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Weld Destruct Testing: Gaining Productivity with Impact Absorbing Tools Designed for Hardened Steel

Press Release - Honsa Ergonomic Technologies, Inc


In a twist on the old axiom of “work smarter, not harder,” advancements in ergonomically-designed power tools now enable line workers to “work softer, not harder.” Like an iron fist in a velvet glove, these hard-hitting percussive tools can punch through tough boron steel while simultaneously softening the blow to the worker holding the gun. Full Article

Auto Manufacturing Network Growing Stronger

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


If the U.S. automotive industry hits popular forecasts of 16.4 million car and truck sales this year, it is likely that the number of vehicles built in North America will surpass 13 million in 2014 – for the first time in nearly a decade. Historically through 2012, most of that production, more than 85%, has remained in the United States, according to data from IHS Automotive, among others, estimates that US auto sales will hit a robust 16.4 million cars and trucks this year, up from the depressing low of 10.4 million in 2009 during the Great Recession. But it’s not just sales that have been gaining. The percentage of those vehicles that are also built in the US, Canada and Mexico has also been climbing since 2009, too Full Article

Ford Announces New Blue Oval STEM Scholarship Program

Press Release - Ford Motor Company


Ford today announced a new Ford Blue Oval STEM Scholarship Program during the kickoff of its 30th annual High School Science and Technology Program (HSSTP). The new scholarship program will provide $500,000 in scholarships over four years to 50 students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematic (STEM) fields. Full Article

Mitsubishi Electric Launches Auto Parts Production, Sales in Mexico

Press Release - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that its new Mexican subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., commenced automotive parts manufacturing and sales operations in October. The new base in Mexico, where car production is thriving, will put Mitsubishi Electric in a better position to expand its auto parts business in the Americas. Full Article

Coldwater Machine Company Announces Solid State Joining Center

Press Release - Coldwater Machine Company


Coldwater Machine Company, a leading engineering solutions company that manufactures and integrates precision equipment and tools for multiple industries, has announced the establishment of its Solid State Joining Center, a business unit dedicated to the development of technologies that address the challenges of joining lightweight and dissimilar materials. Full Article

Chrysler Group Announces Manufacturing Appointment

Press Release - Chrysler


Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Brian Harlow Vice President - Head of NAFTA Manufacturing.  In this position, Harlow is responsible for all assembly, stamping and powertrain manufacturing operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as implementation of the World Class Manufacturing system at all Chrysler Group manufacturing facilities.  Full Article

Cornering the Market on Suspension Innovation

Edited by Executive Editor James D. Sawyer from information provided by BIG Kaiser


It has been a roller-coaster ride of a 2014 season for Andretti Autosport. The highs were certainly high, with four of the five Andretti racers finishing the 98th Indianapolis 500 in the top six, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the race. When the checkered flag waved to end the last race of the season, the team saw three drivers finish the year inside the top nine in the championship standings. Full Article

Rethinking PLM

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Change is good, but it’s rarely an easy undertaking. To fully realize the digital manufacturing vision, developers and users of product lifecycle management (PLM) tools must rethink how PLM is used today and find new ways to employ current and new software for manufacturing. Full Article

Microfinish Error Proofing for Automotive Powertrain Applications

Gordon Witte, Application Engineer, Norton | Saint-Gobain


Quality control for surface finish parameters on automotive camshafts and crankshafts is paramount in manufacturing. This is the last step in the part production sequence, and is one of the most critical in order to provide an extended lifetime for the engine, and reduction of maintenance requirements. Full Article

Change-up Pitch: From Metal to Plastic

Edited by Executive Editor James D. Sawyer with information provided by Kaysun Corp.


Even though it’s been around since the 1950s, when engineering-grade resins were first introduced, many manufacturers  still are not familiar with the many benefits that metal-to-plastic conversion provides. As this process continues to evolve, especially with the rapid development of new advanced plastics that can outperform metal at lower cost, fewer injection molders are capable of providing the necessary engineering expertise to develop a product from metal into plastic. Full Article

Construction Equipment Making the Grade, but...

Kiera Outlaw and Kevin Young, Business Research Analysts, IBISWorld


After taking a nosedive in 2009 during the height of the Great Recession, the construction industry and upstream construction machinery manufacturing industry in particular have been strengthening their foundations in light of expanding demand and rising costs. Increasing regulation, total value of construction, research and development (R&D) expenditure and import competition are all influencing equipment prices and forcing construction firms in the US to evaluate their purchasing strategies. Full Article

Innovative Tools Remove the Jagged Edges

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Precision product finishing has come a long way from the days when the principal options for burr removal were manual deburring or high-volume tumbling. Both of those options play an important role in helping manufacturers meet their finishing requirements, especially with the variety of equipment and media available to meet most any part requirement. Full Article

