How do you boost productivity in a highly competitive industry segment while improving the quality of life for your workforce? That’s the story of Skills Inc. (Auburn, WA), a company that is so unique it has two bottom lines—one financial and one social.
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The demand for titanium components by the aerospace industry began as a whisper about 15 years ago and steadily grew to a sustained, raucous shout over the last five and likely won’t quiet for several more.
For machine shops in a competitive global marketplace, keeping spindles running and making product is the only way to stay in business. Still, adding a new piece of equipment, even with the promise of improving the efficiency of your existing ones, may be a difficult sell to management.
We all know the buzzwords circulating around digital data and the factory. You have heard them—Industry 4.0, smart factories, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The question we all have is how will this impact workers in the long term? What do these terms really mean? Nevertheless, both traditional software suppliers and makers of advanced manufacturing equipment are offering digital solutions.
Haas Automation Inc. (Oxnard, CA) reported that its annual sales in 2017 exceeded 13,500 units for the first time in company history—an increase of nearly 30% over 2016. “It was an incredible year,” said Scott Gasich, vice president of sales & marketing."
In the last seven to eight years, solid-state lasers have come to dominate laser welding and cutting,” said Tom Bailey, product specialist for Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT). While Trumpf still produces CO2 lasers, for most applications solid-state lasers literally outshine them.
Toolholding for rotating round tools—end mills, drills, and taps—continues to evolve with innovative designs aimed at guaranteeing precision, security, and repeatability. As a result, suppliers of toolholding technology have made supporting the precision, security, and repeatability of shrink-fit, mechanical, and hydraulic toolholding the highest priority.
Celebrating its 80th year, Kennametal, the Latrobe, (PA), tooling manufacturer, says it has solved the age-long problem of tool stability when drilling in deep cavities, alongside tall shoulders, and past bulky fixtures. Reaching deep inside a workpiece to drill holes can be challenging.
Cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant (Sandviken, Sweden and Fair Lawn, NJ) is the official sponsor and exclusive tooling partner for seven skills competitions at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, to be held in October 2017.
Strong 2016 earnings among top industrial laser providers, continued brisk adoption of fiber lasers, cheaper ultrafast lasers, and a host of novel applications and notable corporate acquisitions signal a big year ahead for photonics-based manufacturing.