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 11. February 2016

Gosiger High Volume Partners with Schϋtte Multi-Spindle Machines

Schϋtte’s line of multi-spindle machines are being sold through Gosiger High Volume. ​

Manufacturing technology provider, Dayton, Ohio-based Gosiger High Volume, has partnered with German multi-spindle builder Schϋtte to serve customers in the U.S. and Canada in an arrangement that supports the sales efforts of Schϋtte. Machine sales will originate from Gosiger’s Dayton headquarters while service and service parts will be based in Schϋtte USA’s Jackson, Michigan, headquarters.

According to Gosiger High Volume President Mark Walker, “As we continue to support the Euroturn line with service and parts, the addition of Schϋtte’s six- and eight-spindle machines provides customers an opportunity to upgrade to the latest multi-spindle technology. It also complements the hybrid multi-spindle line, Shimada, which Gosiger imports from Japan.” 

Click here read more about Schϋtte’s CNC multi-spindle machines.  


Posted by: Chris Koepfer 5. February 2016

Sandvik Coromant Acquires Process Control and Monitoring Solutions Supplier



Strengthening its offering in the digital manufacturing arena, Sandvik Coromant has acquired German (Aachen) based Promotec GmbH. Promotec is a solutions supplier for monitoring and process control for production machines.

According to Sandvik Coromant, the acquisition is a step in the company’s long-term strategy to develop solutions in the burgeoning field of digital manufacturing that includes the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. The addition of monitoring and process control dovetails with Sandvik’s existing product lines and will position the company to better participate in digital manufacturing, which is growing. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 29. January 2016

A Good Year for NIMS Means a Good Year for Us



NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) posted its most successful year in 2015. The organization awarded a record number of credentials to individuals seeking to enter or advance in manufacturing jobs.

This is good news for the manufacturing community, which is desperately seeking skilled workers to fill vacant positions across the spectrum of manufacturing. Last year, NIMS issued 21,420 industry-recognized credentials, with 18,901 of them issued in the United States, a 20 percent increase over 2014.

Granted, these numbers are a drop in the bucket compared with the demand, but what is encouraging is the trend line seems to be moving upwards. “These jobs will require more advanced skills, particularly around the use of technology, so training candidates to industry standards is imperative,” says Jim Wall, executive director at NIMS. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 22. January 2016

Robot Aids Additive Research


This six axes robot is being used by Delcam at its research facility to explore cold metal transfer applications in additive manufacturing.

Delcam has added an ABB robot fitted with a Fronius cold metal transfer welding head to the range of manufacturing equipment at its Birmingham, England, site. The new unit will be used mainly for research in robot programming for metal additive manufacturing using the company’s PowerMILL Robot software.

Cold metal transfer welding was initially developed by Fronius to join materials with different properties, in particular for welding aluminium to steel. The process uses high frequency movement of the wire to give a clean, spatter-free material transfer. It provides a stable, reproducible deposition of material that Delcam believes should have great potential in metal additive manufacturing.

The robot arm offers six axes of movement, with an additional two axes, tilt and rotation, provided by the table holding the material. This additional flexibility allows parts to be oriented into the optimum position as they are being built, so enabling complex shapes to be created with less need for extra support structures.

While making it possible to program robots for additive manufacturing, the software can be used for tool-to-part applications, especially for machining large parts, such as composite panels that need to be trimmed, or for part-to-tool applications, such as grinding or polishing. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 14. January 2016

Open the Doors and Let Them In


I recently read about PTG’s (Precision Technology Group) efforts to integrate graduate students from the University of Manchester (England) to experience real world working conditions at the company’s headquarters at Milnrow. The aim is for Masters of Science (MSc) students in the School of Business to be equipped with academic knowledge and practical skills to help them as effective business consultants in a global context.

MSc and business analysis students spend up to 12 weeks working as external consultants at PTG’s Milnrow headquarters. As we’ve reported many times, manufacturing is on its own to help train and educate the next generation of skilled workers, and this program is an example of how companies are coping with the shortage.

In the case of this program, students and the PTG benefit from the exchange of knowledge between the company and the academics the students bring to the party. It’s a win-win scenario for both.

According to PTG, it is dedicated to the advancement of machine tool technologies, graduate skills and apprentice training. Working in concert with academia, this program is an example that can play out in many markets around the world. Manufacturing skills shortages are a global problem. 

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