TechFront: Battery Breakthrough: Stable Lithium Anodes

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) research team has developed a stable pure lithium metal anode that could lead to the design of smaller, more efficient and less-expensive batteries for use in a wide range of applications from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. Full Article

Six Sigma in the Spotlight

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Other than lean, two of the most downloaded topics from the expansive SME Technical Paper collection are quality and Six Sigma. Zeroing in specifically on Six Sigma, which is all about “zeroing in”—on defects, that is, we find more than 15 papers directly related to the subject. Full Article

NewsDesk: IMTS Registration Tops 100,000

Edited by Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Registration at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, which was held at McCormick Place in Chicago Sept. 8-13, topped 114,000, according to The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS. The mood at the show was optimistic and busy. The 3D Printed CarSeveral show programs drew big crowds, such as the world’s first 3D-printed car. Full Article

Shiloh Industries Acquires Radar Industries, Expands Stamping Business into Central Mexico

Press Release - Shiloh Industries


Shiloh Industries, Inc., a leading supplier of lightweighting, noise and vibration solutions, today announced its acquisition of Warren, Michigan based, Radar Industries. The purchase leverages Radar Industries’ tooling technologies, strong stamping capabilities, key customer relationships and expands Shiloh’s existing manufacturing capacity to include Central Mexico and Michigan. Full Article

Johnson Controls Honors Leading Automotive Suppliers

Press Release - Johnson Controls


Twenty four automotive suppliers are being recognized by Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, for their leadership and continuous quality performance. The suppliers were honored during Johnson Controls’ 19th annual North American Supplier Performance Awards ceremony held in Plymouth, Michigan. Full Article

Ford Motor Company Adds 1200 New Jobs in Kansas City

Press Release - Ford Motor Company


Ford Motor Company already has fulfilled its commitment to the UAW to create 12,000 U.S. hourly jobs by 2015, today announcing 1,200 new jobs and a second shift at Kansas City Assembly Plant, where the all-new Ford Transit is built.“The job growth we have created in U.S. manufacturing is a testament to our strong partnership with the UAW, the union’s competitiveness, and the growing demand for Ford’s portfolio of cars, utilities and trucks,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. Full Article

Boston Consulting: Robot Spending Projected to Surge

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


Worldwide spending on robots is projected to surge to $26.9 billion next year and $66.9 billion in 2025 from $15.1 billion in 2010, Boston Consulting Group said in a study. Full Article

Form Honing – Gradual Freeform Processing of Cylinder Bores to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Press Release - Gehring


New car fleets/series that will be released in Europe at the end of next year should have no more than 130gr of CO2 emission per km of driving distance- otherwise the car manu-facturers will have to pay a hefty penalty if they cannot meet these new standards. These tight limits are the driver for the development of combustion engines with recognizable CO2 emission reduction standards. Full Article

Cooper Standard to Become Majority Owner of Largest Chinese Automotive Sealing Manufacturer

Press Release - Cooper Standard


Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CPS), the parent company of Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. (“Cooper Standard”), today announced it has agreed to purchase an additional 47.5 percent of Huayu-Cooper Standard Sealing Systems Co., Ltd., its joint venture with Huayu Automotive Systems Co. Full Article

Robots in the Auto Plant: What Are They Up to Now?

Contributing Editor Ed Sinkora


In its latest commercial for the Cadillac SRX, General Motors shows a bevy of robotic arms happily dancing around the car as part of its summer sales event. Robotics have certainly come a long way from GM’s multibillion dollar attempt to go lights-out in the '80s, when robots infamously painted each other and welded doors shut. Full Article

Mix and Match for Lightweight Autos

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


It is common sense—a vehicle that weighs less requires less fuel to move it. A number of studies show that reducing the mass of a vehicle by 10% results in anywhere from 4.5 to 6% better fuel economy—well worth the effort. The dilemma for automakers is that mass reduction needs to happen without compromising safety, NVH, styling, or size. Full Article

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Executive Editor James D. Sawyer


A new era has dawned in motorized vehicle manufacturing. Until recently the dominant trend has been the implementation of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement processes to make automotive production more efficient. The new trend also stresses efficiency, but now there is a sharp focus on fuel efficiency driven by government regulation. Full Article

Bosch Breaks Ground on Technical Center Expansion in Plymouth Township, Michigan

Press Release - Bosch


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder joined Robert Bosch LLC President Mike Mansuetti and other Bosch executives today in a ceremonial groundbreaking to publicly announce a 220,500-square-foot expansion of Bosch’s Technical Center located at 15000 Haggerty Road in Plymouth Township.“Bosch’s commitment to expand its presence in Michigan, while also enhancing its research and development work shows that Michigan truly is a great place to do business,” Snyder said. Full Article

