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Tech Front: New High-Hardness Metal-Matrix Material Developed for Additive Uses



Edited by Senior Editors Ellen Kehoe and Patrick Waurzyniak

11/1/2014

A new ferrous metal-matrix material developed by The NanoSteel Co. (Providence, RI) will soon offer manufacturers a new alternative for producing fully dense, high-hardness metal components with additive manufacturing techniques. Full Article

JIT and Other TLA’s



Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe

10/31/2014

Animal, vegetable or mineral—what are TLA’s? Turns out, searching for a selection of papers on just-in-time manufacturing in the SME Tech Paper library brings up many TLA’s—Three-Letter Acronyms, not to keep you in suspense. Full Article

New Papers from RAPID 2014



Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe

10/21/2014

Technical papers presented at RAPID 2014 and eligible for the 2014 Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award are now available online in the SME Technical Papers collection. The 13 papers cover a range of additive manufacturing topics, including several dealing with biomedical applications and one presenting a review of the current state of development of selective laser melting of refractory alloys such as those of tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum. Full Article

Quality Topics Run Deep



Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe

10/10/2014

SME Technical Papers on quality have been a mainstay of the collection for decades. Several hundred papers-from "Administration of Quality Control" (1951), "Role of Quality Control in the Sales Effort" (1965), "Quality Assurance of Advanced Composite Structures" (1979) and "In-Process Quality Control for Cold Forming" (1983), through "Quality Measures Through Service Gap Analysis" (1991), "TV Screen Quality Inspection by Artificial Vision" (2003) and "Quality Inspection Planning of Oilfield Equipment" (2010)-show the durability of the topic. Full Article

Focus on the Workforce: Partnering for STEM: The National Educator's Workshop



Mel Cossette, Principal Investigator, National Resource Center for Materials

10/1/2014


Training the future workforce is critical to our nation’s economy, especially in the areas of manufacturing and material science. Edmonds Community College (EdCC) and the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), which is housed at EdCC, are dedicated to this initiative through the annual National Educator’s Workshop (NEW) event, which is produced by MatEdU. Full Article

TechFront: Battery Breakthrough: Stable Lithium Anodes



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

10/1/2014

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

10/1/2014

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

TechFront: New Laser-Like Polariton Beams Show Promise for Electronics, Medical Uses



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

9/1/2014

Researchers at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) have developed a new laser-like beam, called a polariton, that is said to be the first polariton laser powered by electrical current instead of light. The invention, which technically isn’t a laser, also works at room temperature instead of at below-zero temperatures. Full Article

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



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

8/1/2014

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

TechFront: Ultra-Strong MRIs Show Promise for Neuroscience, Other Research



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

7/1/2014

New ultra-strong, high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) full-body scanners under development by GE Healthcare (Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK) and Tesla Engineering UK (Pulborough, West Sussex, UK) will be used by researchers to speed detection and improve therapies for Parkinson’s disease and a host of other disorders. Full Article

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



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

6/1/2014

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

Tech Front: Graphene-Based Light Detectors Add Thermal Vision to Contact Lenses



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

5/1/2014

New research into graphene-based light detectors that can use the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat-vision technology into a contact lens or other devices. And unlike the mid- and far-infrared detectors currently on the market, the detector developed by University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) engineering researchers doesn’t require bulky cooling equipment to work. Full Article

Tech Front - New Carbon Nanotubes Outperform Copper as Electrical Conductors



Patrick Waurzyniak, Senior Editor and Ellen Kehoe, Senior Editor

4/1/2014

Carbon nanotube-based fibers created at Rice University (Houston) show that on a pound-per-pound basis, the nanotube fibers have more capacity to conduct electrical current than copper. Although individual nanotubes can transmit nearly 1000 times more current than copper, the same tubes coalesced into a fiber using other technologies fail long before reaching that capacity. Full Article

Tech Front: Researchers Develop a Muscular Micro Material



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

3/1/2014

Vanadium dioxide, already known for its ability to change size, shape and physical identity, could add super strength in a tiny package to its list of impressive attributes. A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently demonstrated how a micro-sized torsional muscle motor constructed of vanadium dioxide is thousands of times stronger than a human muscle. Full Article

