Posted by: Steve Kline, Jr. 20. September 2016

Precision Machining Index: August 2016 – 46.5

With a reading of 46.5, the Gardner Business Index showed that the precision machining industry contracted at a noticeably slower rate in August. The index jumped to its second highest level since July 2015.

In August, the new orders index grew for only the second time since March 2015. While the production index has contracted since June 2015, in August the index was close to flat. The backlog index remained quite weak, as the index was below 40 for the fifth straight month. However, the backlog has improved quite a bit since November 2015. Employment contracted for the 13th month in a row. Exports remained mired in contraction, although the index reached its second highest level since May 2015. Supplier deliveries shortened for the first time since February.

Material prices have increased since March. Even though the rate of increase decelerated for the second month in a row, for the previous four months, the material prices index has been higher than any time since February 2015. Prices received contracted at a minimal rate in August. This was the highest level for the index since prices received were unchanged in February. But, future business expectations declined for the second straight month, as the index fell to its lowest level since February.

Pumps/valves/plumbing products and medical were showing some growth, while aerospace was virtually flat for the second month in a row. Job shops continued to contract as they have since last June. However, in August, the job shops index reached its highest level since March. 

Future capital spending plans climbed to more than $500,000 per plant for the first time since November 2015. In August, future capital spending plans reached their highest level since May 2015. Compared with one year ago, future capital spending plans have increased in three of the previous five months. In the previous two months they have increased more than 16 percent. While the annual rate of change was still contracting at a significant rate, it has improved since March, indicating that the weakest part of the capital equipment market was near or behind the industry.  

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 19. September 2016

New Clamping System Shortens Setup Times

The Delphin System from GF Machining Solutions offers clamping forces of 60,000N per chuck face and with an accuracy of 5 microns.

The System 3R Delphin Zero Point system from GF Machining Solutions provides an affordable clamping system for use during heavy milling operations on a variety of machine tools. With the Delphin system, manufacturers can increase their overall productivity by streamlining setups and reducing machine idle time.

The System 3R Delphin system has been optimized to handle any type of machine tool, including those with T-slot or grid pattern tables as well as machines with pallet changers. Its design features flexible references to allow quick implementation of existing fixtures and pallets, which provides economic and productivity advantages. By minimizing the distance between the connection’s receiver’s reference surfaces and the workpiece to be machined, the mounting is more stable, enabling operators to use the highest cutting rates.

The Delphin System boasts clamping forces of 60,000N per chuck face, with an accuracy of 5 microns. It is available in pneumatic and hydraulic actuation operating systems for a large variety of machine tools to enable the machining of various sized workpieces and for easy automation adaptation. Read about other types of gripping and clamping systems in this article from the PM archives.


Posted by: Lori Beckman 16. September 2016

Somma Highlights its ‘Forte’ at First-Time Exhibit


Somma Tool Co. is making its debut at the show this year in booth W-2027 as a manufacturer of a full range of cutting tools, toolholders and workholders for the machining industry. Jerry Somma, V.P. of sales for the company, says this position is unique for Somma.

“Other exhibitors and competitors usually manufacture products in only one of these three product categories,” he says.

Although a new exhibitor at IMTS this year, Somma Tool Company has been in business since 1939, serving the screw machine industry. It began as a specialty form tool grinding house, with primarily local Connecticut shops as customers. It has since evolved into a nationwide and overseas manufacturer of many types of tooling.

Its booth is a one-stop shop that includes broaching tools and broach holders, cut-off blades, insert-style cutoff and forming tools, circular and dovetail form tools and blanks, and resharpenable and throw away-style inserts for tool systems. It also displays the company’s turning tools, various toolholders and workholders, benchtop tapping, and retapping machines. Somma offers a range of tooling for automatic screw machines, CNC machines, and especially for Swiss screw machines.

“We are the only broach tool manufacturer who makes and stocks standard size hex and square broach tools made from ‘Forte’ material instead of basic M2 high speed steel,” Jerry Somma says. “Forte material is the toughest broaching material available, resulting in the best wear resistance for longer tool life.”