Factory-Floor Data Drives Auto Efficiency

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


It’s a given that automotive OEMs and Tier suppliers need to get components delivered on time, every time, in order to quickly and efficiently turn around parts to their own customers. With today’s enterprise resource management (ERP) systems, auto OEMs and suppliers alike depend on ERP developers to give them needed mobile access to data that’s often residing somewhere out on the cloud, and automotive customers also need their ERP systems to provide reliable part traceability, particularly in the case of product recalls. Full Article

Tech Front: Research Team Develops New Ultralight, Ultrastiff Additive Materials

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) has developed a new material for additive manufacturing processes that is as dense and light as an aerogel, but has 10,000 times more stiffness. This material is described in the researchers’ paper published in a June 20 article in the journal Science. Full Article

IMTS 2014: Somewhat Unique, Always Challenging

Executive Editor James D. Sawyer


Gears are a somewhat unique product, said Alan R. Finegan, director, marketing, Gleason Corp. (Rochester, NY), however, “the processes used to produce them are still metalworking processes. Changes in gear making are likely to mirror those in the broader metalworking industry. Like many industries, gear manufacturing is a very mature industry and changes tend to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.” Full Article

VW to Build Crossover, Establish R&D Center in Chattanooga

Volkswagen Group of America


The Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group of America (Herndon, VA) has decided to award the production of a new midsize SUV to the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The Group will be investing a total of approximately $900 million in the production of a newly developed, seven-passenger SUV, and creating 2000 additional jobs in the US. About $600 will be invested in Tennessee. Full Article

Real-Time SPC Software Drives Bottom-Line Benefits

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


Widely used by the automotive, aerospace and other mission-critical industries, statistical process control (SPC) software offers its users a simple way to monitor and analyze quality data from their manufacturing processes and machines using sophisticated statistical tools. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Auto Tranny Gear Can't Beat Automated Brush Deburring

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


HHI Forging, the largest supplier of forged and forged/machined steel components in North America, produces wheel-end, transmission, drivetrain, and steering and suspension components for such transportation industry customers as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, and Harley-Davidson. Full Article

BIG M 2014: Advanced Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Transforming Manufacturing

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


New digital simulation, modeling and visualization technologies are enabling manufacturers to do things that weren’t possible that long ago. With new ultra-high-definition, 4K immersive virtual reality (VR) systems like the one at Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI), engineers can visualize new designs much more effectively by collaborating globally in real-time with the latest visualization technologies. Full Article

RAPID 2014: Laboring to Advance

Executive Editor James D. Sawyer


It is hard to go to an exhibition like RAPID 2014 and not be excited by the advancements and innovation made possible by additive manufacturing. Couple that with THE BIG M, a co-located event aimed at “applying our best thinking to our most complex manufacturing challenges,” and you have a recipe for a high-energy gathering. There was, however, one undercurrent running through Detroit’s Cobo Center that was not announced as being part of the event: The skills gap and what to do about it. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Advanced Honing Masters Engine's Peaks and Valleys

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Dart Machinery (Troy, MI) is a world leader in manufacturing engine blocks for racing and high performance enthusiasts, as well as replacement blocks for a variety of Detroit V-8 engines. Dart uses the SV-20 advanced flexible honing system from Sunnen Products Co. (St. Louis) to “master the peaks and valleys” in honing cylinder bores to produce custom results with near-mass production efficiency. Full Article

Tech Front: New Process Allows Nanofibers to Grow at Room Temperature

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) have devised a safer method of growing vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNF) with ambient air, rather than using toxic chemicals like ammonia at very high temperatures in a vacuum chamber. Full Article

Machine Builders Dig Deep into Their Bag of Tricks

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


The challenge for manufacturing today is to meet the demand for tighter tolerances, better finishes, and shorter leadtimes for workpieces—all at a lower cost. Grinding results have always seemed to depend on the skill of operators who were privy to the mysteries described as some mythical “black art.” Full Article

A Revolution in Gear Manufacturing

Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff


With demand for precision gears big and small growing across a wide swath of industries, along with the economy, new innovations in gear production technology are changing the way some manufacturing minds think about making gears in the first place, which hasn’t substantially changed in decades. Full Article

Heller Looks To Pump Up the Energy

Executive Editor James D. Sawyer


Motorized vehicles were frequently mentioned during Heller WerkTage (literally Working Days) 2014 held at company headquarters in Nürtingen, Germany. That’s not surprising for a number of reasons. For one Nürtingen is not far from Stuttgart, where Karl Benz invented what is considered to be the first automobile. Benz was granted a patent for his invention in 1886. Eight years later the company now known as Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH was founded in Nürtingen.In the intervening 120 years both companies have grown and most often prospered. That’s illustrated by a little-known fact: since 2004 about 80% of the machining for heavy truck engines has been done on Heller machines.
Full Article

