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Optical Comparators Adapt and Grow

Beware predictions of the demise of any technology. If the early 1920s saw the dawn of the optical comparator, there has been much speculation about its sunset. That was especially true when vision systems started hitting their stride a few years ago. Many could see optical comparators were superfluous with the use of vision systems. Many thought the sunset of optical comparators was imminent. Many were wrong. Why?

Smart Tools’ Target: Data Analysis, Not Paralysis

The road to manufacturing success today runs through the mountain of data that tools are generating in metalcutting applications, and most importantly communicating and reacting to in real time on the shop floor.

EDM Expands into New Territories

The use of electrical discharge machining, or EDM, is spreading as manufacturers need more precisely cut workpieces, often made from tough to machine materials.

Use-based maintenance beats alternatives hands down

Unplanned downtime and production loss due to equipment failure is one of the leading losses for manufacturers. Most shops perform maintenance on a fixed schedule or on failure. This means a machine will be maintained regardless of how often it is used and unexpected breakdowns will stop production.

Narrowing the Skills Gap

Technological gains, young ambassadors, apprenticeships help. But manufacturers’ training investment remains a problem.

ERP Software for Small Shops

Modernizing the smaller shop with the latest digital tools available from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developers

Time for Monumental Thinking in Additive

As additive manufacturing emerges from a long infancy, the industry is grappling with a key challenge: A file format and design tools from the 20th century are being asked to do 21st century jobs.