Mention automation and most people think high-volume production environments in which millions of parts are pumped out on a regular basis. While that may be true in many instances, it is definitely not the case at Choice Precision Inc. (Whitehall, PA).
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M. Eugene Merchant began his career in 1936 at the Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. (later Cincinnati Milacron), where he went to work analyzing the nature of friction between the cutting tool and the chip. The young engineer eventually developed a mathematical model of the metalcutting process that is still taught and used today.
Last year’s surge in medical machining and firearms manufacturing could well be joined or even eclipsed by this years’ reemergence of production for applications in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, and hydraulics industries, generating increased interest in Swiss-style machining. This isn’t news. But what may be surprising is that the venerable, tried and true Swiss automatic CNC lathe coninues to evolve, adding bells and whistles where needed, or conversely stripping one—like a guide bushing—away to maximize its efficiency in machining parts complete.
As the automotive industry’s reawakening continues, less-expensive high-payload robots are gaining traction over more conventional fixed tooling among automakers focused on cutting costs while improving manufacturing productivity and processes.
The prime contractor for supplying automation tools to the Airbus plant in Broughton, UK, which is assembling the wings of what will be the world’s largest commercial aircraft–the A380–is Electroimpact Inc. (Mukilteo, WA).
Specialized metal alloys, ceramics, thermoplastics and other newer materials continue to aid aging populations
Interesting changes have been happening at Haas Automation, one of the few American machine tool builders left standing after scores have been displaced over the decades by Japanese, German and Korean builders.
Digitization of industry has become an established global trend. Despite all the enthusiasm of visionaries, the machine tool is, was and will remain the core element in production.
Today, manufacturing leaders from all corners of the world, are working with academics and government-funded organizations to tackle the challenges that come with any revolution in making.
Traditionally, industrial robots have been deployed for manufacturing tasks that required brute strength, such as the heavy-payload robots used in the automotive industry, or they were of the speedy pick-and-place variety, the type of robots often deployed in medical or semiconductor applications. In most instances, safety requirements mandated that robots be entirely sealed off in fence-guarded cells to protect human workers from injury.