PM Blog

Automation with a Purpose


If there is a buzz word in metalworking manufacturing today, it has got to be automation. The shop that we profiled in an article titled “Moving Automation In is a stable veteran manufacturer that doesn’t necessarily follow the “buzz” for its own sake.

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Certain factors must be considered when selecting modern high-performance milling cutters. These tools should be designed for high process speeds as resulting temperatures can promote premature tool wear and cause oxygen to become reactive. 

For users who primarily side mill components or mill slots, conventional roughing end mills with four cutting edges work and also work well for if the surface of the component also must be milled flat. For milling deeper, full slots with more than 1× diameter and for machining delicate components, a knuckle form roughing cutter works well. Ramping, helix milling or drilling are often necessary for carving out pockets when machining components. And modern HPC milling cutters leave behind such a smooth surface in some cases that the required finishing cut is no longer necessary except for in some instances like components produced using processes such as additive manufacturing or modern casting processes.

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Heule Celebrates 30 Years in North America


Heule Tool Corp. (HTC), in Loveland, Ohio, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary serving manufacturers in North America. HTC was established in 1988 by Heule Werkzeug AG in Balgach, Switzerland, and was first located in West Plymouth, Michigan. Moving to the Cincinnati area in 1993, the company has continued to increase sales of its automated deburring, chamfering, countersinking, and spotfacing tools in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and is now widely used by leading high-volume manufacturers for its Swiss-made precision cutting tools.

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Registering 57.2 for April, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining fell slightly from the prior month’s reading. For reference, the latest reading is higher than the peak reached during the last cyclical high recorded in 2014. Compared with the same month one year ago, the index increased by almost 8 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data indicates that supplier deliveries and employment lifted the business index higher. The components, which lowered the index’s average-based calculation included production, new orders, backlog and exports. Exports contracted for a second consecutive month.

The latest month’s components readings showed that supplier deliveries led the index for a second consecutive month. The last time such an event occurred was in mid-2016. Gardner Intelligence’s interpretation of the components data is that strong new orders growth during the fourth quarter of 2017 was then followed by a sharp increase in production during the first quarter of 2018. As manufacturers increased production to meet heightened demand they stressed their supply chains, causing Gardner’s supplier delivery readings to peak in the most recent months.

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Successful Deep-Hole Drilling Techniques


Drilling holes is widely considered the most common metalworking operation among all the operations that are performed to manufacture discrete parts. Like most metalworking operations, drilling some holes is easier than others.

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