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.
The KM4X spindle connection. High clamping forces are need in the machining of high strength alloys.
These two signed a licensing agreement under which Sumitomo Electric will provide and support Kennametal’s KM4X spindle connection to its customers globally. It gives Sumitomo Electric a tool clamping system that is considered among the most robust for stiffness and bending load capacity, the company says.
For Kennametal, according to John Tucker, V.P. and president of the company’s industrial business segment, “Having an innovative partner such as Sumitomo Electric supply the KM4X connection will create a powerful production advantage for manufacturing companies around the world.” So it’s a good deal for Kennametal and a good deal for Sumitomo Electric: Win, Win!
In 1963, Okuma introduced its first CNC: The OSP. OSP stands for Okuma sampling path, which emphasized the innovation of creating a digital representation of a machine tool’s cutting path.
Today, the descendants of that first CNC represent the continuous development of the company’s commitment to mechatronics, the blending of mechanical and electrical systems into a seamless communication between the machine tool and its control.
From December 10-12, the newest OSP generation, the P300, and the machines it runs will be on display at Okuma America’s Technology Showcase event held at the company’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Click here for full details and to register for the show.
In October, I attended the PMPA’s annual meeting in San Diego. It’s always a highlight of the year because the lineup of topics and the quality of the presenters is so good. This year was special because Darlene Miller was elected president of the organization, the first female to hold that position.
One of the cool things about these meetings is the downtime we have to meet and talk with members about their businesses and the market and life and all sorts of things. So I was sitting on the patio of the Hotel del Coronado with a couple of members drinking a beer and talking about things on a beautiful San Diego afternoon when this lady with a hawk on her wrist came up. Sounds like a joke, or we had too many beers, but neither was true.
The young lady strolled by our table and, naturally curious, we asked why she had a hawk on her wrist. She proceeded to educate us about birds of prey and their training and feeding and why she was wandering around the hotel with this beautiful bird.
She works for a company that trains birds of prey to keep unwanted birds away. Our hotel is one of her clients, and the hawk’s job, technically it is a Harris hawk, is to keep seagulls from swarming the guests as they eat. Airports also hire her company, I was glad to hear.
Interestingly, her hawk is trained not to kill the seagulls, although it could, but only to scare and scatter them. Made sense to me since bloody bird parts raining on the guests might offend some. Remarkably, it only takes a couple of weeks to train one of these birds.
So, in addition to the excellent speaker’s topics, I took something most unexpected away from my PMPA meeting. Showing up is the secret of life and learning.
Darlene Miller is the owner and CEO of Permac Industries. Permac has earned numerous awards and certified to ISO 9001-2008, ISO 13485 and AS 9100 compliant. The company was recognized as the “U.S. Chamber Small Business of the Year” in 2008.
At the recently concluded PMPA annual meeting in San Diego, the organization named Darlene Miller, president of and CEO of Permac Industries (Burnsville, Minn.) as its new president. Darlene is the first female to be named president of the association and will head the association’s board of directors.
Through the years, she has been a tireless and effective advocate for the precision machined products industry carrying the message as a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. She also co-chaired the High Tech Education subgroup, where she created an advanced manufacturing skills training program called Right Skills Now, which has been rolled out to technical and trade schools across the United States.
We all know that matching worker skill with employers needs is one of the critical issues facing our industry and manufacturing in general, and Darlene has been on the front line trying to reconcile this issue. “Darlene has been the leading voice in our industry, touting careers in manufacturing and the need to further develop the next generation of precision machinists, says PMPA Executive Director Mike Kobylka. “I look forward to working with Darlene in the coming year as she serves as the association’s president.”
In addition to her role as PMPA president, Ms. Miller serves as a member of numerous boards, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive committee and board of directors, U.S. Chamber Commerce chair of the Council on Small Business, St. Catherine’s STEM advisory board, National Visiting Committee member of the 360º Manufacturing Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Learning Blade advisory board, and Federated Insurance advisory board.
Throughout the shop floor, knowledgeable technicians were on hand to explain the applications being run off and answer questions.
Early in October, rotary transfer machine builder, Hydromat, hosted an annual open house at its St. Louis headquarters. This year’s theme was Oktoberfest, and the response from customers and distributors was quite strong. Who doesn’t like brats, potato salad and beer?
I attended it and was impressed with the number of machines on the runoff assembly floor. These are built to order, so each has an owner. Many were in the final stages of completion and scheduled to ship soon, which makes more floor space for the next machine.
To give you a little flavor (pun intended) of this event, I asked my contact marketing manager at Hydromat, Kevin Shults, to send me some of the photos he took, so we could cobble together a slideshow. Click here to see some of the goings on at the open house.