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Dynamic Programming Optimizes Material Removal Rate

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2016

Reducing lead times is nothing new to job shops but figuring out which method works best for each shop is a never-ending challenge. According to Curt Shatz, general manager of Planet Tool and Engineering (O’Fallon, MO), his company’s approach has been to train each machinist on the shop floor to use Mastercam CAD/CAM software from CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT), even if their knowledge of its functionality is just at the basic level. Full Article

Toolmaker Plots Growth by Investing in Employees



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2016

Challenged to find its place in the new century, one practitioner of the once booming trade of toolmaking, True Die Inc. (Zeeland, MI), is using machine tool technology to invest in the future of its employees and grow its business. It’s a strategy for growth that may well be tied to the future of the mold-and-die trade itself. Tim Rietsma and his brother Mike started their mold-and-die shop in 2000 wanting to continue their profession’s proud heritage of skilled toolmaking. Full Article

Waterjet Builds Fitness Maker’s Speed and Agility



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2016

As a leading manufacturer of commercial and consumer cardio and strength equipment, Life Fitness depends on tradeshows for business growth and continued success. These events are where gym and fitness club owners, equipment dealers and other potential customers gather to evaluate and actually purchase products. So needless to say, new product development and production schedules at Life Fitness revolve around and are meticulously timed according to several key industry tradeshows for unveiling all its new units/pieces, systems, and equipment. Full Article

Shop Buys First CNC Lathe In 1983, Rest Is History



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

Axly Tool (Bad Axe, MI) is on a roll. In 1983, the company purchased its first Okuma CNC lathe. At the time, Al Rochefort ran an old Warner & Swasey turret lathe for Axly Tool, a small contract machining company with 15 employees. Management recognized the simple fact that if Axly Tool wanted to improve machining accuracy, increase production, and be able to quote on closer tolerance jobs, it would have to get into CNC machining. Turret lathe operator Rochefort was told that it was his job to find the best machine for them. Full Article

Shop Rode Automotive, Transitions to Aerospace



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

Smiths Machine (Cottondale, AL) is a second-generation family-owned business that has transitioned from being a highly successful supplier of automotive parts to becoming a go-to supplier for defense and aerospace manufacturing. The change in direction for the company was not without its challenges. “Defense and aerospace part manufacturing requires a different business approach altogether,” said Tim Smith, vice president. Full Article

Toolmaker Produces Drills with Additive Manufacturing



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

4/1/2016

MAPAL Inc. (Aalen, Germany; Port Huron, MI) is a manufacturer of precision tools for applications in metalworking, including precision drilling, reaming, milling, and turning for the automotive, mechanical, tool, and plant engineering industries. At EMO 2015, MAPAL exhibited its QTD cutting insert drill that was produced by additive manufacturing for 8–12-mm diameters. Previously QTD insert drills smaller than 13-mm diameter were not available because they were difficult to produce with the required smaller coolant channels through the tool. Central coolant supply weakened the core of the drill and as the cooling channels get smaller, the flow of coolant to the insert is reduced. Full Article

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