Having a plan for maintaining and improving the performance and reliability of every machine on a shop floor is vital to manufacturing operations. Reliable machines make short-notice production runs possible. And the more flexible manufacturers are, the more new customers they’ll attract.
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In the fast-changing world of motorized vehicle manufacturing, supply chain companies are now offering numerous software suites, bringing digitalization software and customizable applications to machine tool builders, alongside CNC hardware and operating software.
Looking to improve operations and expand its aerospace business, M-1 Tools Works began working with Cimco, a CNC communication and networking software supplier. Today, M-1’s programmers can write programs and get them to any machine in its plant.
Twenty years ago, Open Mind first introduced CAM software capabilities to address five-axis machining in the mold and die industry and other general applications. Since that time five-axis technology has grown disproportionately larger when compared to the increase in overall manufacturing growth.
A mobile fleet of Universal Robots now receives daily work orders to solve ever-changing tasks for high-mix/low-volume electronics manufacturer Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG; Fairview, TN). Supplied by Universal Robots USA Inc.
If “automation” is the constant drone you hear from practically everyone in metalworking these days, job shop owners might be the only people yelling “No!” Or at least “Wait!” How, they ask, can you cost-effectively automate low-volume, high-mix parts? Yet it’s not only doable but probably necessary.
Connected manufacturing and digitization technologies are spurring many of the major innovations in CNC machine controls that help machine shops cut metal and create parts as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
One of the foundational aspects of Industry 4.0 protocols is the creation of electronic “digital twin” models of product data and production processes. This includes an exact replica of all machine tools, including complex work envelopes showing the particular spindles, fixtures, and cutting tools.
These days mirror the late 1990s, when the Internet evolved to widespread use—and the topic bedeviled many. But others—in banking and entertainment, for example—who quickly learned the new lingo and jumped at the chance to explore the Web’s potential benefited greatly. Today’s tantalizing topic: blockchain.