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Innovations Enable Faster Beam Delivery, On-the-Fly Welding

For ABB, robotic welding comes down to a never-ending process of ensuring parts are suitable for laser joining and developing the appropriate processes. To that end, ABB is refining a recent innovation to improve beam delivery speeds and has developed software for on-the-fly welding in tandem with Trumpf’s Intelligent Programmable Focusing Optic (IPFO).

PLM, Augmented Reality Sharpen the Cutting Edge

Aerospace and defense manufacturing is known for its complex designs, continual changes and the need to negotiate tight margin requirements. At Elite Aviation Products (EAP), a division of Elite Aerospace Group (Irvine, CA), we face these challenges every day.

The Brave New (and Old) World of Manufacturing

My original intention for this column was to discuss a phrase getting a lot of buzz lately, artificial intelligence (AI). By any measure, interest in AI is expanding exponentially, both in the number of articles one can read on the subject and, according to Google Trends, the number of searches for those articles.

Cutting Strategies for Airframe Components

Machining aerospace materials is a challenging task. Not only are machining operations tightly controlled, a wide variety of workpiece materials are employed, including aluminum, titanium, and carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs). The following is a brief guide to cutting tool options for successful machining of airframe components. All of the tools referenced are manufactured by Mitsubishi Materials.

Better Balanced Toolholders Lead to Best Machining Results

K&G Manufacturing (Faribault, MN) has learned a thing or two about precision machining in the 80 years it has been in business. One lesson the company learned long ago is that balanced toolholders are a key to customer satisfaction and achieving the best possible machining results.

How a Race Team Improves Its Performance

Like most auto manufacturers, NASCAR race teams are motivated to make vehicle parts better, cheaper and faster. Hundreds of the leading Fortune 500 brands are highly visible on the evocative vehicle paint schemes, pointing to continued healthy investment in the sport.

Rethinking Control Systems for Multi-Well Pads

Drilling advancements have spurred the evolution of oil and gas operations from simplistic single-well pad fields to more complex multi-well pads. Today, many producers are using fracking and lateral drilling techniques to place 10 or more wells on one pad.

Shop Roots Out Long Set Up Times with Advanced Automation

Erik Anderson, president and CEO of Basin Precision Machining LLC, has determined that setups are the root of all evil when it comes to manufacturing productivity. They cause part variations, downtime, and high-percentage scrap rates.

Big, Heavy, Awkward Parts Need Workholding, Too

If you’ve ever seen industrial wind turbine components on the back of a flatbed truck rolling down the highway, you have a good idea of what a large, heavy, difficult-to-handle workpiece is. For example, with a single blade on the GE 1.5 mW turbine being almost as long as a football field, the entire blade assembly weighs about the same as 36 small cars.

Workholding Solutions to Reduce Costs, Increase Throughput

At the Nirvana Machine Shop on planet Perfection, every workpiece is clamped to a custom-built fixture mounted on a dedicated machine tool. Each workpiece is dimensionally identical to the one before and the one after. All the fixtures are totally automatic—instantly positioning, clamping, machining, inspecting, and releasing the part with the ultimate precision.