If you’ve ever seen industrial wind turbine components on the back of a flatbed truck rolling down the highway, you have a good idea of what a large, heavy, difficult-to-handle workpiece is. For example, with a single blade on the GE 1.5 mW turbine being almost as long as a football field, the entire blade assembly weighs about the same as 36 small cars.
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With the number of offline and in-process toolsetting options on the rise, developing a way to efficiently utilize this technology can be confusing. Which presetter should we buy? What about the software that’s so often part of these systems—do we really need it?
If you’re looking for new solutions to tooling and workholding challenges, IMTS was a great place to start. The bi-annual trade show, held this past September in Chicago, allowed shops to browse for the “latest and greatest” technologies.
For today’s industrial cutting tool manufacturers there is a continuous and increasing demand for faster cycle times, better asset utilization, tighter tolerances and improved quality. Running a successful manufacturing facility takes more than acquiring the latest state- of-the-art equipment and the most advanced grinding technology.
Machinists and toolmakers are often confused for one another. Their expertise and job descriptions might seem similar to an outsider, but as Practical Machinist’s forum members like to point out, there is a significant difference between them.
From November 1 to December 31, 2019, Blaser will donate $500 to the National Robotics League (NRL) on behalf of each National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) member company placing their first order for one or more drums of Blaser metalworking fluids.
When it comes to the number of flutes on an end mill, the right choice always depends on machine tool capabilities, material properties and part design. Shops that select the wrong number of flutes—or use a tool simply because they own it—may be disappointed to find that their part quality, tool life or both will suffer.
Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.
You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate the solutions for the tooling or workholding challenges that shops will bring to exhibitors when attending IMTS 2018. One thing is certain you’ll never have a better time to find suppliers of advanced tooling and workholding technology under one venue like McCormick Place.
K&G Manufacturing (Faribault, MN) has learned a thing or two about precision machining in the 80 years it has been in business. One lesson the company learned long ago is that balanced toolholders are a key to customer satisfaction and achieving the best possible machining results.