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 29. August 2014

Mastercam is in the Cloud


CNC Software Inc., developers of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has partnered with Machining Cloud GmbH to provide Mastercam users direct access to the cutting tool product data available on the cloud. The idea is to reduce the frustration and time associated with obtaining the tooling information needed for their programming, simulation and other shopfloor activities.

Machining Cloud's mission is to provide the manufacturing community a single source of access to complete and up-to-date product data from the leading manufacturers of cutting tools, machine tools and workholding. Through the Machining Cloud tablet and desktop apps, Mastercam users will have access to a rich set of software features, including cutting tool selector, configurator and advisor. Upon completion of the interface, the cutting tool manufacturers’ descriptive, usage and geometric information, and application knowledge will be readily available for users to directly apply to their Mastercam system.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 22. August 2014

VIDEO: A Field Trip to the Future

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Students are important to our industry and most welcome to attend North America’s largest manufacturing show. However, for those students who cannot attend in person, which is by far the better choice, there is an alternative way to at least get a feel for this year’s edition. Developed by educators and manufacturing industry experts, “Technology Applied” is a virtual field trip that connects academic courses to development of important products.

The interactive web broadcast, from the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), September 8-13 in Chicago, will show students why math and science matters, and how the courses they take today can be applied in productive and rewarding future careers.

This 30 minute virtual field trip runs in three different episodes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during IMTS week, offering diverse aspects of the trade show experience to teachers and their classrooms. Students will get to explore some of the most groundbreaking and fascinating areas of the today’s – and tomorrow’s – applied technology. Topics include 3D additive printing for aerospace manufacturing, helicopter engineering and race car technology.

According to JoAnn Mitchell, senior project leader of Sandvik Coromant, “Students can experience how manufacturing plays a key role in their everyday lives and see the possibilities it can offer. People can have a career in manufacturing that literally makes a difference in how we live.”

The broadcast is appropriate for students in grades 5-12, college and tech school. Teachers can register free of charge for the virtual field trip here.

The field trip is organized by Sandvik Coromant and supported by the Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), Haas, Fanuc, DMG Mori Seiki, Okuma, Hurco, Doosan, Mastercam, Koma Precision and Gardner Business Media.

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 15. August 2014

Hiring Veterans Works for Bucci

Military veteran employees at Bucci Industries. 

Bucci Industries USA is probably best known for its Iemca brand of bar feeders, bar loaders and gantry loaders, which are installed in shops across the country. Under its Giuliani brand, the company serves automotive, hydraulic and lock-making sectors with a line of high volume multi-spindle, multi-axis and rotary transfer machines. The Italian builder also participates in assembly, testing and automation through its Sinteco line. Click here to learn more.

However, an interesting aspect to this North Carolina company came to my attention recently, and I wanted to share it with you. Whether by accident or by plan, it doesn’t really matter: 40 percent of Bucci’s employees are veterans of the U.S. military.

According to Cory Miller, operations manager and a veteran himself, the company may staff the highest percentage of military veterans in the industry. The team is comprised of former Army, Navy and Marine vets, some of whom are still active in the reserves. These veterans serve in company management, engineering and field service. 

The gentlemen pictured will be working in Bucci’s booth S-8270 during IMTS. If you’re attending the show, perhaps take a minute to thank these men for their service to the country and the industry.  

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 8. August 2014

Whet Your Appetite

PM's August IMTS issue.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 8 months then you know that IMTS 2014 starts in Chicago on September 8. It’s the biggest manufacturing "ta da" in North America.

This is the 30th edition of the biennial get together, and this year promises to be a record setter. More than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space will house 1,900 companies who, in turn, will bring 15,000 machines, controls, components and other cool stuff for manufacturers.

Not everyone can attend this extravaganza, which is unfortunate. In lieu of visiting the show, which I recommend highly, there are ways to give you a taste of IMTS from the comfort of your chair. Check out Production Machining’s August issue digital edition and the IMTS show coverage (page 49). To look at Modern Machine Shop’s IMTS coverage, click here. Neither is as good as being there, but somebody has to mind the store. 

Posted by: Chris Koepfer 1. August 2014

Free CAM Software Test Drive


At no cost and zero risk, manufacturers can now take Edgecam Workflow from Vero Software for a free test drive before deciding if the company’s CAM system can improve their business processes.

This test drive offers manufacturers who are new to CAM, or considering their future CAM requirements, the opportunity to thoroughly test whether it makes a difference and improves their business. They can use it to program their parts and generate NC code to see how Edgecam Workflow will work for them.

Once the test drive begins, manufacturers download Edgecam, use the tutorials provided, and attend a free training class.

Initially, the test drive installation will be in “homework mode,” which is a fully functioning system without the capability of generating CNC code. Once having attended the training course with their local Edgecam supplier, users can then switch to an evaluation Edgecam Essential System, either for milling or turning, which permits the creation of CNC programs.

Most Edgecam test drives will last between 1 and 4 months, before the manufacturer has to either stop using Edgecam Workflow or choose to invest and continue using the software. It might be worth a try. 

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