The Latest News About the US Manufacturing Network



Edited by Assistant Editor Katelyn DaMour

2/24/2014

Click here for the latest news on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. President Barack Obama announced the formation of a NNMI to strengthen US industry in March 2012 and renewed calls for it in his 2013 and 2014 State of the Union addresses. Full Article

Tech Front: Nanotube Soldering Process Creates Tiny Electrical Pathways



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

2/1/2014

Scientists at the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) have devised a way to heal gaps in tiny wires too small for the smallest soldering iron. A research team, led by electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding and graduate student Jae Won Do, has published its results in the journal Nano Letters. Full Article

Tech Front: Carbyne Chains Hold Promise for Creating Stronger Nanomaterials



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

1/1/2014

Carbyne may turn out to be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials ever, if scientists can determine an effective way to produce it in bulk. Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have studied carbyne nanorods or nanoropes that could have a host of remarkable and useful properties, which are described by Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his group in a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. Full Article

Tech Front: DOE Grant Funds Research to Improve Nanoscale Additive Manufacturing



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

12/1/2013

A new three-year $660,000 grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) will fund researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) on development of advanced additive manufacturing techniques used to create 3D nanoscale structures. Full Article

Tech Front: Researchers to Combine Computing, Materials Science with Maker Movement



Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe.

11/1/2013

Hoping to capitalize on the current wave of interest in additive manufacturing and the maker movement, two professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI) and Drexel University (Philadelphia) are aiming to meld recent advances in computing, additive manufacturing and materials sciences into a new discipline dubbed the "informatics of making." Full Article

Tech Front: New Welding Process Holds Potential for Medical Uses



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

10/1/2013

Microfabrication developer Primoceler (Tampere, Finland) has created what it calls the world’s first sapphire-to-sapphire welding process that can be used in the manufacture of sensors, lenses and many other devices. Full Article

Tech Front - Getting a Better Grip with Robots



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

9/1/2013

Industrial robots have made much progress in recent years, becoming more nimble and adding advanced technologies such as force sensing and 3D vision systems. Full Article

Tech Front: Nanotubes Hold Promise for Extending Battery Life



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

8/1/2013

Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have invented a new way to boost the efficiency of the ubiquitous lithium-ion (li-ion) battery by using ribbons of graphene that start as carbon nanotubes. Proof-of-concept anodes—the part of the battery that stores lithium ions—built with graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and tin oxide showed an initial capacity better than the theoretical capacity of tin oxide alone, according to Rice chemist James Tour. Full Article

Tech Front: Reliable 3D Bin-Picking Solution



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe.

7/1/2013

Humans have it easy. We intuitively use our eyes and sense of touch to grab and move objects. The mobility of our arms and hands are unrivaled by any machine. The ultimate industrial automation challenge is to apply these natural processes to robot handling. Full Article

Tech Front: Productivity Centers with Pallet Transfer, ATC



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

6/1/2013

The ICON-150 and ICON-250 flexible multiple-station machines from ICON Technologies, a Division of Hydromat Inc. (St. Louis), offer precision machining capability for a wide variety of workpieces from automotive to medical components. Full Article

Tech Front: Honing Technology Conquers Aerospace



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2013

Honing was invented more than 70 years ago to de-glaze cylinder bores in early automobiles. Since then, conventional honing has been routinely used to create crosshatch surface finish in bores to enhance oil retention to lubricate and seal sliding/mating parts like pistons, plungers and shafts. Full Article

Tech Front - Tooling Choices Lead to Thread Milling Solutions



Jim Lorincz Senior Editor Manufacturing Engineering Magazine

4/1/2013

"When most people talk about the question of tool life, they're referencing extending the time of use of a particular tool. It can be more helpful to take a look at the big picture and examine the question of tool life from a technologilla perspective," said Jeff Dei, presdient, Carmex Precision Tools LLC (Richfield, WI). Full Article

Tech Front: Oil Field Threading Demand on the Rise



Edited by Jim Lorincz Senior Editor Manufacturing Engineering

3/1/2013

Demand for oil field equipment technology for oil and gas industry applications like pipe and casing threaidng grew by 33% in the US in 2012 according to estimates cited by EMAG LLC Farmington Hills, MI and Leipzig, Germany). Full Article

