PM Blog

Make your Customers your Priority

Instead of creating rules that your customers need to follow, it’s important to hire people who have strong customer service skills, according to Todd Palmer, PM’s “About Your Business” contributor. “Customer service isn’t a department—it’s a philosophy. Every decision is made with the customer in mind,” he writes. “With proper training, every employee understands the role he or she plays in the customer experience.”

Todd has a five-point recipe for creating an organization that is focused on the customer experience that he writes about in his column in PM’s August issue, titled “Create a Customer-Focused Culture.” Read the entire article here.  

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Robots Help with Consistency

Last year, I visited a shop in Berea, Ohio, to cover how it has evolved from a traditional screw machine shop to include robotic cells in its material handling process. Standby Screw has been a successful screw machine shop since its founding in 1939. Solving problems has been a key to its long time success.

To help the shop become more consistent and efficient, COO Bill Marcell turned to Absolute Machine Tools for its system integration expertise. Absolute is a certified FANUC robotics integrator.

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By: Bart Bishop 13. July 2017

BMW Orders 100th EcoCFlex in 12 Years

BMW Orders 100th EcoCFlex in 12 Years

Last year, the BMW Group ordered its 100th ECoCFlex cleaning machine from Dürr Ecoclean Inc. since 2005. This was an order of three 3L systems that went online at the Steyr, Austria, engine plant in May 2017. These third-generation flexible robotized cells are used for cleaning and deburring of engine components and have been adapted to suit BMW’s current technical expectations.

The 3L systems include handling technology such as a Scara manipulator, a robot designed for use in cleaning machines and convinces. These systems rely on a single CNC controller to operate the Scara manipulator and the cleaning machine. This simplifies several operations including programming, service and maintenance of the installation.   

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View PM’s July 2017 Digital Edition

Production Machining’s July Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of Workholding and Multitasking Machining. In this month’s cover story, we visit a medical component supplier that is running bar-fed machining centers that include turning capabilities. For our other feature, we cover some new advancements in workholding technology that provide the precision necessary for repeatability from blank to blank.

Turn to our Tech Brief section for our special coverage of Robots and Automation. We look at a robot supplier’s latest software developments designed to further advance robot safety. Our Case in Point goes into a diverse shop that is using a single CAM software package to run its entire lineup of machines, from milling, turning and multitasking to wire EDM.

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By: Michael Guckes 10. July 2017

Production Machining Index: June 2017 - 55.3

Production Machining Index: June 2017 - 55.3

The June index value of 55.3 was almost unchanged from one month ago with strength in Production and new orders being offset by exports and backlogs. June’s total index value was only slightly below the average for the first half of 2017 (56.0). Compared with the first half of 2016 (44.5), the index indicates a significant turnaround has occurred in the production machining industry over the last 18 months from that of modest contraction to stable growth. 

The drivers behind the Production Machining Index’s expansion during the first half of 2017 have included production, new orders and supplier deliveries. Production has been particularly strong through the first half of 2017, recording a six-month average of 61.7. In no other six-month period has Production performed this strongly in at least the last five years. The turnaround in production over the last 18 months has been by all accounts highly impressive. During the first half of 2016, the production index averaged 43.3, the lowest six-month average since at least 2012.

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