On race day, everybody sees the race on TV, but behind the scenes there’s a competition going on between shops where time is everything, according to Matt Gimbel, Team Penske’s production manager.
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Intelligent factories have existed since manufacturing’s historical inception, but intelligence—defined as the acquisition and application of manufacturing knowledge—resided only with the factory’s staff.
As machining has evolved, toolholders have advanced to include rigid, secure systems with anti-pullout protection. These advanced systems are needed to take on difficult-to-machine materials, such as titanium and heat-resistant superalloys (HRSA), and accommodate ambitious removal rates and long tool overhangs. Think of them as insurance against tool pullout and breakage—a situation nobody wants.
Manufacturers are always looking for signs of what the economy and the business outlook have in store for them. Since the election of President Trump and, more recently, passage of the tax reform law in December, confidence among businesses of all sizes has been overwhelmingly positive.
General Carbide Corp. (Greensburg, PA) has purchased automotive tooling supplier Only Tool (Ypsilanti, MI). Only Tool has developed its expertise in cold-form tool manufacturing under the leadership of co-owners Ray Fender and Mick Ruffolo, who, under terms of the agreement, will continue to operate the business.
Machine tool orders began 2018 with mixed results, dropping from December but posting a surge on a year-over-year basis, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA) said in a monthly report.
Haas Automation Inc. (Oxnard, CA) reported that its annual sales in 2017 exceeded 13,500 units for the first time in company history—an increase of nearly 30% over 2016. “It was an incredible year,” said Scott Gasich, vice president of sales & marketing."
Live Tooling, as the name implies, is specifically driven by the CNC control and the turret of various spindle and powered sub-spindle configurations on CNC lathes to perform various operations while the workpiece remains in orientation to the main spindle.
Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.
You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate the solutions for the tooling or workholding challenges that shops will bring to exhibitors when attending IMTS 2018. One thing is certain you’ll never have a better time to find suppliers of advanced tooling and workholding technology under one venue like McCormick Place.