

OEMs and machine shops are increasing their involvement in supporting efforts by local high schools, community colleges, technical schools, and universities and organizations such as SkillsUSA (learn more here) to introducing young students to manufacturing as a solid career choice. 



Posted by: Chris Koepfer 20. May 2016

Add Additive to your IMTS Agenda


Registration is now open for the third Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC 2016), scheduled for September 13-14, this year. The AMC is presented by Additive Manufacturing and Modern Machine Shop magazines, and this year will be co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) at Chicago’s McCormick Place. View the full agenda or register here.

The AMC’s focus is on industrial applications of 3D printing and AM technologies for making functional components and end-use production parts. The two-day event will include 20 speakers from OEMs, service bureaus, machinery suppliers, research organizations and product developers. Topics will include AM software, automation, robotic additive manufacturing, and the integration of additive and subtractive manufacturing.  

Conference registration also provides access to all AMC technical sessions as well as the Additive Manufacturing exhibit and networking room. Admission to the EOS North American Users Day and access to the IMTS 2016 show floor are also included. New this year, IMTS will feature a dedicated Additive Manufacturing Pavilion to be located at the entrance to the North Building.

Already registered? Follow @LearnAdditive on Twitter for the latest updates, and use #IMTSadditive to connect with others during the event. 


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