Tech Front: ROVs Travel Deep in Subsea Energy Search



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

2/1/2013

Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) rose to the top of public consciousness with the Gulf oil spill disaster in April 2010. Streaming video from ROVs working to staunch the flow of oil from the Macondo well was seen on television screens around the world in real time after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, burned and sank. Full Article

Tech Front: Robotic Laser Software Trims Auto Steel



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

1/1/2013

Laser cutting has emerged as the best way to cut and trim hot-stamped steel, the light-weight, high-strength materials increasingly used in the automotive industry to reduce the overall cost and weight of cars while improving both passenger safety and fuel economy. Full Article

Tech Front: Surfaces Get Laser-Produced Textures



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

12/1/2012

In many industries, surface texture has become an important aspect of product design. It not only provides the means to refine the physical appearance of an item, but also allows a company to influence tactile impressions of their products. Full Article

Tech Front: Hard Turning Finishes Strong with PCBN



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

11/1/2012

Recent advances in PCBN cutting tool technology have increased the acceptance of hard turning as a finishing operation of critical surfaces, according to Seco Tools Inc. (Troy, MI). PCBN tool inserts, combined with the latest plunge turning technique, are said to produce as good or better tolerances than conventional grinding for finishing steel parts hardened to Rc 45–64.  Full Article

Tech Front: Aluminum-Alloy Pipe Lightens Drill Sting



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

10/1/2012

An aluminum-alloy drill pipe string over a mile long is credited with significantly reducing drill string hook load and related drilling torque and drag for drilling offshore from Seria, Brunei, in a well, considered one of the most complex by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. (BSP). Full Article

Tech Front: CDCF Grinding Regains Aerospace Nod



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

9/1/2012

Continuous dress creep feed (CDCF) grinding is enjoying a comeback for processing complex profiles for aerospace and other difficult-to-machine workpieces. CDCF technology uses a constantly infeeding rotary diamond dresser that dresses the wheel continuously during the grinding cycle at a preprogrammed infeed rate. Full Article

Tech Front: Software Slims Composites, Metals Design



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

7/1/2012

For many industries, composites are the material of choice for achieving lightweight, fuel-efficient and strong designs. The challenge going forward for engineers is to take full advantage of the properties of composites by using advanced analysis tools to predict margins of safety, performance, cost, and design for manufacturability. Full Article

Tech Front: ECG Expands Precision Applications



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

6/1/2012

The Electrochemical Grinding Process (ECG) is shedding its identity as a "special use" nontraditional machining method. Applications in manufacturing aircraft engines and power turbines continue to grow as more difficult-to-machine materials are used. Full Article

Tech Front: Taming Multiblade Parts Programming



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2012

Repetitive multiaxis manufacturing of complex parts poses a special challenge to CAM software manufacturers. Examples include Swiss-machined medical components, cylinder-head ports, and multiblade parts used widely in aerospace, energy conversion, and other fluid movement applications. When considering the possible alternative approaches, Mastercam’s multidiscipline teams at CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT) came to the conclusion that the CAM software should be simple yet highly intelligent. Full Article

Tech Front: Drill-Tap Machine Offers Powerful Milling



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2012

Drilling and tapping machines represent a category of CNCs that have proven especially effective in high-volume production of a wide variety of small to medium-sized workpieces for the automotive, electronics, medical, and consumer products industries. DMG / Mori Seiki introduced its new Milltap 700 vertical milling and drill-tap center with powerful milling capability at the DMG / Mori Seiki open house held at Deckel Maho’s Pfronten, Germany, manufacturing plant in February. Full Article

Tech Front: New Twist for Oil Drill Threading



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

3/1/2012

Oil-drilling companies depend on long stretches of tubular steel pipe connected by machined couplings to form what are known as "strings" to reach deep down in oil and gas wells. Coupling reliability depends heavily on precision internal threading. Seco Tools has developed an improved method for threading these types of pipe couplings to meet the needs of the oil-service industry for higher output and increased profits. The new process from Seco is single-pass pull threading.    Full Article

