Until the middle of 2010, first-tier subcontract machinist, JJ Churchill, could produce turbine blades only if they had their fir-tree root-forms preground elsewhere, or if they were subsequently added by another subcontractor. No longer is this the case.
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Burrs, sharp edges, and rough surfaces plague even the most precise metal-cutting or forming process. Deburring and finishing can often be treated as the step-child of a manufacturing process, but its importance is growing as tolerances get tighter and precision devices become the norm.
We all know the buzzwords circulating around digital data and the factory. You have heard them—Industry 4.0, smart factories, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The question we all have is how will this impact workers in the long term? What do these terms really mean? Nevertheless, both traditional software suppliers and makers of advanced manufacturing equipment are offering digital solutions.
Efficient creepfeed grinding can remove material quickly and produce a precision ground surface on challenging materials. However, since creepfeed grinding applications typically draw more power and have higher forces, there are important considerations to pay attention to during application setup.
It’s a sad fact of practically all metal removal operations that, no matter how sharp the tool or free-machining the material, there are going to be burrs, hanging chads, ragged corners, and other edge quality issues that must be dealt with before calling the workpiece complete.
Amada America Inc., Buena Park, C.A., a supplier of precision sheet metal production equipment and related systems, has expanded its customer coverage in the Southeast with the opening of a 190,000 ft2 (17,652 m²) manufacturing facility near High Point, N.C.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in 2016 showed unit sales figures in 2015 up 15% on the year before, reaching an all-time high of 253,748. Since 2010, technical improvements in robots and automation have turbocharged investment, according to the report.
Keeping products clean is becoming a more significant part of manufacturing as standards for cleanliness, deburring, and finish grow more stringent.
Glenn Bridgman describes the difference between his shop’s manual grinders and its newest state-of-the-art CNC ID/OD grinder, a Studer CT960 OD/ID from United Grinding (Miamisburg, OH), as “feel vs. facts.” Bridgman, president of Bridge Tool & Die (Buckley, MI), believes that manual grinding is a somewhat personal operation.
Hats off to tool manufacturers! They make some of the most geometrically complex products out of the toughest materials and with the tightest tolerances. And yet cutting tools represent only 3% of the total cost of the average metalworking process.