When work in the oil field dried up due to poor economic conditions, Knust-Godwin LLC, a Texas oil & gas supplier, faced new challenges following transitioning into small parts machining. Rather than hunker down and wait out the cyclical downturn as many shops would do, David Prickett, sales manager, and Knust-Godwin management agreed they should work to diversify the company’s customer base.
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In what shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, challenges for advanced grinding technology from high tech industries range from handling the most difficult-to-machine materials for aerospace jet engine turbines to series production on automotive drive train lines.
When first introduced in the late 1970s, cutting tool coatings—especially titanium nitride (TiN)—were embraced by tool manufacturers for their ability to extend tool life. As workforce materials have expanded from conventional ferrous and nonferrous metals to exotic alloys, composites, ceramics, and others, coatings have likewise progressed and, thanks to new formulations and deposition methods, are extending cutting tool capabilities as well as tool life.
Secure, accurate workholding sets the stage for consistent machining productivity. Depending on the parts and processes involved, workholding can be as simple and temporary as a plain vise or clamp or as complex and permanent as a machined and fabricated fixture that is custom-designed to hold a unique part.
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.
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.
Cutting tool maker Shape-Master Tool Co. (Kirkland, IL) needed to expand its tool grinding capability beyond that of its conventional machines or run the risk of losing work to the competition.
Many precision grinding machines on the market already offer their users near-perfect tolerances, leaving one to wonder: What’s next in grinding? But tool builders still have plenty of room to add valuable new improvements, machine shop owners say.
Since acquiring Niagara Cutter in 2010, Seco has invested $7 million to upgrade Niagara Cutter’s manufacturing plant and equipment in Reynoldsville, PA, with another $25 million slated to be invested over the next three years.
When it comes to creative workholding solutions, Kurt Industrial Products Division doesn’t hesitate to replace one or even two of its old vises with a new one to get a better product.