PM Blog

Legacy Policies are Dead. Long Live the New Policies!

Growing up, I learned that necessity is the mother of invention. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, many of us found out that necessity is indeed a cruel mother. Prior to the recent COVID-19 event, policies were firm, immutable and not at all subject to interpretation.

“No cell phones. No exceptions.”
“Office supplies are for the office. Offenders are subject to discipline.”

The federal government was a leader in firm policies; even if people were dying, typical approval times for new treatments and approvals at the FDA was measured in years.

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Electrochemical Grinding Makes a Point

According to electrochemical grinding (ECG) solutions provider Tridex Technology, a part of Glebar Company, grinding sharp points onto needles used in surgical procedures can be challenging using conventional methods. Oftentimes, the needles must be masked for handling, requiring additional steps in the production process. Many manufacturers also still use converted outer diameter (OD) grinders with custom tooling and soft grinding wheels, which can wear at a high rate. Setting up and changing over these machines can be time consuming and require extensive mechanical adjustments. In addition, once in production, these grinders leave a large inner diameter (ID) burr, requiring the needles to be sent through a secondary process such as grit blasting or electropolishing. Plus, complex needle points, such as Menghini points, require a separate primary bevel cut and secondary sharpening, which can lead to longer cycle times.

Tridex says some custom machine builders have developed needle grinders using robots to replace or simplify the fixturing. However, a robotically controlled fixture requires a series of collets to clamp and rotate the needles in unison. Collet systems take up a lot of space and this limits the number of parts that can be sharpened to a set amount (usually no more than 20 at a time). The company says another limitation of a robotic fixture is that the needles must be held far from the grinding wheel, which can lead to deflection and grinding inaccuracy.

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New Podcast Reports on Technology, Management, Safety and Quality

Prior to working from home regularly, I became an avid podcast listener. My commute to and from the Gardner Business Media office is long enough in one trip to listen to at least one episode of my favorite podcast, usually on the topic of cooking, parenting, motivation, or religion. But recently, I explored a new subject matter: I subscribed to “Speaking of Precision Podcast: Monday with Miles,” where Miles Free, director of industry affairs at Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA), shares his precision machining industry knowledge with listeners. The new podcast episodes so far range in length from five to 15 minutes each, covering various topics that target shop management (non-PMPA member shops as well), including:

Carli Kistler-Miller, director of programs and marketing at PMPA, joins Miles in most of the episodes.

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Turning to an Adhesive for Lathe Workholding

For some turning applications, chuck jaws or other conventional workholding devices for CNC lathes can cause a part to distort as clamping force is applied. This can be the case for large, thin rings such as the one shown on the left. Those workholding elements can also prevent full access to a part, which might necessitate reclamping for an additional operation.

Blue Photon offers an alternate workholding method for these types of situations that uses adhesive cured by ultraviolet (UV) light to secure a part for turning. It can also be used for other processes such as milling, grinding, electrical discharge machining and 3D printing/additive manufacturing.

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The Function of a Vacuum Vapor Degreaser

There are many advantages to implementing a vacuum vapor degreaser, including environmental safety, energy efficiency and flexibility. 

A vacuum vapor degreaser extracts all the air out of the system and seals off the work chamber from ambient atmosphere, thus no operators are exposed to any fugitive emissions. The work is processed in a sealed chamber so no solvent is lost during processing.

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