PM Blog

How long have we all been lamenting that the perception of manufacturing needs to change to attract the next generation of workers? “Perception is the problem,” we say. “Manufacturing isn’t like it was 40 years ago. It’s cleaner, modern and high tech, but no one knows!” Speaking from experience and statistical surveys, Mfg Day is one highly effective way to change the perception of manufacturing among young people, parents and educators. For this reason and others, MFG Day is a worthwhile rallying event to joyfully jump into, and I can tell you first-hand how rewarding it is to participate.

Our company has been hosting an MFG Day event since 2015, and here’s why: It works. I watch the faces and often see eyes widen and something resonates and “clicks” among our Mfg Day visitors. In addition to a tour, we give a presentation about how our software product relates to things and activities they interact with each day and those that inspire them, such as eating utensils, guitars, skateboards, race cars, dental appliances, rockets, jets and movie sets. You and I know the list includes virtually every tangible thing, and that’s what often sparks the proverbial “light bulb” of understanding and excitement in Mfg Day event guests. For the students, the new knowledge broadens their career possibilities. They can “see” themselves engaged working at a programming station or operating a machine or even designing a brochure. We relay that most every career choice can be applied to manufacturing, whether it’s in engineering, machining, accounting, graphics, training and more. We recently hired a videographer here serving our Mastercam marketing, training and user experience departments. Who would’ve thought even 10 years ago that a software company would need someone full time in that function?

Read More

By: David M. Gotoff 8/13/2019

Maximizing Cleaning and Rust Preventive Programs

Maximizing Cleaning and Rust Preventive Programs

Aqueous cleaning programs are an integral part of a manufacturing process, and properly designed can yield environmentally sustainable solutions. Incomplete removal of soils can compromise subsequent operations and quality performance. With the proper design and operation management, aqueous parts washers can remove all surface debris while delivering the desired corrosion resistance. An effective washer program provides consistent and reliable performance at a maximum output, cost effectively. These benefits can be obtained when the system is properly designed, the right chemistry selected, and the entire process is properly controlled.

Many options exist with parts washer designs. Typically, production rates and part configurations will dictate the type of washer selected. Spray washers allow for the shortest contact times to achieve cleaning objectives because of the added benefit of impingement. The right spray nozzles, properly aligned and maintained, are essential. However, cleaning cannot take place without adequate contact on the part, so components with recessed or internal areas may require an immersion process or a combination of both spray and immersion. “Action” of the cleaning solution is essential for effective cleaning and can be optimized in an immersion process with agitation. The addition of eductors to an immersion bath to provide turbulence can significantly improve the ability to remove soil. The inclusion of ultrasonics is an effective way to enhance action in the cleaning process. High production part washing applications require effective material transfer, often with a belt or a conveyor, to quickly process parts through the system.

Read More

The Precision Machining Index (PMI) ended 32 consecutive months of expanding activity readings with a July reading of 47.1. Readings above 50 indicate expanding activity and values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50, the greater the size of the change in activity. Compared with the same month one year ago, the Index is 9.7% lower as a result of four of the Index’s six components registering contracting values. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying components of the Index revealed that activity in supplier deliveries and employment remained above 50. However, these components tend to lag the more responsive components, which include new orders, exports and production. The Index—the simple average of its six components—was pulled marginally lower as new orders and production joined exports and backlogs in contracting during the month.

A surprise contraction in both new orders and production contributed to an extensive contraction in backlog activity. All three components contracted at levels not seen since the third quarter of 2016. The last time that the PMI registered simultaneous contractionary values for these same four components was June 2015. It was not until August and September of the same year that employment and supplier deliveries respectively also contracted.

Read More
MMS Announces 2019 Top Shops Winners

Production Machining’s sister publication, Modern Machine Shop’s annual Top Shops benchmarking survey results include a detailed data analysis report, identification of emerging operational and business metrics, and the unveiling of this year’s four program winners.

The annual survey enables owners and managers of U.S. computer numerical control (CNC) machine shops to compare their operations’ performance and practices against industry leaders. The survey is divided into four primary sections: machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategies and human resources. An Honors Program winner is chosen for each of these categories. This year’s winners are SDP/SI (Human Resources), Straton Industries (Machining Technology), MetalQuest (Shopfloor Practices) and AceCo Precision (Business Strategies).

Read More
Emerging Leader Alex Puff Focuses on Education

Alex Puff has always enjoyed making and improving things and solving problems, even prior to his entry into his manufacturing career. That’s why it’s not hard to understand why he enjoys his job as a manufacturing engineer at PMPA active member company Micron Manufacturing Co. and excels at it. “What better place than manufacturing to be surrounded by taking chunks/bars of material and creating a usable product paired with endless opportunity for improvement?” Alex says.

Alex was hired at Micron in 2007 when he was 18 years old, making CAD part drawings, a skill he learned in high school at the local career technical center. By that time, he’d already had his own window cleaning business for two years. His entrepreneurial spirit carried over into manufacturing when, during the 2008/2009 manufacturing downturn, Alex created an LLC and found outside opportunities to use his growing CAD skills to draw for other local companies. In the meantime, Alex wanted to learn how to run the Swiss machines.

Read More

RSS RSS  |  Atom Atom