Investing in factory automation for the first time is a big decision for many CNC machine shops. For Loveridge Machine (Salt Lake City, UT), owner Dennis Loveridge thoroughly researched his options before making a decision for his high tech job shop.
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A recent effort by the Norton Advanced Applications Engineering Group demonstrates that for difficult-to-machine materials, grinding can be an economical alternative to other machining processes.
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.
The issues around OEE are not its utility but the ease and credibility of the data used to calculate it
Process improvement encompasses a wide range of tools, techniques and strategies. When properly deployed, shop-floor data collection and monitoring systems can help factory-floor managers leverage key data metrics including overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and total effective equipment performance (TEEP) that measure machine uptime and pinpoint bottlenecks or other problems in order to improve machining performance.
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.
The growing need for nano and micro components in the medical industries is challenging manufacturers to continually improve upon their manufacturing processes and take a scientific approach to injection molding and tooling.
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.
Machining composites presents unique challenges compared to metals. Reinforcement fibers are abrasive, shortening tool life. The plastic matrix carries away little heat, unlike metal chips, and overheating can melt the matrix.
Highly realistic 3-D simulation software can greatly improve manufacturing processes, lending sophisticated visualization tools that help increase manufacturing productivity and product quality.