Posted by: Chris Felix 20. April 2016

Surfcam Hosts Successful Product-Launch Meetings


Surfcam distributor CIM Solutions, of Canton, Michigan, recently hosted a series of product-launch meetings for existing Surfcam customers on a road show in Southfield and St. Joseph, Michigan; Willoughby, Ohio; and Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

The meetings, designed to introduce Surfcam users to the range of features in the new release of the product, were well attended, and the significant new product enhancements were well received.

“Turnout was great,” said Bob Jastrzebski, president of CIM Solutions. “We showed the latest version of Surfcam to current customers, and they were all very impressed. Our customers were able to see first-hand how the new Surfcam product will make their toughest programming task much easier and more efficient.”

Event attendees were provided with intensive overviews of the software’s latest product developments, including CAD-neutral associative toolpath; hybrid, i.e., solids and surface, manufacturing; fully-customizable automation; and the inclusion of machine simulation.

Posted by: Russ Willcutt 18. April 2016

A Grand Event in Grand Rapids

To view more photos of the event, click on this picture.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the site of the 2016 Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) National Technical Conference. Held April 9-12 at the beautiful downtown Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, with its extensive selection of halls and ballrooms, the conference was convenient, informative and well attended. The conference’s theme was “Rapid Response to Make the Cut.”

Three days of sessions provided a wealth of opportunities to learn about topics including Rotary Transfer (BTB, Buffoli, Giuliani, Gnutti, Hydromat), Speeds and Feeds (Horn USA), CNC Programming (CNC Concepts), Troubleshooting Machining Problems (PMPA, Concept Machine Tools), Additive Manufacturing (DMG MORI USA) and Exotic Materials, which was presented by Sandvik Coromant. Management and team-building concepts were also addressed, such as Extraordinary Team Skills, The Myth of Time Management, Train the Trainer, and Shop Ideas and Best Practices.

Honors were bestowed among PMPA members, such as the Technical Member Participation Award made to six companies, with an additional eight companies receiving an honorable mention. Micrometer Pin awards for meeting attendance were also made, split into categories including 10- and 20-year pin recipients. Jack Steuby of the John J. Steuby Co. was the 80-Meeting Pin recipient, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

Further development of the new “Next Gen” cohort also took place, in which the upcoming generation of industry leaders are beginning to make significant contributions to the future health of the association as well as the precision manufacturing industry at large.

On a personal note, I found this to be one of the most well organized, informative and collegial technical sessions I have attended. Congratulations to PMPA leadership, staff, and conference supporters for creating such an excellent environment for learning and networking. Be sure to read Senior Editor Chris Felix’s column sharing his perspective on the event in the June issue of Production Machining magazine. 

To see a photo slideshow of conference highlights, visit Slideshow: 2016 PMPA National Tech Conference.


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 15. April 2016

Cobots are Coming

Cobots are moving out from behind the cage. 

Since it was first conceived in in the 1950s, the industrial robot has morphed from a machine that required a cage and other devices to separate it from humans. In recent years, that too has changed.

Since the 1960s, the automotive industry has been using robots successfully. As often happens, having proved themselves, robots have proliferated into shops of all sizes. Moreover, because of simplified programming, these machines are moving into non-traditional applications where high mix and relatively low volume production is the rule.  

Today, we are seeing the emergence of collaborative robots that use sophisticated sensors that allow humans and robots to work together without the need for guarding. Instead of operating independently of the machine operator, these new machines are safe, and as such an even better helper for its human coworker. Click here to read an article we published on the topic.


Posted by: Miles Free 14. April 2016

Upset Testing for Steel

This photo shows how upset testing works.

Mechanical properties of a given steel under compression compare closely with its tensile properties. An “upset” can be performed to determine how the steel will perform under compressive load.

A brittle steel under compression will ultimately fail by breaking along cleavage lines at an angle approximately 30 degrees from the axis of pressure being applied.

A more ductile steel flattens out, rather than cleaving, showing vertical cracks around the outer circumference. This ductile steel will not break, but will continue to flatten as more stress (load or force) is applied.

This compression or upset test is helpful for assuring that steel will successfully cold work. It can also be used to determine the extent of seams, laps or other surface imperfections on the surface of the bar. That’s what I used to do when we were producing drawn wire for cold-heading applications.


Originally posted on blog.


Posted by: Chris Felix 13. April 2016

View PM’s April 2016 Digital Edition

The Digital Edition of PM's April issue is now available.

Production Machining’s April Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of Cutting Tools and CAD/CAM. This month’s cover story takes a look at skiving operations and suggests the need for experience and a willingness to be creative to achieve the full potential of the process. For our other feature we examine how CAM software, the cloud and the Internet of Things are converging to change the way our industry is doing business.

Turn to our Tech Brief section to learn about ways to shorten cycle times for tube machining operations. Our Case in Point goes into a shop that took its 5S program a step further by implementing a centralized and automated fluid storage and dispensing system for its metalworking fluids, cleaners and solvents.

Take a look inside PM’s April Digital Edition today.

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