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.
Changes in dimensional sizes are a big concern for parts with tight tolerances. This complicated issue involves many variables. When heat treating is brought into the equation, the picture can become even blurrier.
In “Predicting Size Change from Heat Treatment,” authors Daniel Herring (Heat Treat Doctor from Henning Group Inc.) and Patrick McKenna (Vice President at Nevada Heat Treating Inc.) explain how a heat treater can help a shop prepare for final machining operations by providing a reasonable forecast of how certain variables will affect part size change.
Here is a list of heat treating variables that need to be considered:
Type of process selected (annealing, hardening, nitriding, carburizing, and so on)
High-heat process (anneal, normalize, austenitize), temperature and soak times
Low-heat process (age, temper, stress relief), temperature and soak times
Now that the advantages of cheap labor and shipping are slipping away from China, the country is in a desperate situation, according to a recent article in Forbes. Cash flow problems are holding the Chinese back from changing their entire business model that is based on cheap labor, and companies are finding it easier to shift blame rather than restructure and deal with the real issues.
But that won’t make the road back an easy one and should contribute to the continued re-shoring effort here in the U.S. Author Mark McKay draws a tight parallel between today’s Chinese manufacturers and many of those in the U.S. in the 1980s, and it’s not a positive outlook for the companies that fit the mold. Now seems to be a good time to reinforce the quality of American manufacturing.
Autodesk has announced its intention to acquire Delcam, a supplier of advanced software for the manufacturing industry. The companies offer complementary ranges of software, with Autodesk’s programs for design, engineering and entertainment able to be combined with Delcam strengths in manufacturing.
Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, Delcam has more than 30 offices worldwide and approximately 700 employees. The company’s range of design, manufacturing and inspection software provides automated CAD/CAM solutions for a variety of industries, ranging from automotive and aerospace to footwear and sports equipment.
On completion of the acquisition, Delcam will become a subsidiary of Autodesk. It will maintain its focus on accelerating the growth of its market share in the manufacturing sector, with the added strength that will come from being part of a larger organization. Delcam’s North American customers will continue to be supported by the sales and support staff, experienced engineers and developers located in the Windsor, Ontario, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Fort Washington, Pa., offices.
Commenting on the planned acquisition, Carl Bass, president and chief executive officer of Autodesk, said, “We are taking an important step on our path towards delivering a better manufacturing experience. Together Autodesk and Delcam will help further the development and implementation of technology for digital manufacturing.”
Clive Martell, chief executive officer of Delcam, added, “I am very excited by the opportunities from combining Delcam with Autodesk to create a compelling platform from which to service both companies’ manufacturing clients. The added strength and status that we will gain from being part of the Autodesk Group will benefit our customers, our staff and our sales channel.”
Like links in a chain, each component of a workcell can only be effective when the entire system works together well. A manufacturer in southern Ohio is using an Ethernet-based system to act as a conduit for relaying operational data between the programming software, controller, bar feeder, machine tool and parts unloader.
Early in 2012, Production Machining reported on Nilpeter, a company that manufactures and markets five models of flexographic presses that use a number of high-precision machined parts. This company has achieved outstanding productivity gains by implementing its software-based tool to automate seamless communications among its machining components.
Production Machining’sNovember Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of CNC Single-Spindle and Metalworking Fluids. This month’s cover story takes a look into a shop that is using a new lineup of turning machines to attain more efficient operation for production of high performance race car components. Our other feature article covers the changing role of metalworking fluids as they relate to cost reduction and improved efficiencies.
An in-depth review of the electropolishing process is also covered in the Tech Brief section, along with a look at the features of a high-end CNC. We also take a look at a shop that is using programmable gages to assist in an automated cell that is hard turning a family of parts around the clock.