PM Blog

By: Bart Bishop 28. November 2017

Employee Ownership Guarantees Commitment

Employee Ownership Guarantees Commitment

A business cannot thrive without committed employees, and one way to guarantee that is through employee ownership. Rable Machine Inc. out of Mansfield, Ohio is 100-percent employee owned, which has empowered the workforce to embrace new technologies and implement a number of creative solutions to production issues. They take seriously the quality of their products and emphasize on-machine probing as part of the company’s ongoing efforts toward more efficiency.

These efforts have included a move to a 53,000-square-foot facility that has allowed room to expand lean manufacturing and cellular machining strategies, including implementing the Micronite knowledge-based SPC system from High Tech Research out of Deerfield, Illinois. These systems allow operators to quickly enter dimensions without wading through multiple pages of hard copy inspection control plan. This provides assurance to newer operators and prevents operator over-management.

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Industry Cleaning Requirements and Customer-Specific Standards: Do They Mesh?

Most customer-specific cleanliness standards adhere to or are modeled after ISO 16232, the familiar industry standard for technical cleanliness. Developed primarily by the OEMs and Tier-One suppliers, customer-specific specifications are written to control the cleanliness of a system and are cascaded down to lower tier suppliers.

However, many customer-specific standards go too far by prescribing inspection procedures that are component specific or one-size-fits-all instead of allowing an effective procedure to be established. The industry standards for technical cleanliness are generic by design. When manufacturers fill in the details that industry standards leave unspecified, suppliers may be forced to violate key requirements, leading to negative results.

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Is Lights-Out Manufacturing Right for You?

Process planning is the key ingredient in manufacturing. Figuring out how best to allocate one’s available resources to accomplish the production goal in terms of quantity, quality and cost determines success or failure, profit or loss.

Looking at a move into lights-out manufacturing makes process planning even more of a critical factor. There is nobody around to fix it if it breaks.

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New Technologies Impacting Businesses

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), adaptive machining, MQL, M2M, Digital Thread. These are all names of what are considered “disruptive technologies.” Like them or not, they most likely will impact your business at some point.

In a recent PM column written by Jeff Kamphake, regional sales manager at TechSolve, he says these technologies are on the rise and manufacturers must embrace and leverage them. “Manufacturers who seek innovative ways to attain competitive advantage and adapt to emerging technologies and business models will increase their chance of thriving in both the local and global markets,” he says.

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By: Bart Bishop 21. November 2017

Workholding Trend Adds Flexibility

Workholding Trend Adds Flexibility

There’s been a workholding trend in Europe for turned parts that consists of improving the flexibility of gripping on the ID or OD of a workpiece. This is especially true of backworking operations on a secondary or subspindle with the capability to change over in minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional approach to manufacturing employed in North America of producing parts complete from bar on conventional CNC turning centers with static or live tooled turrets.

This ability to choose ID clamping offers several advantages over simply using traditional OD gripping with a chuck or collet. This includes having the ability to clamp on the center bore, allowing tooling access to the entire length of the workpiece and both ends when using an ID clamping solution, as well as more accurate concentricity between the OD and ID features of the part.

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