Cylinder Bore Coating: Ready for Prime Time

Edited by Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


While lightweight materials now provide excellent solutions to the requirements of modern combustion engine construction, the quality of the cylinder surfaces has become the Achilles heel of this type of powerplant. Surface hardness, roughness, and texture are some of the determining factors for fuel consumption as well as for the durability and performance characteristics of the engine. To date, lightweight engine blocks use cylinder liners, but there is now a practical alternative in twin-wire arc spraying, an extremely cost-effective technology for coating cylinder bore surfaces of combustion engines. Full Article

UNITED GRINDING Launches Five New Machines

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


During a packed press conference in an auditorium at the Thun Expo, Stephan Nell, CEO of UNITED GRINDING Group, painted a glowing picture of the company’s financial performance and laid out an exciting vision for the Group’s future – celebrating the launch of five all-new or updated advanced manufacturing machines at the symposium. What’s more, Nell said the company will expand on its leadership in grinding by strategically adding other non-grinding processes to its machines and portfolio in the future, part of its focus to offer more efficient, smart production solutions to its customers. Nell said the company was open to adding these technologies through acquisition in addition to its own development.    Full Article

2,000 New Ford Kansas City Employees Celebrate Production of 2015 Ford Transit Van

Press Release Ford Motor Company


Supported by 2,000 new employees and a $1.1 billion investment, the all-new Ford Transit van rolls off the line at Kansas City Assembly Plant today, as Ford aims to strengthen its leadership in the commercial vehicle segment.On sale this summer, Ford’s next-generation full-size van family will provide tradespeople and businesses with increased capability and innovative new configurations in the growing commercial vehicle market. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Ducati's No-Excuses Approach to Performance

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


At Ducati Motor (Bologna, Italy) they don’t believe in doing things halfway. For many years, this company’s award-winning motorcycles have been characterized by the highest levels of quality, performance, and innovation. Machining is at the heart of Ducati’s success, and when it came to optimizing a demanding new cam lobe milling application it turned to Walter AG (Tübingen, Germany; Waukesha, WI) for the winning solution. Full Article

Johnson Controls Develops Stain-Resistant, Antimicrobial Coating for Automotive Seats

Johnson Controls


Johnson Controls, a global industrial company with core businesses in the automotive, building, and battery industry, has developed a coating for fabrics that keeps automotive seats clean and hygienic. The coating repels dirt and liquid, and protects passengers from microbes and static. Full Article

Delcam Keeps Bloodhound SSC World Record Attempt on Track



Delcam Professional Services has manufactured its first part for the Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic Car) adventure, making the company both an SME Sponsor and a Product Sponsor of the project.  The component is part of the steering support column and so is essential in ensuring that the car remains on track during its world land-speed record attempt. Full Article

Is an Automotive Tooling Capacity Gap Looming?

Laurie Harbour, President and CEO, Harbour Results Inc.


Will there be a significant gap in automotive tooling capacity within the next five years? If so, how will this affect reshoring or the demand that other industries, such as appliance, aerospace and consumer products, are placing on the automotive tool supplier base? These are the important issues that Harbour Results Inc. (HRI) investigated in its latest research. With HRI’s years of experience in automotive tooling it seemed obvious when looking at the data that there could be a problem but this needed validation. Full Article

Connecting the Digital World with the Factory Floor

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


The classic manufacturing conundrum is how to make products quicker, cheaper, and better. Product lifecycle management (PLM) software attempts to help manufacturers answer that question with an approach that enables builders to produce higher-quality parts with improved designs that are more easily manufactured at competitive prices, all while drastically compressing the design-to-manufacturing cycle to beat the competition to market. Full Article

Additive Joins Subtractive on Advanced All-in-One Machines

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


The path of precision machining has taken a decidedly unexpected change in direction. Yes, machining centers, in their various configurations of horizontal, vertical, and universal, continue to hold their preeminent positions in shops for their ability to create value-added benefits to individual workpieces or parts in serial production. Full Article

Punching Above Its Weight

Senior Editor James D. Sawyer


Is it better for an automaker to save weight by making components of new materials or by optimizing the design of components made of traditional materials? Full Article

Ford Invests $500 Million in Ohio Engine Plant, Creates 300 Jobs

Ford Motor Company


Ford Motor Company will invest $500 million to upgrade its Lima Engine Plant and add 300 new jobs to support production of the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® specifically engineered for the next-generation 2015 Ford F-150. Full Article

Eaton, Cummins Westport Announce First Automated Transmission with Spark-Ignited Natural Gas Engine

Eaton and Cummins Westport


Power management company Eaton and Cummins Westport, a joint-venture company of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT/TSX: WPT), today announced an integrated powertrain package for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine that will provide customers with the first automated transmission to be paired with a spark-ignited natural gas engine in the North American market. Full Article

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