Workers in the oil and gas industry continue to be one of the groups at the highest risk of injuries and fatalities on the job compared to all other U.S. industries. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) revealed that out of 120 workplace deaths in the mining, oil, and gas extraction industry, 74 of them occurred within the support activities for oil and gas operations.
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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.
Tool life, geometry, and stability largely depend on proper edge preparation. Tool Flo, located in Houston, TX, is a manufacturer of carbide cutting tools such as inserts for threading, turning, and milling. The company uses optical 3D measurement systems from Alicona Corp. (Bartlett, IL) in the quality assurance of inserts.
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.
More shops than ever are embracing waterjet cutting systems. And for the most part, the reason is that a number of customer-driven improvements/innovations to waterjet technology make it even more user friendly, productive and appealing to an ever-broadening array of manufacturers.
As with all Open Mind upgrade releases, hyperMill 2017.2 has a broad range of new technologies and enhancements. This release covers 2.5D through five-axis milling, mill-turn and new modules such as the hyperCAD-S Electrode module.
Vericut 8.1 includes a new additive manufacturing [AM] module that simulates additive and hybrid machining processes used in any order, and on any brand NC machine. AM has reached a maturity level and has proven to be a valuable addition to manufacturing strategies.
Lean manufacturing principles and automation systems can coexist, although many lean purists contend that lean goals conflict with using automation. Smart applications of automation, however, can result in deployment of systems that are both automated and lean, with flexible manufacturing systems that can be easily reconfigured as factory operations change.
Taiichi Ohno is often quoted as declaring: “Without a standard, there can be no improvement.” The principles of lean do not work well when everyone is allowed to choose their own work method or work sequence in which to do a job: the outcome is unpredictable; flow and pull are impossible. This reduces throughput and the carefully crafted process develops unanticipated outcomes.