PM Blog

As parts become more complex, so do the machines used to produce them. These machines can help save time and money, but as more capabilities are added, they become more difficult to use. Some CAM software companies are working to offset this complexity by making their products easier to use. The article “Machining Complexity with CAM” shows how Edgecam’s intuitive interface and automation tools help users produce intricate parts on advanced equipment.

One feature of Edgecam is its “Workflow” interface. Instead of using a toolkit design, Workflow reconfigures the same tools, so they feel like familiar products such as Windows and Microsoft Office. The program is also structed to naturally guide users through the programming process.

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The technology for adding a second or third workerless shift is available to any shop that is trying to reduce its cost-per-part while meeting quality and delivery demands. Choosing from the various technologies and making them work within the individual application is the trick.

This article, “Preparing for Lights-Out Production,” reviews some of the fundamental questions and practical consideration that should be asked and answered before taking on a lights-out production process. It’s more than just running an unattended shift or two; rather, it’s about doing the prep work to make sure the shifts run correctly.

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Four leading manufacturing associations have announced the launch of the Second National Metalworking Reshoring Award. Companies that have successfully reshored products, parts or tooling made primarily by metal forming, fabricating, casting or machining, including additive manufacturing, are invited to apply. AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and NTMA (National Tooling and Machining Association) are pleased to join the inaugural sponsors of the Award, the Reshoring Initiative and PMA (Precision Metalforming Association) in hosting this competition.

To be eligible for the award, the work must have been reshored between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2018, from outside North America to North America. Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2019. To view award details and enter to win, visit

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Before purchasing a new machine tool, shops often spend a lot of time ensuring that the investment will pay off. So once a shop buys a new machine tool, it is important to implement the machine and train the operators correctly so that it sees the expected results. Working closely with machine tool builders during this stage can help shops ensure that a new machine tool is a success.

The article “Stretching the Limits with Swiss” illustrates this process. When the Autocam group needed to increase production on a direct injection gasoline engine pump component, it considered different options, including a Tornos MultiSwiss. After a thorough prove-out, the shop determined that the MultiSwiss could handle the challenges of the part and decided to move forward.

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Environmental issues, Industry 4.0 and technology advances within industries are all factors affecting the parts cleaning industry today. For cleaning equipment manufacturers, this translates to more stringent cleanliness specifications, the handling of unconventional materials and higher throughputs, according to Sandro Siminovich, sales/PLM manager for Ecoclean Inc. (formerly Dürr Ecoclean).     

“Although requirements from environmental agencies around the world continue to play an important role in new developments in the cleaning industry, in the past couple of years many of the challenges we faced were a result of technological advances in different fields, which dictated changes necessary to the equipment and cleaning processes,” Mr. Siminovich says in a recent guest column he wrote for Production Machining.

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