Posted by: Chris Felix 29. June 2016

NIMS Announces Industry Standard for CAM


With guidance from Autodesk Inc. the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) has released computer aided manufacturing (CAM) industry standards designed to enhance education and training programs to meet 21st century demands for skilled CAM programmers, designers and engineers. Developed over the course of a year-long, nationwide validation process, with more than 125 subject matter experts from companies who use a variety of CAM software, the standards define the competencies and skills expected by industry for entry-level CAM positions.

To stay competitive, manufacturers must maintain high standards of production. CAM allows manufacturers to efficiently adjust their processes to identify optimal production paths that decrease cycle times, reduce scrapped parts and materials and improve the quality of finished parts.

Skilled CAM programmers, designers, and engineers with extensive education and training are in high demand. “Companies in technologically-advanced industries are incorporating information technology and automation through CAM software to develop products and materials. In the next decade, over one million jobs will require the technical skills needed to operate CAM software,” says NIMS Executive Director, James Wall. “By publishing these standards, we have successfully defined the industry expectation for an entry-level candidate with CAM skills.”

NIMS and Autodesk will continue to support the advancement of CAM training programs by developing industry credentials for educating and training CAM programmers. To develop these credentials, industry leaders will participate in work groups and provide their expertise. NIMS will conduct a rigorous development and pilot process before releasing the credentials to the public.

“Developing skills in next-generation CAM tools used by professionals makes students more attractive and hirable,” says Randy Swearer, vice president, Autodesk Education Experiences. “By working with NIMS to define the standards needed to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace, we’re helping grow the manufacturing workforce by giving future designers and engineers guidance on the competencies needed to secure employment upon graduation.”

Download the standards here.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 27. June 2016

Video: Tool Balance is Critical for High-Speed Machining

In the area of high-speed machining, achievable cutting speeds are consistently increasing because of new developments in cutting materials and spindles. However, unbalanced spindles, and especially cutting tools, set limits on the speeds that can be achieved. Spindle and tool longevity are also affected. And while the unbalance of spindles and other drive components can be addressed during manufacturing, tools must be balanced more frequently; usually prior to initial use in a machine tool.

Designed with these challenges in mind, Schenck’s new Tooldyne balancing machine is a compact machine with the measuring unit clearly visible, which allows the operator direct input of all data via a touchscreen. The operating concept displays using symbols, and there is a comprehensive range of operating aids available as well.

The Tooldyne is CE certified and fulfills the requirements of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, which has been valid since the beginning of 2010. The protective cap meets the standards set by the ISO 7475 Class C - Protection against ejected parts.

The balancing machine makes use of mineral casting for the machine housing, which dampens vibrations up to 10 times more effectively than grey cast iron, the company says. Mineral casting also permits a crane hook machine design.

Watch the video demonstration to learn more. 

The measuring unit on the Tooldyne balancing machine is clear and allows the operator direct input of all data via a touchscreen.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 24. June 2016


Like many shops facing changes in customer demands, Pennsylvania-based American Turned Products (ATP) is making adjustments to its production mix to meet these new challenges. That includes adding centerless grinding capability.

Working with Allways Precision, a systems integrator from Chicago, the shop is now able to produce motor drive shafts for one of its customers using a fully automated, robot tended cell. It’s working beautifully.

Check out our article in the June issue about how this came about and click on the video to see the cell in operation. We’ve been covering the technology migration for traditional screw machine shops for some time, and this is another example of it. 

Posted by: Chris Felix 22. June 2016

IMTS Conferences Provide Learning Opportunities


While the show floor at IMTS provides what seems to be endless opportunities for discovery about manufacturing technology, the conferences at the show shouldn’t be overlooked. The entire event is highly focused on education, and the nine conferences allow attendees and exhibitors to find solutions for their manufacturing needs. Here are a few of the conferences to consider:

  • Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit, featuring a series of presentations on how plant managers are using automated systems to deliver improved safety, reliability and productivity to streamline their operations.
  • Integrated Industries Conference, bringing together industry experts with the goal of addressing solutions to current manufacturing concerns, sharing new trends and best practices, and helping companies thrive in today’s dynamic manufacturing environment.
  • TRAM—Trends in Advanced Machining Manufacturing and Materials, aiming to educate manufacturing professionals on innovations in the aerospace sector that can make their process more efficient and profitable.
  • Additive Manufacturing Conference, bringing together manufacturing professional who are interested in or already applying additive manufacturing as a production resource.

Last IMTS, the conference attracted 50 percent more participants than the previous event. Don’t miss this chance to network with a community of peers and experts within the industry and explore fresh ideas to enhance your business. Conference registration includes access to the exhibit hall for all 6 days of the show. Register today!

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 20. June 2016

Video: Minimize Insert Wear with New Grades

Although steel turning is one of the most common machining operations, manufacturers still face production challenges such as insert wear and cutting interruptions. And while insert wear is inevitable, Seco Tools says its TP2501, TP1501 and TP0501 insert grades featuring the Duratomic coating technology help limit and control it.

These inserts have been designed for reliable and predictable performance. According to the company, these three grades cover all of a manufacturer’s needs for steel turning applications. The insert grades have been developed to provide improved toughness, heat and wear resistance, as well as chemical inertness for longer tool life, even at high cutting speeds. With this extended tool life, sudden breakage can be reduced, and rework and scrap decreased.

Available in a range of insert shapes and geometries for light, medium and roughing operations, the insert grades provide a choice for steel turning, whether the goal is versatile, balanced or high-speed productivity, the company says.

The inserts also feature Seco Edge Intelligence. Surveys conducted by Seco show that 15 percent of the edges on discarded inserts are unused. The Duratomic inserts make it almost impossible to miss which edges have been used, so more parts can be processed per edge, limiting production interruptions and reducing waste. This can be attributed to a chrome coating that has no negative impacts on performance or cutting data.

Take a moment to watch a video on the new insert grades. 

The inserts feature Seco Edge Intelligence, which helps detect the 15 percent average of insert edges that generally go unused when discarded.

The TP2501, TP1501 and TP0501 insert grades have been developed to provide improved toughness, heat and wear resistance, as well as chemical inertness for longer tool life.

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