Urschel Laboratories has come a long way since its founder William E. Urschel introduced the gooseberry snipper to Michigan canneries in 1910. Today, the company’s innovative machines are used by virtually every food processing manufacturer worldwide to slice, dice, trim, grate, and process foods that are stored in pantries and refrigerator shelves. For the record, Urschel’s gooseberry snipper machine handled the removal of a stem and thick bud appendage from the berry.
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The latest trends in automation are wide-ranging. They include the integration of the cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things; protecting the software that runs a plant from hackers; manufacturing execution system (MES) apps that can be deployed a la carte; collaborative cobots that can safely do the heavy lifting side-by-side with humans; and robots that can do more than ever before—both on the production line and well away from it.
Jon Sobel, CEO and Co-Founder of Sight Machine Inc. in San Francisco, sat down with Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak to discuss numerous topics related to Controls and Software, including how Sight Macine Inc. uses analytics software to help shops leverage plant-floor data.
As with all Open Mind upgrade releases, hyperMill 2017.2 has a broad range of new technologies and enhancements. This release covers 2.5D through five-axis milling, mill-turn and new modules such as the hyperCAD-S Electrode module.
Smarter factory systems connected via the cloud are the grand vision offered for the future factories that will fully leverage the best available tools from automation, software and machine tool builders.
Vericut 8.1 includes a new additive manufacturing [AM] module that simulates additive and hybrid machining processes used in any order, and on any brand NC machine. AM has reached a maturity level and has proven to be a valuable addition to manufacturing strategies.
Nesting is the process of arranging parts to be cut from sheets of metal or wood in the most efficient manner possible in order to maximize yield and speed the cutting process. By reducing scrap and accelerating the cutting process, fabricators are saving on material cost while running more jobs.
Tool life, geometry, and stability largely depend on proper edge preparation. Tool Flo, located in Houston, TX, is a manufacturer of carbide cutting tools such as inserts for threading, turning, and milling. The company uses optical 3D measurement systems from Alicona Corp. (Bartlett, IL) in the quality assurance of inserts.
Moldmaking is making a comeback, with more reshoring to North America of mold-and-die manufacturing that left for the Far East and other low-cost manufacturing centers. With faster metalcutting through high-speed machining (HSM) and improved EDM techniques, mold-and-die shops are finding innovative ways to compete with manufacturing operations in traditionally low-cost labor markets.
Spend enough time on shop floors and you’ll learn about the two different groups of skilled workers that reside there. On one side are the old-school machinists—skilled craftspeople who use their hands, eyes and ears to guide machine tools. On the other side are the programmers and engineers.