Posted by: Chris Felix 16. April 2014

April 2014 PM Digital Issue Now Available


The digital April issue of Production Machining is now available, with emphasis topics of CAD/CAM and Cutting Tools. The cover story takes a look at some compelling reasons for automating the programming process, even for shops that still manually program simple parts on Swiss machines. Our other feature details the basics of rotary broaching—a process for creating a non-round shape on the inside or outside of a part.

We also examine the advantages of B-axis machining on a turning center and look at how to maximize coolant life through efficient tramp oil removal. Our Case in Point section visits a shop that is achieving reduced cycle times and better machine flexibility and efficiency since implementing a certain CAM package with its multitasking machine.

Be sure to check out our digital April issue today.

Posted by: Miles Free 15. April 2014

Demonstrate 'Safety First' Leadership

How many violations can you find here? (photo credit:


I really get annoyed when people tell me to do as they say, rather than as they do. How about demonstrating leadership behaviors that show us that you are serious?

It is incumbent on all of us to commit to a safer workplace. That means leadership by example is critical. If you wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) out in the shop, your employees will get the message that wearing PPE is important for them, too.

As for the safety culture at wherever this photo was taken, well, let’s just say I’m glad my son or daughter does not work here.

Please do not try to stage photos like this for fun. But if you have a favorite “don’t do as I do” safety photo, I’d love to share it with our readers.

Originally posted at blog.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 14. April 2014

White Papers for Aerospace Machining


Aerospace machining represents a great opportunity for CNC machine shops that are seeking new income streams. Producing parts for civil, commercial and military aircraft is unlike making parts for consumer goods, automotive, construction and many other industries. The materials tend to be more exotic, the tolerances are often stricter, and the traceability requirements are more stringent.

Two white papers from machine tool distributor and automation integrator Gosiger Inc. explain the capabilities required of CNC machine shops that wish to enter the aerospace market. The papers discuss the various types of machining necessary for engine, structural and non-structural components, as well as the materials involved and CNC machine, tooling, control and accessory considerations.

The free white papers can be downloaded at

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 11. April 2014

Leadership Council Honors Reshoring Initiative

While it’s not an Academy Award, it is a big deal for manufacturing. The Reshoring Initiative led by founder Harry Moser was honored recently by Frost & Sullivan’s Leadership Council in the category of Industry Advocacy.

For the past decade, these awards have acknowledged companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Mr. Moser’s initiative is recognized for its effort to bring well paying jobs back to the United States from other markets and helps companies more accurately access the total cost of off-shoring versus domestic manufacturing.

The initiative’s goal is to shift collective thinking among manufacturers from an attitude that offshoring is less expensive and instead educate them on the idea total cost of ownership, which includes many hidden costs in offshoring manufacturing. The program has seen good success.

Posted by: Chris Felix 9. April 2014

Autodesk Opens Doors to Creativity


After its acquisition of Delcam in February, I thought perhaps Autodesk may have a lull in big news announcements. But last week I had the opportunity to visit the company’s facilities in San Francisco, and there’s still a lot to say!

During the first couple of hours of my tour on Tuesday morning, I saw the company’s One Market Street Gallery, which features regularly changing exhibits of an assortment of design wonders in which one or more Autodesk products was used. The displays range from architectural and construction designs, such as models of the Shanghai Tower and the Bay Bridge, to media and entertainment work, such as the computer-generated imagery created for the movie Avatar, to the 3D digital prototypes used for large Legoland models.

Later in the morning, we walked a couple of blocks to the company’s new Pier 9 facility (opened in the fall of 2013), which extends out onto the San Francisco Bay. This remarkable 27,000 square foot workshop includes a digital fabrication lab, a woodworking shop, a metalworking shop, a 3D printing lab, laser cutting and printing capabilities, an electronics workshop, a commercial test kitchen, and an industrial sewing center, as well as smaller specialty project areas. The facility is intended to provide hands-on experience to further the understanding of the interface between software and hardware. It allows employees and artists-in-residence to showcase the company’s products by pushing the boundaries of the software and hardware.

While at Pier 9, Carl White, senior director of manufacturing engineering at Autodesk, and Anthony Graves, CAM product manager, announced the commercial availability of Inventor HSM, an integrated CAM solution for Inventor users. Inventor HSM 2015 helps machinists, designers and engineers turn their Inventor designs into manufacturable parts by generating machining toolpaths directly in the software. “Inventor HSM will help users manufacture high quality finished parts, while saving valuable time and resources,” says Mr. White.

Visit the slideshow of my visit for a clearer picture of the many things Autodesk is doing to boost creativity in a number of industries.

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