Tech Front: Advanced Electrochemical Machining



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

2/1/2012

The smallest precision parts and dies with intricate features and details can be machined with high-quality surface finishes in production volumes with an advanced electrochemical machining (ECM) process called Precision Electrolytic Machining (PEM) from PEM Technologies (Natrona Heights, PA). Conductive metals including tempered steel, stainless, Hastelloy, Nitinol, aluminum, and exotic alloys can be completely machined in a single operation with high repeatability. Full Article

TechFront: Subtractive Rapid Prototyping Advances



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

1/1/2012

While the market share for additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for rapid prototyping complex parts, tooling, and fixturing from materials ranging from engineered plastics to metals has grown recently, traditional Subtractive Rapid Prototyping (SRP) technology and manufacturing processes are focusing on their strengths to enable manufacturers to shorten time to market for product design, development, and even production.   Full Article

Tech Front: Software Simplifies Gear Engineering



12/1/2011

Visitors to the Gear Expo in Cincinnati saw an array of machining centers from leading machine tool builders machining gears, once the exclusive domain of highly specialized gear-generating machines. Full Article

Tech Front: Cryogenic Machining Takes Flight with F-35



11/1/2011

Breakthrough machining technology for through-tool cooling with a low-flow cryogenic nitrogen process has been approved by the government for standard roughing operations in production of titanium parts for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, impacting the most time-consuming and cost-intensive machining processes associated with manufacturing titanium parts. Full Article

Tech Front: Largest Cold Isostatic Graphite Press



9/1/2011

Mersen USA, part of the French Mersen Group, has installed a 37' (11-m) high cold isostatic press (CIP), believed to be the largest one of its kind in the world. The new press improves Mersen’s position in the isostatic graphite market, increasing the company’s ability to produce large cross-section graphite blocks.  Full Article

Tech Front: Honing for Large Oil Field Parts



8/1/2011

Sunnen’s HTG series tube hones are designed to increase part capacity for oil-field applications with high-volume throughput. The machine is well-suited for instrument piping and down-hole equipment applications, such as pumps/motors and hangers, and large hydraulic cylinders like those found on offshore oil platform stabilizers. Full Article

Tech Front: Whisker-Reinforced Ceramic Cutter



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

7/1/2011

 WG-700 is a completely new whisker-reinforced ceramic insert from Greenleaf Corp. (Saegertown, PA) with a substrate that features an optimized whisker load to improve crack- and wear-resistance characteristics while increasing overall strength of the insert. Full Article

Tech Front: Connecting the Digital Threads



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

6/1/2011

Connecting the digital data threads between machines, devices, and software that are used in integrated manufacturing was demonstrated at AeroDef 2011 Manufacturing Exposition and Conference by the Computational Manufacturing Alliance, a consortium of companies dedicated to expanding the scope of integrated manufacturing systems. Full Article

Tech Front: Versatile Gaging System



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2011

Designated the Equator, this system is described by Renishaw Inc. (Hoffman Estates, IL) as a radical new alternative to traditional dedicated gaging. The patented design is capable of high-speed comparative gaging for inspection of high-volume manufactured parts, and reportedly can switch between parts in seconds.  Full Article

Tech Front: Trunnion HMC for Machining Hard Metals



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2011

The new 2500-mm HU100A-5XLL HMC from Mitsui Seiki (Franklin Lakes, NJ) is designed for machining large, complex, and heavy hard metal parts. Mitsui Seiki has built several custom-engineered machines with similar configurations and attributes. Full Article

Tech Front: Fourth-Generation Robots



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

2/1/2011

Well-suited for arc welding, machine tending, material handling and a variety of process applications, the new IRB 2600 from ABB Robotics Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI) is the latest model in the company’s medium-capacity range of multipurpose robots. Full Article

Tech Front: Floor-Type Boring Mill with Long-Reach Ram



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

1/1/2011

The new FTR 3500 floor-type horizontal boring mill from MAG Americas (New York) is a midsized job-shop machine capable of a full 2-m reach inside parts with a ram-supported spindle. It’s described as well-suited for heavy-metal milling, as well as precision multiaxis contouring, boring, drilling, and tapping on large parts for the construction, oil field, and wind energy industries. Full Article



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