PM Blog

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 24. November 2016


How did Thanksgiving get here so soon? It seems to me that each year the celebration comes faster and faster. It is my favorite holiday, but sometimes it seems to occur monthly rather than annually. On the other hand, that may be a good thing—more frequently giving thanks for our blessings. Isn’t that the way it should be?

To our readers, advertisers, channel partners, we, the staff of Production Machining, wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the support and loyalty of our constituents and ask for that to continue into 2017. We promise to work hard to bring you information that is useful and germane. 

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The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) Indiana/Southern Ohio Chapter meeting on November 15 covered “All Things Threading.” The event was hosted at the Cincinnati location of PMPA technical member, Technical Equipment (a division of Morris Group Inc.), a distributor of advanced machine tools and related technology.

After a brief reception, Greg Hartman and Flawio Pelosato, from LMT-Tools (Fette) kicked off the presentations with a design overview and a practical troubleshooting review on thread rolling. Their “how to make it work” approach included discussion about how material selection and properties, blank design, tooling, feeds and speeds, and gaging all impact successful fabrication of rolled threads. They also covered new products developed for thread rolling lead-free brass.

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A while ago, I traveled to Turin, Italy, to visit Comau Robotics, the manufacturer of a variety of robots that is based in that city. I was there to report on the launch of what was then the company’s newest model, the Racer 999 (click here to see the robot in action). Known for its huge robots that lift entire car chassis in automotive assembly plants such as Maserati—which we were able to visit and tour—the company now offers the Racer 999, a smaller robot for applications where speed and agility are called for in tighter spaces. While there I had the pleasure of meeting Tobias Daniel, head of sales and marketing, who introduced the robot to the members of the trade press who had gathered there from around the world.

I was pleased when Mr. Daniel agreed to write our Last Word column in the November 2016 issue of the magazine. Titled “Developments in the Man-Machine Connection,” he describes the advent of collaborative robots, or “cobots,” which are designed to work alongside human beings on the production line, thanks to features such as an automatic shut-off when any foreign object draws near. We appreciate his insights and wanted to share them with you. Also, read this column on the subject by Chris Felix.

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AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology is partnering with NIMS, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, to support expansion of registered apprenticeships within manufacturing. AMT joins other trade associations (listed below) to support access to apprenticeships and providing assistance to members in developing new programs designed to reach talent pools that may be overlooked.

Bringing these trade associations together is an aggregated effort to give their members access to tools and resources to develop customized registered apprenticeship programs within their organizations. The programs combine on-the-job training with job-related classroom instruction and are designed to meet state and national apprenticeship agency requirements.

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Okuma America Corp. and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) gave high school students a behind–the-scenes tour of the race facility in Concord, North Carolina, while discussing CNC machining technologies and careers. The two joined forces to inspire the next generation of manufacturers by hosting a Manufacturing Day event at CGR on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. The event, held in conjunction with the annual national Manufacturing Day celebration, gave local high school students the opportunity to tour CGR’s facility and learn how CNC machining and modern manufacturing play an important role in racing as well as a number of other industries.

Students toured the machine shop, sub assembly, heavy fab and final assembly departments and spoke with several professionals in their respective areas of expertise. They were educated on various roles and careers and the education level and experience needed to obtain those jobs as engineers, machine tool operators, and programmers.

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