PM Blog

Is Industry ∞.0 upon us? To answer this question, we must turn our sights back to 1890, when a man, whom most know little about, initiated a string of events that have led to the infinite industrial revolution. It took the U.S. Census Bureau eight years to process the data garnered in the 1880 census. Eight years! By the time that procedure was completed the country was on the verge of commencing its next census in 1890. Enter Herman Hollerith. Born in 1860 to German immigrants, Mr. Hollerith invented the electromechanical tabulating machine. Hollerith’s machine didn’t require 8 years to process the 1890 census data; it did it in 5.5 hours.

Such was born the exponential economy, wherein the speed at which we process data by non-human means doubles every 12 to 18 months, a phenomenon now known as Moore’s Law, so named for Gordon Moore, the founder and chairman emeritus of Intel Corp. More than 50 years ago, Mr. Moore postulated that for years to come processing speeds would increase exponentially, a reality that continues to this day.

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When manufacturing small components with diameters between 2 and 20 mm, the Grindstar grinding machine from Junker is designed to offer an economical alternative to turning. Its ability to produce batch sizes of 200,000, combined with its short cycle times and long workpiece service life, can drive down costs per workpiece by as much as 25%, according to the company. The Grindstar’s high productivity also makes it a particularly interesting alternative for large-scale series manufacturing in the automotive industry.

The machine uses a method that enables the entire workpiece contour to be ground in a single processing operation. In addition, because grinding involves lower cutting forces than turning, the Grindstar can quickly grind workpieces. The system also enables users to coordinate the workpiece, the abrasive and the machine for efficiency. These factors act together to increase the machine’s productivity so that it is as much as three times faster than a lathe, according to the company.

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By: Mike Hook 6/17/2019

The Surprising Value in Fluid Recovery

Located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, Anthony Screw Products Ltd. is a precision machining company that produces a range of custom parts including fittings, washers, nuts, bolts and pulley hubs. Company President Rod Anthony has more than 25 years of experience working in every position in the plant’s manufacturing process.

Even with this unique and total understanding of the operation, he has a new appreciation for the value of recycling after partnering with PRAB on a new chip processing and fluid recovery system.

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The Gardner Business Index: Precision Machining expanded at a slightly slower rate as compared with April, registering 54.5 for May. Compared with the same month one year ago the index is 9.1% lower. Early in 2018 the index set an all-time high and then spent the remainder of 2018 returning or more typical growth levels. In the year-to-date period the index has averaged 54.9. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding business activity while a value of 50 indicates no change, and a reading below 50 indicates contracting business activity. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying components of the index revealed that the Index was led higher by accelerating activity in production, new orders and supplier deliveries. The index, a calculated average of its six components, was pulled lower marginally by employment and further by exports and backlogs. Among all the components which comprise the index, only exports contracted during the month.

A significant increase in the reading for new orders in May combined with a more modest increase in production activity helped elevate backlog activity for a third consecutive month. The resilience of total new orders activity in light of modestly contracting exports over the last year alludes to the strength of the domestic precision machining industry’s strength.  May’s data also extended the year-to-date trend in increasing employment activity. This trend in the year-to-date period is a welcome reversal of the slowing expansion trend in employment observed during the second half of 2018. 

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Production Machining’s June Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of CAD/CAM and Micromachining, with special coverage of Automotive. The cover story looks at a major automotive supplier of safety equipment that is using a lean execution system that has resulted in 5% global operational availability improvement, 30% improvement in response time for production issues, and 12% reduction in cost of spare parts. Our other feature profiles a shop that upgraded its CAM system to take full advantage of its new turning center in reducing cycle times.

This month’s Tech Brief examines an internal thread whirler that leaves micro threads burr-free, even in demanding, hard-to-machine materials. Our Case in Point goes into a Swiss company that rebuilt its process for producing a medical part on a rotary transfer machine, including the machine, tools, material, machining strategy and coolant.

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