There’s an old saw that if bumblebees were aeronautical engineers they would know they can’t fly. Quite apart from the miracle of their flight, bees also happen to make a lightweight structure of surprising strength, just the sort of thing you’d want if you were building aircraft: honeycomb.
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In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.
To compete in the fast-paced world of manufacturing, machinists look for no-compromise machine controls offering fast, precision programming of machine tools. The latest CNC systems from machine control developers include a new dual-function milling and turning control and several updated controls with embedded software routines that can significantly speed up CNC programming.
Workholding techniques using a magnetic field, a vacuum, or an adhesive can be effective alternatives to clamps. When these techniques are used, more part area is available for the cutting tools, thin parts can be held, and initial setup can be fast and simple. Plus, there is a potential for smoother surfaces and a shorter overall production cycle.
From Boeing 787s to new Navy destroyers, fiber-reinforced composites are gaining in use. As production scales up, more-efficient manufacturing remains a focus. One key to that efficiency is tooling for composites. These molds and forms give the final shape to a part, and are often integral to their final curing.
High-pressure water can simultaneously clean and deburr a workpiece, and hybrid systems can include mechanical deburring in the process.
Manufacturing Engineering asked thought leaders at five companies for their views on challenges and trends facing the metalworking industry.
Digital tool management systems, and the digital tool libraries that support them, are changing the way cutting tools, toolholders and workholding are assembled into tooling setups and used to machine parts
The manufacturing industry has lost another of its giants, with the news that Dick Morley, considered the “Father of the PLC,” an SME Fellow and former SME board member, passed away on Oct. 17 in New Hampshire at the age of 84.
More than 4,600 cutting tools items from M.A. Ford (Davenport, IA) are listed on MachiningCloud (Camarillo, CA), with more to come. M.A. Ford manufactures standard, high performance and custom cutting tools with worldwide manufacturing and distribution facilities. MachiningCloud is a product data provider for cutting tools, CNC machines and workholding.