Somma’s booth displays rotary broaching videos, which include FAQs on internal and external rotary broaching, centering on a broach, how to align a broach, driven broach holders, and vertical broaching in a CNC mill.

Jerry Somma says his staff is excited and ready to explain the benefits that new and existing end users will experience with Somma products. “We encourage attendees to check us out,” he says. “We especially hope that attendees who make non-round internal or external shapes in a part will come and see the benefits of using Somma Forte broaches and holders.”


Posted by: Lori Beckman 15. September 2016

Thinbit IMTS Booth Offers Hands-On Experience

The company’s Groove ‘N Turn line of dovetail grooving inserts are one of many cutting tool lines featured in the booth. 

To see a full line of inserts and tools for grooving, threading, boring, face grooving, parting and form tools, visit Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Company’s booth W-2172 at IMTS. Visitors to the booth can use touchscreen displays and watch videos to learn more about this company’s tooling products. They can also discuss projects with application engineers in the booth.

The company’s Groove ‘N Turn line of dovetail grooving inserts are one of many cutting tool lines featured in the booth. The insert design is optimized for strength by using an insert pair to generate the groove form. Insert sizes are 0.030”, 0.050”, 0.060”, 0.070”, 0.080”, 0.090”, 0.100”, 0.125” and 0.150” with major diameters starting at 0.300”. These inserts are also available in sub-micron grain carbide grades for ferrous and non-ferrous materials, either uncoated or with TiN, TiCN, TiAlN or diamond film coatings. These dovetail inserts can be used on conventional, Swiss and CNC machines.

Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Company engineers in the booth are eager to answer questions and discuss options available to help with production and solve problems that attendees might be having with lathe applications. They want to help shops cut expenses and improve production.

Stop by the booth for giveaways throughout the week. If you are a Thinbit customer already, you can enter a contest to see if you have the oldest Thinbit scale.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 14. September 2016

MC Machinery Systems Inc.:The Company Behind Mitsubishi EDM

Many people do not realize that MC Machinery Systems Inc. is the company behind the Mitsubishi EDM brand.

Most people are familiar with the Mitsubishi EDM brand. But many do not realize that MC Machinery Systems Inc. is the company behind the brand. In fact, MC Machinery Systems is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation this year.

The company is responsible for selling and servicing the popular EDM machines with the Mitsubishi EDM brand, but it also sells and services many other types of advanced machining solutions, such as vertical machining centers, automation, advanced five axis milling, turning ,additive machining, CO2 and FIBER Laser, and hydraulic and electric press brakes.

“We want people to know that we sell advanced technology. We are a solutions provider, our product range is vast, and we can really work with customers on finding the tool that best fits their manufacturing needs,” says Patrick Simon, marketing manager, MC Machinery Systems.

The proof is in the booth. While visiting MC Machinery’s 10,000 square-foot booth (Booth N-6815), visitors can experience 15 of the company’s machines on display. Six of these machines feature automation. In addition to its EDM machine line up, one example of the company’s machines featured at the show is the five-axis OPS Ingersoll Eagle V5 with multi-change light automation. This VMC has the capacity to handle a 550-pound workpiece on a 15.75-inch table surface. 

The company’s new Remote 360 monitoring system is also featured in the booth. “MC Machinery can now access customers’ machines with their permission, through Remote 360, a machine monitoring system that began coming standard on all wire EDM machines April 1,” Simon explains. “We are demonstrating this on several 70-inch flat screen TV displays, with presentations throughout the week. This capability allows us to reach a higher level of customer satisfaction and reduce downtime.”

MC Machinery’s top, high level employees are in the booth all week to answer questions, meet new customers and give machine presentations. It’s a great opportunity to meet with experts in each area of the company.

“There are several consumable products available for customers who have purchased our equipment, along with after sales contracts, like preventive maintenance programs and extended warranties,” Simon says. “We also plan to do some giveaways associated with our 25th anniversary.”

While looking for the Mitsubishi EDM logo, keep your eyes open for the MC Machinery 25th anniversary logo, and prepare yourself to be pleasantly surprised by all this company offers when exploring the booth. 

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