Posted by: Lori Beckman 22. June 2015

Mastercam Becomes WorldSkills CAM Partner


The CAM software that competitors in the upcoming WorldSkills 2015 competition have been practicing on for months, honing their programming skills, has become the official software for the machining competitions there. Mastercam will be used in the four machining competitions, including CNC Turning, CNC Milling, Plastic Die Engineering, and the Manufacturing Team Challenge. The Manufacturing Challenge requires the teams to use Mastercam to produce parts on lathe and milling machines that may be assembled together to produce a workable product.

CNC Software Inc. provides Mastercam free of charge to WorldSkills competitors for the year leading up to the competition. 

WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 is the year’s largest international skills competition with young people from across the globe competing to be the best of the best in their chosen skill. The competition takes place at Anhembi Parque, São Paulo, Brazil, from August 11-16. Billed as the “Olympics of the skilled trades,” competitors will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals to take back to their respective countries.

CNC Software is active in this competition at a grassroots level, helping the contestants around the world with software to prepare for the event. This is done in conjunction with the local Mastercam resellers to get them involved with future engineers and machinists. 


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 19. June 2015

Unique CT Scanner for Metrology Unveiled in Cincinnati

Demonstrations of a new GE CT scanner were a highlight of the Exact Open House at the company’s new technical center in Cincinnati. 

At a recent open house and ribbon cutting ceremony, Exact Metrology opened its new facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the company’s second field technology center with the other located in Milwaukee.

These centers offer 3D scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. A highlight of the Cincinnati opening was the company’s new GE CT scanner. It’s the first such industrial scanner applied in North America to metrology.

Like its medical counterpart, the scanner is able to “see” inside workpieces to determine if any flaws from the manufacturing process exist. Co-president, Steve Young, believes this technology will be applied to reverse engineering and will be especially useful in measurement of additive manufactured parts. “AM can and does create interior features that can only be verified and measured with a scanning system like this,” he says.

Click here to learn more about the metrology services and equipment available from Exact. 

Posted by: Chris Felix 17. June 2015

June 2015 PM Digital Issue Now Available


The digital June issue of Production Machining is now available, with emphasis topics of Workholding and Multitasking Machines. For our cover story, we examine the workholding options that are available for backworking and explain how an understanding of these options can help a shop make better decisions when specifying how to hold parts for op. 20. Our second feature looks at a sometimes overlooked multitasking option—namely, the combination of grinding and turning.

Our Tech Brief this month details ways to optimize the deburring process to help meet today’s tighter finish requirements. In our Case in Point, we visit a shop that implemented a dimensional measurement vision system that provides easy programming and operation, efficiency, and the ability to hold tight tolerances.

Be sure to check out our digital June issue today.

Posted by: Steve Kline, Jr. 15. June 2015

May Rate of Contraction Unchanged


With a reading of 48.3, the Gardner Business Index showed that the production machining industry contracted at a rate virtually identical to the previous month. April and May have been the industry’s worst performing months since September 2013. Compared with 1 year ago, the index contracted 13 percent. This was the fifth straight month of contraction and the fastest rate of contraction month over month since March 2013. On an annual basis, the industry was still growing in May, but that will likely change in June.

New orders have contracted for 2 months after a surge in new orders in February and March. Production was unchanged in May, which was the first month production did not grow since December 2013. Backlogs continued to contract at a fairly significant rate. Compared with 1 year ago, backlogs have contracted for 8 consecutive months. The overall trend shows that capacity utilization will continue to grow at a slower rate in future months. Employment had a modest gain in May. The increase was significantly below almost every month since January last year. Exports continued to contract, but the rate of contraction has been slowing somewhat since October. 

Material prices have increased each of the previous 2 months. However, the rate of increase was still the lowest in almost the last 3 years. Prices received were unchanged from th previous month. Over the last year, the rate of increase in material prices has fallen sharply while the change in prices received has remained relatively steady. Therefore, the net effect of material prices to prices received has been positive for precision machining companies. The future business expectations index has fallen significantly the previous 2 months. In May it was at its lowest level since September 2013. The current level was almost 10 percent below the average level of the last 4-plus years.

Plants with 100-249 employees contracted for the first time since November. The drop in the index was very sharp, falling to 42.9 from 55.1. Facilities with 50-99 employees continued to see strong growth as their index has been close to 60 since October. Shops with 20-49 employees contracted for the first time in 4 months. And, the smallest shops, those with fewer than 20 employees, remained mired in contraction.

The Southeast broke out of its contraction to become the fastest growing region in May. The West grew almost as fast as the Southeast and grew for the fourth time in the previous 6 months. The Northeast was the only other region to grow in May, and it has grown 5 of the previous 7 months. Both the North Central – East and North Central – West contracted in May after growing every other month this year.

Future capital spending plans improved noticeably in May after getting pummeled the previous 4 months. In May, spending plans increased almost 25 percent compared with 1 year ago. Also, spending plans were above the historical average for the first time since December. However, the annual rate of change contracted for the second month and will likely contract for another quarter or two. 


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 12. June 2015

Good Day for Mazak and Team Penske at Indy 500

Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya.  

Mazak Corporation, a Penske Racing technical sponsor, congratulates Team Penske and driver Juan Pablo Montoya on their outstanding performances at this year’s Indy 500 on May 24. Montoya took the checkered flag, and his win marks a record-setting 16th victory at the Indy 500 for Team Penske.

This year’s Indy 500 win is the second for Montoya, and it joins the many highlights of his second season driving the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. Completing the 1-2 Team Penske punch in Indianapolis, Will Power in the Team Penske No. 1 Verizon Chevy crossed the finish line just 0.1046 of a second behind Montoya to clench second place. And Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, three-time Indy 500 winner in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevy, and Simon Pagenaud, in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske car, both finished strong within the top 10 of the field. 

Roger Penske’s Penske Racing is the winningest team in Indy 500 history and relies on Mazak machine tool technology. With the equipment, the team produces highly engineered components that must quickly go from design to the racetrack and give the team a competitive advantage.

Mazak has been a Penske Racing sponsor since 1994, and the Mazak logo can be seen on all of the IndyCar mirrors, as well as on the NASCAR Series cars. Click here to learn more about Mazak and Team Penske. 

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