Vertical machining centers with advanced features and functions are earning their stripes as more productive members of machine shops’ CNC equipment arsenal.
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Rod Zimmerman of cutting tool manufacturer Iscar Metals lives in a pleasant green zone in a Fort Worth suburb. Yet within a half mile of his home, an oil company has sunk a vertical hole 7,500′ (2,286 m) deep, from which it has splayed nine lateral lines, each going about half a mile.
Digital manufacturing solutions with product lifecycle management (PLM) tools hold great potential for manufacturers to eventually fully unlock the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
In 2018, CNC Software Inc., Tolland, Conn., reached several milestones: its 35th anniversary as a company, 250,000th installation, a new user website and the introduction of Mastercam 2019.
Structured light systems measure surfaces by projecting a pattern of fringes, then using cameras and sophisticated software to convert them into point clouds of metrology data. Accuracy can reach the single-digit microns over millions of points.
My involvement in SME and its AeroDef event began in 2014, when I first presented an Adaptive Machining Overview at AeroDef 2014 in Long Beach, Calif. At the time, the conference was relatively small in terms of attendees and exhibitors in comparison to the explosion of other engineering conferences that began around that time.
There is no shortage of competition in a global market. As a manufacturer trying to get ahead of the pack, automation can help with problems like a limited skilled labor force, quality control issues and suboptimal throughput. But the high initial cost and extended implementation time can be deterrents.
Manufacturers are facing shrinking product lifecycles with frequently changing customer demands. As a result, they need agile production and flexible factory layouts that can easily be modified whenever needed.
Cyber criminals are increasingly setting their sights on today’s digitized manufacturing industry as an entry point into government and commercial supply chains.
As with any digital transformation process, the devil is in the details, and there are many potential pitfalls that can derail projects.