Lori Beckman

Lori has been working “behind the scenes” of Production Machining since 2003, writing and editing the Products, News and Case in Point sections of the magazine, editing other staff members’ articles, and more recently, writing a column for PM’s e-newsletter, Inbox Insights. She began her journalism career in the trucking industry, writing technical articles for two trade publications. She has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 21. July 2014

Florida Covets Mastercam Certification


Last month, more than 400 students were certified in Mastercam CAD/CAM software in the Broward and Dade Counties in Florida. In that state, Mastercam is on the recognized list for funding, therefore, schools can be reimbursed for each student who earns an industrial certification.

"This is a big deal because of the amount of students that are becoming certified," says Dustin Spieth in the Mastercam's corporate educational office, who travels to Florida each year to administer the certification program.

While in Florida, Dustin conducts a class to teach new instructors the certification program and also shows experienced instructors any new changes to the certification program.

Mastercam certification is a rigorous set of knowledge-based and practical tests that demonstrates a programmer's ability to work effectively with CAM software, overcome common issues facing today’s shops, and produce high quality finished parts. There are two certification levels: Associate Level and Professional Level. Associate Level is comprehensive testing based on the latest technologies, while Professional Level includes the comprehensive testing combined with a practical application component.

Posted by: Lori Beckman 14. July 2014

White Paper Describes Preventing Chatter on CNC Lathes

Okuma's VSST allows users to cut threads without chatter.

Eliminating harmonics, which can produce tool chatter or poor surface finish, is critical for maximizing CNC lathe productivity. Harmonic Spindle Speed Control (HSSC) and Variable Spindle Speed Threading (VSST) are functions built into Okuma’s Thinc-OSP CNC control that are harmonics problem solvers. HSSC and VSST are particularly useful when machining parts with high L/D ratios, thin-walled parts or thin-walled parts with threads.

Avoiding scrap caused by harmonic-induced vibration can be a challenge using conventional solutions. HSSC and VSST functions on an Okuma CNC lathe make it easier to achieve consistent surface finishes on parts, the company says.

Okuma’s HSSC and VSST is described in the company’s white paper

Posted by: Lori Beckman 30. June 2014

Putting your Shop on a Diet: How to Become Lean

 Keeping inspection close to machining prevents quality from becoming a bottleneck.

There are strategies involved in achieving lean for a shop, but like going on a diet, lean doesn’t happen overnight and it takes some work on your part to get your shop in shape. In "Tips to Lean on for Becoming Lean," I’ve compiled some tips on how to turn a shop lean, and I’ve included links to several articles PM has written, so you can read more about it.

The steps may involve reorganizing your equipment into machining cells, understanding customer needs, cross-training employees, upgrading technology—all ideas based on creating a successful manufacturing business for a long time to come. Read more here

Posted by: Lori Beckman 23. June 2014

Zone in on Single-Spindle Screw Machines

AMT Machine's UltraTurn XL CNC-based, single-spindle screw machine.

Whether you are in the market for a single-spindle screw machine or you simply want to learn more about them and their technology, visit our single-spindle screw machine zone to find PM links to articles, new product announcements, case studies, suppliers of these machines and more. Once you are in the “zone,” click on links to this information to get it fast and easy. Links to suppliers who sell new and used equipment (you choose this option) will provide you with contact information, including website URLs and phone numbers. This online section will also give you a list of article links that these suppliers are featured in on our site.

Visit the Screw Machines – Single-Spindle Zone now! 

Posted by: Lori Beckman 16. June 2014

Milling Hard-to-Machine Materials on a Micro Scale

The multiple streams of pressurized coolant at the cutting edges. This method of coolant delivery also flushes chips out of the cutting zone.

Controlling heat at the tool/workpiece interface is an operator’s main concern. Therefore, the idea of a tool that effectively controls heat with a special grade of carbide, a new coating and internal channels that deliver cooling through ports in the shank where the milling flutes begin, is worth a look.

Recently, PM’s sister publication, Modern Machine Shop, published an article titled “Managing the Micro-Milling Process with Tiny Cutters,” in which the author, Mark Albert, explains the CrazyMill Cool solid carbide milling cutters from Mikron Tool.   

According to the article, these cutters are capable of significantly higher cutting speeds and depths of cut in tough-to-machine materials compared with conventional end mill designs in this size range. These results are obtainable in stainless steel, titanium, chrome-cobalt alloys and other so-called super alloys. Read more here

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