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Machines & Automation

Basic VMC Platform is a Proven Workhorse

The iconic three-axis vertical machining center ranks right up there with the two-axis CNC lathe as one of the two fundamental building blocks of any machine shop. Or quite possibly every start up in a garage where the fledgling shop owner is machining parts by night while holding down a day job. In their most basic configuration, these single-table machines with automatic tool changers (ATC) typically hold a minimum number of tools, enough to machine large, flat workpieces that require basic milling and drilling operations.

Viewpoints Blog

It’s a Journey: Get Smart About Manufacturing

Whether they realize it or not, many manufacturers already employ some, if not all, of the strategies and technologies necessary to operate as a smart factory. In addition to lean principles, practically every manufacturer has implemented to one degree or another, advanced manufacturing cells and systems—i.e., multitasking, full five-axis machine tools and some level of automation. However, they often lack one key component: full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing in terms of process control and operation monitoring.


EMAG's Laser Lab Support for Gear Welding Operations

EMAG LLC (Farmington Hills, MI) is working to position itself so that no matter who—or what—drives a vehicle in the future or how vehicles are powered, the company will have a hand in the production of the gears and shafts that make cars and trucks move. To that end the company has opened a Laser Welding Laboratory to support the laser welding technology it is using as a quality and productivity enabler in some of its machines.

Controls & Software

As It Partners with Cisco, IBM Seen Showing the Way Toward the 'Internet of Everything'

IBM may be the furthest ahead with the “Internet of Everything” (IoE), which is “a little bit beyond the ‘Internet of Things’ ” (IoT), Mohanbir Sawhney, director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said today at the 2d Smart Factory World Symposium. In his talk at the conference, Sawhney made a passing reference to IBM’s Watson IoT business analytics technology but did not note that the tech giant today publicized the fact it is working with Cisco to “provide instant IoT insight at the edge of the network.”


Electric Tube Bender Spurs Aerospace Supplier Growth

Aerospace Manufacturing Inc. (AMI) and sister-company Aerospace Welding Minneapolis Inc. (AWI) are both just south of the Twin Cities, in Eagan, MN. Both serve the aerospace industry, with AMI focused on OEM customers and AWI supplying the aftermarket. AMI is a leading provider of tubular engine components, mounts, and aircraft exhaust systems, float fittings, landing gear and various other welded and machined components and assemblies.

Event Coverage

Pratt & Whitney Searching for Products, Services to Ramp Up Monthly Engine Production

Pratt & Whitney is aggressively searching for smart manufacturing solutions that will allow it to successfully ramp up monthly production of engines for military and commercial aerospace engines, Kimberley Hagerty, Hot Section Module Center lean transformation manager, said yesterday at the 2nd Smart Factory World Symposium. In 2010 P&W delivered about 55 engines a month. In 2017, that number grows to about 100 engines a month. And in 2024, it continues to climb to about 158 engine deliveries a month, she said. 

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