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Hang On Tight

Smart chucks and zero-point locating systems, quick-change vises and modular workholding are good examples of advanced workholding systems, but you might be thinking, “Who needs it? Give me a 6" machinist’s vise, a three-jaw power chuck, some toe straps and a few T-nuts and I’ll make whatever parts you send my way.”

Building a Future in Rural Florida

Not far from Florida’s metropolitan areas lie rural communities with the space and workforce to support manufacturing leaders. From Walton County in the Panhandle to the Heartland Counties near Lake Okeechobee, the state’s rural regions present a unique mix of resources for the manufacturing industry.

Change and Continuity in Manufacturing

On May 9, I took a whirlwind tour of change in manufacturing by visiting several open house events. First up was BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc. in Hoffman Estates, IL, where Matt Tegelman, applications manager and product manager Kaiser, talked about the Industrial Internet of Things.

Thread Mills Take on Tough Materials

When it’s time to put threads in parts, particularly those made of difficult-to-machine materials, thread mills are often the right choice. Thread mills cut threads with a cutting head typically smaller than the hole, unlike taps that are sized to match the hole diameter.

Cobots Now Do Welding

Cobots, like other robot equipment, started in material handling applications. However, this year, Universal Robots is introducing welding applications and other heavy duty metal fabrication.

Plastic Injection Molder Turns to Gun Making

In 2006, Jim Pontillo, founder of TRA Medical Inc. (Placentia, CA), saw two distinct trends: his medical mold-making workload was diminishing and demand for guns and gun components was rising. Sizing up TRA Medical’s core competencies, Pontillo saw an opportunity for growth in the development and production of 9-mm handguns. Today, these guns are branded and sold under their own brand FMK Firearms, which is a stand-alone business.