Posted by: Chris Koepfer 27. February 2015

And the Winner Is …



The Oscar’s are over, but the awards just keep on coming. Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies will receive the first International Additive Manufacturing Award (IAMA) for its innovative methodology that that enables metal deposition (using laser cladding) to be integrated on a multi-axis CNC machine tool.

“Hybrid Technology is exciting because it offers a new way to adopt additive manufacturing—as an upgrade to a CNC machine tool. Adding tool-changeable deposition heads to an existing machine tool enables 3D printing of metal without the need to buy a separate machine,” says Dr. Jason Jones, co-founder and CEO of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies. “This significantly reduces costs and provides an intuitive adoption path for CNC operators. The combination of additive with machining capabilities, including in-process finishing, that cannot be delivered by either technology independently.” 

The award will be presented on March 6 during a reception being held at The MFG Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The IAMA is the result of a partnership between AMT - the Association For Manufacturing Technology and VDW-Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken (Germany’s machine tool builders' association).

AMT and VDW, with media support from Gardner Business Media and VDI Nachrichten and sponsored by the European Machine Tool Association, CECIMO, announced the annual award at IMTS 2014 last September. Along with the award, Hybrid Manufacturing Ltd. of Great Britain and Plano, Texas, will receive $20,000 in cash and a media package valued at $80,000 to promote its hybrid kit innovation. For more about this process, click here.   

Posted by: Chris Felix 25. February 2015

Okuma and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Expand Sponsorship


CNC machine tool manufacturer Okuma America Corporation and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) have expanded their partnership agreement to now include the No. 1 Chevrolet SS, driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The Concord, North Carolina-based team will utilize Okuma CNC machine tools and technology in their machine shop to produce parts and equipment in support of the team’s NASCAR efforts.

Okuma equipment is already used by Ganassi’s Verizon IndyCar Series and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams in Indianapolis. Okuma President and COO, Jim King, says, “Okuma has had a long and successful partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams through IndyCar, and we feel this is a natural extension of that relationship.”

“Okuma has been a great partner of ours for a number of years, and we are very happy to see the partnership continue to grow,” says Chip Ganassi Racing Teams President Steve Lauletta. “Having them as a partner on the No. 1 Chevrolet this year is very exciting for all of us here with the race team.”

Posted by: Miles Free 24. February 2015

Tool Life Varies When Machining Carbon and Alloy Steels

Photos courtesy of Sandvik Coromant.

Tool life can vary when machining carbon and alloy steels despite the use of our best technology and our efforts to control our processes. This post discusses factors in the steel that can lead to tool failure. Here are six factors that can affect tool life in your shop:

Variations between suppliers. Suppliers’ melt processes, scrap practices, melt recipes and reduction in cold drawing and straightening practice can significantly affect the way the chip breaks, the resulting built up edge on the tool and the resulting surface finish, even though the grade is the “same.”

Variations in chemistry. A potential subset of variations between suppliers, the fact is that a plain carbon grade with 0.005 weight percent sulfur will not machine at all like the material with 0.025 weight percent sulfur.

Variations in grain size. While this factor is typically more relevant in stainless steels, when machining forgings, blocky structures resulting from excessive forging temperatures can result in inconsistent machining performance.

Variations in microstructure. In this case, it is not so much about the grain size, as it is about the structure present. This is particularly problematic in the ~0.40 weight percent carbon alloy grades such as 4037.

Decarburization or scaling on the work surface. Decarb can result is a carbon poor gummy surface, only to then transition into a fully carbon-containing microstructure. Scale on the work surface can result in excessive tool wear, because of the very high hardnesses of the various iron oxides that may be present (Hematite, the red oxide of iron, Fe2O3, has a microhardness of approximately 1030 DPH.

Deoxidation /high inclusion count. Free machining grades such as 12XX and 11XX steels are typically sold to a “coarse grain practice” with no deliberate additions of grain refiners or deoxidizers. Sometimes, you may find deliberate additions of Silicon to 1144 in order to improve the internal soundness of the steel. The resulting silicates can abrade the edge of the tool when running at the surface feeds expected for a resulfurized steel. The addition of aluminum as a grain refiner can cause rapid edge wear as well. Rarely, very rarely, one might encounter exogenous inclusions entrapped in the steel from melt and casting. These can be real showstoppers.

The takeaway: Purchasing the same item from different suppliers hurls the range of global variation at your machining operations. Standardizing on a single supplier for an item will allow you to get to a steady state in your process.

Originally posted on blog. 

Posted by: Lori Beckman 23. February 2015

Rich Stephenson to Present at PMTS Knowledge Center


Coming in April to the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS), presentations from industry experts will be part of festivities through Knowledge Centers. Rich Stephenson, additive development, C&A Tool, will be presenting “Practical Uses of Additive Manufacturing – a Job Shop’s Perspective,” on Tuesday, April 21 at 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 22 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, April 23 at 11 a.m.

Join Rich as he offers a high-level presentation of how C&A Tool has incorporated Additive Manufacturing into its “toolbox.”  He will offer some basic guidelines they have learned over the past 8 years, using AM and give practical insight as to when AM makes sense—and when it doesn’t. 

The knowledge centers will be held on the show floor and are accessible to all attendees. But you must be at PMTS in Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn more and register.   


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 20. February 2015

Ride this Train

These two parts that are representative of the “how to machine it” information on tap at the OSG Train the Nation seminars.

Called “Train the Nation,” this popular OSG USA-sponsored training tour is back on track this year and next year. The program is an eight-discipline course covering all aspects of machining 3D parts. It is presented by top experts who will introduce current techniques that highlight programming, machining applications and cutting tools for successful processing of workpieces. OSG is a manufacturer of taps, end mills, drills and indexable cutting tools, located in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Its markets include automotive, aerospace, medical and die mold.

The first training session takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 7 and is the first of 14 seminars scheduled in various locations. Each training event is free of charge and runs from 8 a.m. to  5 p.m. with lunch included.

It’s an opportunity to expand the shop’s collective knowledge base by learning some of the latest techniques for machining from people who have been there. Click here to learn more about the Train the Nation content and schedule.  

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