PM Blog

Aqueous Processes Offer Safe, Effective Cleaning

Increasing environmental concerns and safety issues associated with chlorinated solvents is leading many manufacturers to consider aqueous cleaning processes. Ozone depletion, worker safety considerations and updated regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding air, water and soil contamination are all concerns of companies using chlorinated solvent cleaners.

Hubbard-Hall offers the following information to help precision machine shops understand ultrasonic and mechanical cleaning, which are aqueous processes that can replace chlorinated solvent cleaning.

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For optimum functionality, components of the urea solution dosing devices used in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems must adhere to strict cleanliness standards. To reach this level, Cummins Emission Solutions relies on an Ecoclean EcoCcore machine in its plant in Juarez, Mexico. Operating with a hydrocarbon cleaning medium, the EcoCcore is well suited for Cummins’ application, providing improvements in turnaround times, process reliability and cost efficiency.

Cummins Emission Solutions manufactures exhaust aftertreatment systems for diesel engines. These systems are employed in both commercial vehicles and machinery. Its portfolio is comprised of feeding and dosing units for urea solutions, which are a key element in the SCR systems designed to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Cummins Juarez Emission Solutions, established in 2014 in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, is among the sites where these feeding and dosing systems are built.

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IMTS 2020 Has Been Cancelled

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology announced that it is cancelling the 2020 edition of the biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) that was scheduled for September 14-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. According to AMT, which owns and produces IMTS, its board of directors and staff had been closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 has had on its members, show exhibitors and visitors, and the industry. It says IMTS is being canceled because of health and safety requirements imposed by the state of Illinois for holding conventions, which include the availability of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus or a highly effective treatment protocol. This is the first time the show has been canceled since World War II.

“The show has been held uninterrupted for more than 80 years, but now the global coronavirus health crisis requires the cancellation of what would have been the 34th edition of IMTS for the health and safety of our exhibitors, audiences and local business community,” says Peter R. Eelman, AMT vice president and chief exhibitions officer. “Our organization and its members take immense pride in presenting one of the world’s largest manufacturing technology events, one that dates back to 1927. The cancellation is especially poignant because the show was poised to offer an unmatched breadth and depth of resources to help industry rethink, reestablish and reengage with supply chains disrupted by COVID-19.”

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Production Machinists Report Slowing Decline in Business Conditions

The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Production Machining moved higher in May, registering 38.4 after setting an all-time low in April. For the first time since the government curtailed normal business operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all components of the Index moved toward more ‘normal’ levels. Excluding supplier deliveries, all components moved higher from their prior month readings — although each remained below a reading of 50. This situation signals that the industry is experiencing a slowing contraction, meaning that while conditions deteriorated further in the most recent month, they did so at a slowing rate compared to the prior month.

The supplier delivery reading fell slightly in May which may indicate a turning point in the unprecedented disruption that affected upstream production and slowed deliveries earlier in the year. By the nature of how this question is asked, quickening supplier deliveries lower the Index’s reading.  However, the resumption of upstream production and deliveries appears to be coming with an additional cost as May’s results showed a growing proportion of survey participants reporting higher material prices while also reporting weakening pricing power for their own products. The result of this widening spread across the ‘50’ or ‘no-change’ line suggests that profit margins are being compressed.

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The manufacturing skills gap remains wide. According to the 2018 Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute skills gap and future of work study, 51% of executives cited “maintaining or increasing production levels to satisfy growing customer demand” as the biggest challenge resulting from the inability to fill open jobs. The study also predicted an increase in total unfilled jobs between 2018 and 2028 from 2 to 2.4 million, meaning expectations point to the situation getting worse before it gets better.

A shifting skill set toward more advanced technology and automation is one cause manufacturers are blaming on the lack of talent within the industry. This is followed by a negative perception of students and their parents toward manufacturing and baby boomer retirements.

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