With a degree in technical writing and editing, Chris began his career as an assistant editor with Modern Machine Shop, eventually moving into the role of production manager. After leaving the machine tool industry for several years to run his own marketing and web design business, he returned to Gardner in 2005 as associate editor of Production Machining. He has also served as editor of Process Cleaning magazine. Chris is an avid baseball fan (particularly of the Cincinnati Reds), but says he'd still rather watch his kids' sporting events any day.
At the event, 140 attendees gathered with speakers to discuss today’s manufacturing challenges and were joined by more than 50 Worcester Technical High School students at Keynote Speaker Jeremy Bout’s presentation. Jeremy Bout, producer and host of Edge Factor (a series that highlights the importance and excitement of modern manufacturing) spoke about the many career opportunities available to young and talented students.
Bout also spoke about his new initiative called Launchpoint, a fast-paced, high-impact 15-episode video series that will feature success stories from recent graduates offering unique insights on various educational and career pathways that students can consider as they launch their own careers in manufacturing. “For students and their parents to make manufacturing their career of choice, they need to know the incredible opportunities in front of them. We believe this new series will provide the footsteps for them to follow and the pathways to emulate for success in the manufacturing field,” states Bout.
The MACWIC Technical Education Conference brings employers and industry technical resources, in addition to manufacturing, education and public leaders together to address key manufacturing workforce issues and to promote the development of workforce training programs, working with vocational-technical education within the state of Massachusetts. Partnerships are fostered with business and industry in the training and retraining of the Massachusetts workforce.
Methods Machine Tools has provided new machines to Ivy Tech Community College’s Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (OAMTC) in Warsaw, Ind. The company is donating the use of a Feeler VMP-580 CNC vertical machining center and a Feeler HT30-Y turning center during the 2012-2013 academic year, to be part of the curriculum of the Advanced Manufacturing program and the Orthopedic Quality Standards and Technical Skills certificate program. Methods intends to replace the machines with the latest models in subsequent academic years.
According to Ivy Tech North Central Chancellor Thomas Coley, “This generous donation from Methods ensures that Ivy Tech students will always be training on the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment available. Coursework and training at the OAMTC already meets rigorous standards, and students will now have the added value of experience on always-current machines. Employers who hire our graduates will also see the benefit of new employees who have a wider range of machine-related experience.”
"One of the key issues facing our industry is the shortage of skilled, qualified machinists," Dale Hedberg, Feeler product manager at Methods, explained. "Through the years, we have partnered with different technical schools, colleges, and universities across the country to help train the workforce. The students get a great education on high-tech equipment, the industry gets trained people, and students leaving here know our equipment."
The Feeler HT30-Y turning center features linear guideways on the X and Z-axis, 30° slant bed construction and a Fanuc 18i-TD control. It offers a 3,500-rpm, 30-hp spindle with a hydraulic chuck diameter of 10" (254 mm) and a bar capacity of 3" (78 mm). X-axis travel is 7" + 3.2" (178 mm + 82 mm), Y-axis travel is 3.9” and +/- 2” (100 mm +/- 50 mm), and Z-axis travel is 31.3" (795 mm). It also includes a 12-station turret and offers a maximum turning diameter of 14" (356 mm) and a maximum turning length of 27.75" (705 mm).
The Feeler VMP-580 machine features a 10,000-rpm spindle with 15 hp, linear guideways on X- and Y-axes and boxways on the Z-axis. X-axis travels range from 23” to 43” (580 to 1,100 mm), Y-axis travels range from 16.5” to 24” (420 to 610 mm) and Z-axis travels are from 20” to 23.6” (510 to 600 mm). The VMP-580 also provides a 24-tool automatic tool changer and a standard Fanuc 0i-MD control.
Studer accepts the Intec Prize 2013: Hansueli Zaugg, Studer area sales manager (2nd from left), Peter Stucki, Studer area sales manager (3rd from left) and Christian Grabasch, Studer service technician (4th from left).
The Intec Prize, awarded at the intec trade fair for manufacturing, tool and special-purpose machine construction (Liepzig, Germany), was recently given to Fritz Studer AG. The prize recognizes outstanding results in product development, innovation, continuity in market development and other extraordinary achievements, and the award winner must be nominated. Studer won in the category of companies with more than 100 employees.
This award specifically recognizes StuderTechnology software, which automatically determines the most important process-relevant influencing variables and the relevant values for each machining step in internal and external cylindrical grinding. The software is designed to simplify the operation of cylindrical grinding machines by reducing operator involvement and to achieve better results in combination with shorter setup and machining times.
Online manufacturing marketplace, MFG.com, recently released the results of its MFGWatch survey targeting 8,840 sourcing professionals throughout North America. Respondents ranged from an array of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial equipment, consumer products and textiles. Overall, the results report that 2013 is going to be a year of growth, with many product development companies expecting to make new technology investments and expand their supplier base.
According to a statement from MFG.com, “With 76 percent of survey respondents expecting to spend the same or more on contract manufacturing services this year, manufacturers can look positively at the future.” Additionally, more than half of the participants reported that they expanded their supply chain in 2012, and 80 percent expect to maintain or expand their supply chain in 2013.
The survey indicates that quality of products is by far the leading criteria for selecting a new supplier (84 percent of respondents). Overall cost is also a major factor, but falls in second by 28 percent. This result, combined with the responses to a reshoring question in the survey, indicates that many companies are looking into supply chain alternatives that don’t require them to compromise on product quality in order to reduce costs.
This really cool video, in which Destin from Smarter Every Day explains the scientific process of glass hardening when it is cooled quickly, reminded me of the effects work hardening has in metalworking operations. The video demonstrates (with high speed, slow motion footage) how putting glass that is in a molten state into cold water forms what is referred to as Prince Rupert’s Drop—a tadpole-shaped formation that can withstand a blow from a hammer on the bulb end, but becomes explosive with only slight damage to the tail end.
As with the bulb portion of the glass, metals are also strengthened as they are hardened. But this is not necessarily a desired effect. Often during machining, early passes of the cutting tool can harden the surface of the workpiece to the point that the tool is not equipped to cut the material effectively in later passes. Some alloys are more likely to harden than others, and shops need to be prepared to handle the situation. The article “Machining Exotics” details how a shop can adjust to the challenges of smaller-run parts that use difficult to machine materials, including the challenges brought on by work hardening. “Considerations for Machining Exotics” helps to define exotic materials through specification of their excellent wear characteristics, durability and service life in high heat, extreme cold or corrosive environments. But this article also notes additional undesirable effects of work hardening.