PM Blog

The Best Way to Learn about Metalworking is Immersion

As the newest addition to Production Machining magazine, it’s easy to feel in over your head. I’ve been an assistant editor for a month now, and much of that time has been spent wrapping my brain around all the concepts and terminology. With a background primarily in writing and editing and not in the metalworking, terms like precision turning and Swiss-type lathe were Greek to me. And as everyone knows, the best way to learn a new language is to be immersed in it.

PM’s answer to that is go directly to the source, in this case local shop Positrol Workholding. The company uses a proprietary six-step process to analyze workholding challenges and recommend a comprehensive solution to suit a manufacturing operation, with chucks as their specialty. Accompanied by Kent Luciano, Gardner’s regional vice president and associate publisher, and sales associate Maalik Bomar, and I was very pleased to get a tour behind the scenes from Positrol’s Vice President of Sales Eric S. Weber.

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View PM’s August 2017 Digital Edition

Production Machining’s August Digital Edition is now available. This issue features an emphasis topic of CNC Machine Controls, for which we take an in-depth look at one machine tool builder’s operating system designed to address current and future digital manufacturing requirements.

For our Parts Cleaning emphasis, we review a new approach to solvent cleaning and how this effective cleaning method can still be safely used. We also provide a final analysis of the Parts Cleaning Expo (PCx 2017), from the conference sessions to the show floor.

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In only a year, Toolcraft LLC had evolved from being a manual shop to running a sophisticated production cell. Owner Steve Meyer admits he is not yet a “full blown” CNC guy, in the article “Taking a Big Step.” However, in stepping up to the plate and investing in the Okuma cell, he demonstrates that sometimes change is necessary.

With the cell operating one shift, and with Gosiger’s resources at hand, this cell can be tooled for virtually any new or old job Mr. Meyer chooses to produce, according to the article. “Where would we find someone to manually load these two lathes continuously,” Mr. Meyer says. “Automation is a no-brainer for this job.”

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Multi-Spindles Can be Used for Low Volume, Too

A couple of years ago, I was on an editorial trip to England, which is among my favorite places to visit. I made several stops to visit manufacturers, attended an aerospace conference in Sheffield and was able to visit my son who was living in London at the time. All in all, it was a good trip.

One of the stops I made was a visit to Wickman, which is located in Coventry. My host was Chris Barret who is managing director of the company’s U.K. operations. As luck would have it, they were finishing up a runoff for an interesting application that used the multi-spindle capability of the machine in a counterintuitive way.

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Seco Tools Partners with University for Engineering Internship Program

Seco Tools, LLC has partnered with Ferris State University (FSU) in Big Rapids, Michigan, to offer local area engineering students an opportunity to participate in a multi-year internship program at Seco. The program invites the top three engineering applicants to participate for an initial first-year internship. Then, based on their interest and performance, the students are potentially asked back for a second year. Once a student graduates from the program, Seco may present an offer of employment at one of the company’s several U.S. locations.

Under the guidance of seasoned mentors, Seco interns experience a combination of classroom training and real-world business experience while earning their degree at FSU. The first-year interns take part in technical training and the development of custom tooling. They also learn to operate machines and accompany Seco applications specialists on outside customer calls. All these facets of the program ensure students receive a comprehensive overview of all their potential areas of interest.

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