Overall, there are two overriding customer needs: reducing cycle time and machine downtime. They want higher feed rates and depth of cut for greater metal removal.
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An early pioneer in the field of additive manufacturing (AM), the story of Carl R. Deckard, PhD, ME, is an example of the University of Texas motto: “What Starts Here Changes the World.”
Cutting tool developments are a key driving force in manufacturing productivity, accuracy, and quality. At Sandvik Coromant (Fairlawn, NJ) one of the main trends influencing cutting tool design is developing cutting tools for small-part manufacturing, particularly the medical industry, which is seeing a phenomenal growth of 10 – 20% annually.
Edge finishing is a relatively new term in manufacturing. It’s a new and deeper focus on what many used to call deburring, edge honing, edge preparation, edge prepping, burring, chamfering, or edge blending. Edge finishing goes beyond any of those definitions. Deburring, which is often considered wasted effort by managers, wrongly carries a negative connotation. In reality, deburring and edge-finishing processes add many benefits to parts—they create highly desirable edge quality—the quality most products need.
The first kilowatt-class fiber laser for material processing was introduced by IPG Photonics in early 2002. Since that time, the adoption of fiber lasers for production applications has grown at a rapid rate. Today, fiber lasers are becoming the choice for most major production laser applications as well as converting traditional welding and cutting processes to fiber laser technologies.
When GE decided that additive manufacturing was the way to go for making metal fuel nozzles for its new LEAP engine, the company touched off interest in other shops to move 3D printers from the design studio to the factory floor. It also stepped up the focus on safety standards for metal AM.
It is common sense—a vehicle that weighs less requires less fuel to move it. A number of studies show that reducing the mass of a vehicle by 10% results in anywhere from 4.5 to 6% better fuel economy—well worth the effort.
Entrepreneurs and existing manufacturers are making 3D printers that automate production of composite parts, and are unique in their design.
In conventional metal (material) removal processes like milling, turning, drilling, boring, and grinding, the challenge is always to hold the tool securely and rigidly against a fixtured workpiece without interfering with the process.
That huge backlog of aircraft being recorded by the global giants Boeing and Airbus, along with a lengthening list of regional aircraft, is stretching the supply chain’s capabilities to machine the newest difficult-to-machine materials.