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Manufacturing Engineering: February 2021

The February 2021 edition of Manufacturing Engineering is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Always productive, HMCs—such as this DMG Mori NHX 4000 with a speedMASTER spindle—are now also extremely versatile.

Making HMCs Nimble Enough for Small Jobs

January 14, 2021
Horizontal machine tools (HMCs) have typically been used for longer run production jobs. But as lot sizes decrease, machine builders and their partners have introduced new technologies that speed setups and generally make HMCs nimbler. So much so that one should probably rethink the role HMCs serve.
Ed Sinkora
By Ed Sinkora Contributing Editor, SME Media
Five-axis machining centers, such as this Okuma MU-5000V-L five-axis VMC, allow shops to machine highly complex workpieces in a single operation, reducing work-in-process while increasing part quality and profitability.

VMCs: How Many Axes Do You Really Need?

January 18, 2021
The three-axis vertical machining center (VMC) has long been the go-to machine tool for many small to medium-sized shops. Their use is well-understood. Compared to more complex machinery, it’s easier to find operators for three-axis machines.
Kip Hanson
By Kip Hanson Contributing Editor, SME Media
The iSpeed5 system from NSK is a fully tool-changeable electric spindle that can transform CNC machines into high-speed machining centers.

Fast Times for Machine Spindles

January 20, 2021
Driven spindles are the technical core of a machine tool, supplying the power to turn the cutting tools that shape our products and our world. Attaching one to a five-axis movement creates an advanced CNC machine.
Bruce Morey
By Bruce Morey Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
Manufacturing managers collaborate on the shop floor using tablet-based PTC Windchill PLM visualizations. PLM has become the foundation for digital transformation and digital thread initiatives at companies of all sizes.

Transforming Manufacturing with PLM Tools

January 22, 2021
With product lifecycle management (PLM) software, manufacturers wield powerful tools to manage the massive transformations buffeting their industries.
Pat Waurzyniak
By Patrick Waurzyniak Contributing Editor, SME Media
Unequal flute spacing in OSG’s variable geometry end mill line is designed to reduce vibration during machining by altering the timing of each flute engaging in the workpiece.

Multi-Flute End Mills Produce Thoroughly Modern Milling

January 26, 2021
End mills, traditionally made with two to four flutes, are used in one of the oldest mechanized machining processes—milling.
Ilene Wolff
By Ilene Wolff Contributing Editor, SME Media

Shop Solutions

Up Front

SME Speaks

  • Lihui Wang, PhD, FSME, PE  2020-21 President, NAMRI | SME SME Member Since 1999
    SME Speaks

    NAMRC 49: Where Smart Manufacturing and Digitalization Meet

    January 25, 2021
    The North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI | SME) brings together researchers from leading companies, government laboratories, academic institutions and industrial think tanks located around the world for the purpose of advancing the scientific foundation of discrete-parts manufacturing.
    By Lihui Wang, PhD, FSME, PE - 2020-21 President, NAMRI | SME, SME Member Since 1999

Advanced Manufacturing Now

  • Father-Son Manufacturing Team Wins AM Gold
    Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing

    Father-Son Manufacturing Team Wins AM Gold

    January 19, 2021
    A team including two generations of one manufacturing family, and their blockchain-enabled mobile 3D printing lab, won a Gold Medal in a recent military advanced manufacturing competition.
    By Ilene Wolff - Contributing Editor, SME Media
  • The CoroDrill 860-GM can be reconditioned up to three times.
    Expert Opinion

    The Sharpest Tool in the Box

    January 21, 2021
    The word “reconditioned” can ignite visions of worn, overworked products inferior to new ones. The reality is as long as you purchase from a reputable supplier, reconditioned cutting tools will deliver the same consistent results as they did upon initial purchase.
    By Jill Glynn - Commercial Services Manager, Sandvik Coromant

Software Update

Workforce Pipeline

  • Robotic cell machine operator Jackie Rechtzigel maintains the work of four machining centers to manufacture components at the Alexandria Industries facility in Alexandria, Minn.
    Workforce Development

    COVID-19 and the Manufacturing Worker Shortage

    January 29, 2021
    We need no reminder that 2020 was shockingly different from any year we have experienced before. Each of us could probably name several struggles we’ve endured.
    By Lynette Kluver - Director of Organizational Development, Alexandria Industries

Viewpoints

  • Index of Industrial Production (red) plotted on same graph as Manufacturing Employment (blue). Gray shaded bars are years when the economy was in recession, with the yellow shaded area caused by COVID-19.
    Manufacturing Management

    Is Manufacturing in America Up or Down?

    February 1, 2021
    I have been confused lately by contradictory messages coming from people and news sources I pay attention to. On the one hand I hear and read—from knowledgeable sources—that manufacturing in the U. S. is becoming “hollowed out.”
    By Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media