Chris Koepfer

Chris Koepfer has been involved in metalworking for 30 years. His first 14 were in the machine tool group at Cincinnati Milacron where he honed his technical writing skills in turning, machining and grinding before joining Modern Machine Shop in 1992 as an associate editor. In 2001, he helped found MMS’ sister publication Production Machining, which speaks to the precision machined parts segment of the industry. Chris is graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, as are three of his four children, and an XU basketball fan—which can be as daunting as working in metalworking, he says.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 18. April 2014

Delcam Wins Award for Vortex Toolpath Software

Steve Finn, managing director of DMG Mori (left), presents the Award to Steve Creron, general manager of Delcam UK , and Delcam Marketing Manager Peter Dickin, watched by compère Marcus Brigstocke

Delcam’s high efficiency roughing strategy, called Vortex, has been awarded the winner in CAD/CAM category at the MWP Advanced Manufacturing Awards held in England as part of the MACH 2014 exhibition held in early April. According to the judge’s comments, “The winner has developed a method of controlling the cutting tool’s angle of engagement, which optimizes tool speed, tool life and nets a faster overall cycle time.”

The company says the Vortex strategy gives the fast, safe metal removal from solid carbide tooling, in particular, designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface. It can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining. It gives benefits when machining all types of materials, including titanium, tool steel and alloys such as Inconel.

Every shop is looking for more efficient metal removal methods, and this programming systems holds the promise of helping them improve on current machining schemes. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 11. April 2014

Leadership Council Honors Reshoring Initiative

While it’s not an Academy Award, it is a big deal for manufacturing. The Reshoring Initiative led by founder Harry Moser was honored recently by Frost & Sullivan’s Leadership Council in the category of Industry Advocacy.

For the past decade, these awards have acknowledged companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Mr. Moser’s initiative is recognized for its effort to bring well paying jobs back to the United States from other markets and helps companies more accurately access the total cost of off-shoring versus domestic manufacturing.

The initiative’s goal is to shift collective thinking among manufacturers from an attitude that offshoring is less expensive and instead educate them on the idea total cost of ownership, which includes many hidden costs in offshoring manufacturing. The program has seen good success.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 4. April 2014

Open House at ZPS America

It’s an annual event that promises to be well worth the time to stop by and see. From April 7-10, ZPS America is opening its doors to customers and visitors in the company’s Indianapolis headquarters. On display will be the latest developments in CNC and cam multi-spindle machine technology in both six- and eight-spindle models.

In addition, the company’s 12-axis CNC Swiss machine will demonstrate applications for the automotive fuel injection industry. Attachment companies such as Autor and IMG will show their capabilities along with vendors supplying quick-change, high precision standard and form tools.

New to the ZPS stable is the Roll Eco Green solvent parts degreaser and inspection line for cleanroom applications, which will be on display at the open house. Don’t miss this event to see CNC and cam multi-spindle machines, CNC Swiss and parts degreasing technology. Register for the event at You might even win a ride on a helicopter. Check it out.  

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 28. March 2014

The Circle of Carbide

As part of its North American Recycling Program, Seco provides manufacturers with appropriate sized containers and collects them when full​.

The program started in Europe and is now being implemented in North America. We’re talking about Seco’s carbide recycling program. As much as 95 percent of materials in typical carbide inserts can be recovered and reused to make more for long-term sustainability of these critical metalworking tools.

Some of the key elements in the manufacture of carbide inserts, such as tungsten, are experiencing global demand pressures. This program is designed to ease some of those pressures. According to Seco, last year the company collected and processed 125,919 pounds of used carbide inserts in the North American recycling program.

Click here to find out more about the program. Seco will provide containers and pickup to manufacturers that sign up for the program. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 21. March 2014

Manufacturing is Different


Shopping for capital equipment is a different exercise than picking groceries. Everybody in manufacturing knows that. That said, when it is time to replace, upgrade or research machines tools, software and other necessities for successful manufacturing, where is a good place to start?

That’s one of the prime reasons Production Machining exists as a magazine and online. You can search through Google, but Google doesn't know exactly what you are looking for. A trade magazine can save you time by prequalifying the kinds of products and services you, as a reader, have told us you use.

In other words, we do much of the research for you. If you’re looking for good, specific suppliers of the kinds of materials you come to PM to learn more about, use the mouse to check out our Suppliers database. Click here to check it out. 

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