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.
As manufacturing continues its desperate plight for qualified machinists, companies in the industry are taking steps to reach out to the public to educate them about careers in this field. One recent example is Adaptive Technology Solutions’ (ATS) Manufacturing Pays event held November 4 at the company’s Beavercreek, Ohio, location.
The company, a CAD/CAM/CAE and shopfloor monitoring solutions provider, held its free, week-long event that provided individuals with the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed for a career in manufacturing. The attendees were returning veterans, unemployed individuals, or individuals looking to improve upon their current employment situation with a job in manufacturing.
With more than 50 individuals signed up for the event, ATS sees this as a great opportunity to continue helping those who desire a career in manufacturing by offering this type of event in the Cincinnati and/or Columbus area in early 2014. In addition, ATS has decided to add a Level 2 course for those that completed the initial course. The second course will be a 2- or 3-day class where attendees will learn how to operate a CNC machine.
Although each attendee had their own reason for taking advantage of this free training, they all seemed to have the same thought process as Stephen Cullum, saying, “This free training program gave me the opportunity to gain additional knowledge, while expanding on what I already know, helping me secure a local manufacturing job.”
Many of the attendees found this training program to be extremely beneficial while hopefully using their Technical Learning Certificate to a successful career in manufacturing.
“I really enjoyed the hands-on training with industry software,” says Jeffery Wing, attendee. I am confident this training will help me with my long-term goal of obtaining a job in manufacturing,”
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Looking back over the history of the company, plant operations manager Dan Hogge says the shop has made a dramatic change roughly once every seven years. The move from screw machines to CNC was one of the earlier shifts. Embracing lights-out machining is the latest.
The move to unattended production for Hogge Precision Parts (Hartsville, S.C.) began with the recession of 2007-2008, when the CNC bar-fed production shop’s largest customer was hit hard. The shop’s staff of 70 was cut to 29, and those remaining often worked only 24 hours per week.
When business returned in 2009, the shop had just purchased its first CNC Swiss-type machine, and while this machine was booked through the day, it went unused at night. So management figured out how to utilize the machine unattended, and the first attempt went well. However, the shop had a lot to learn. Previously invisible problems (glitches) became visible quickly, and needed to be fixed, and process changes needed to be made.
According to Steven Kline, Jr., market analyst for Gardner Business Media Inc., parent company to PM, the October PMI showed that business conditions in the industry flattened. He says the index is the highest it has been since February this year, and this was the first time since the index began that the month-over-month rate of change was positive.
This hexapod attachment is shown installed on a ram of a horizontal boring machine.
To create more efficient machining, use a hexapod to convert a conventional machine tool into machines that produce parts on a single setup compared with several operations on a conventional machine. A hexapod is an attachment that consists of six telescoping struts that pair around a fixed plate at one end. They converge at the other end to support a moving plate that supports a high speed machine spindle.