By My Calculations...

Access various calculators to assist in better shop management practices.

In 1970, a battery-operated calculator (about the size of a half-carton of eggs) that could perform only basic mathematical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) cost about $100. It was a relatively new technology that showed promise of simplifying work for students and professionals alike. As with all electronic technology, calculators have clearly come a long way since then. Now, in a package less than half the size (and, in some cases, price) of those early models, electronic equipment can not only perform far more complex calculations, but can also act as a telephone, store gigabytes of data, play music and much more.

Obviously, then, the variety of calculations that can quickly and easily be performed for endless applications once unimaginable, are now available for almost anyone. Of course, with common availability of personal computers, the methods for performing these calculations are not limited to handheld devices designed specifically for this purpose. The fastest access to these types of tools is the World Wide Web.

Production Machining’s Web site is your ticket to several calculators that can help make your shop run more smoothly and efficiently. Visit www.productionmachining.com/toolbox, where, along with our Bar Feed Selector, you’ll find a Metal Weight Calculator provided by Corey Steel. Simply choose the type of alloy in question from a drop-down menu, then choose the shape and number of pieces and enter the size information. Click the "calculate" button and the calculated weight appears.

On its corporate Web site, Sandvik Coromant's now features a payback calculator—an investment and component analysis tool that allows customers to calculate their own returns on investment. After customers input the cost for a new machine and an estimate of how long it will take to recoup the invested funds, they are taken through four steps that evaluate factors from required man-hours and delays in machining to levels of fixed machine costs and preferred production times. The calculator then draws conclusions from the analysis of entered values, offering instant feedback to the direct and indirect benefits of making smart choices when selecting new machine tools. Sandvik Coromant developed the Payback Calculator as a part of its Machine Investment process, a package of services designed to aid customers in getting the most from machine investments right from the start. You can access Sandvik’s payback calculator via the company’s Showroom at PM Online.

The interactive Molykote energy savings calculator, from Dow Corning, is an online tool that can help plant managers and industrial maintenance engineers manage rising energy prices and carbon dioxide emissions by realizing the energy and cost savings available through lubrication and best practices. Designed for ease of use, users can enter into the calculator the number of motors, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and fans, the kilowatts needed to run them, their efficiency, and the hours per day and days per year they are used. The calculator then shows potential reductions in kilowatt hours, CO2 emissions and the associated cost savings. Find more details and a link to this calculator here.