Of all the different manufacturing disciplines, plastic injection moldmaking is perhaps the most challenging. Part accuracies are best measured in microns. Surface finishes often approach optical levels.
There’s growing evidence that some of the moldmaking business that fled the U.S. chasing cheaper sources offshore is returning. Moldmakers are not finding enough of a favorable cost differential to offset poor mold performance and the need for rework of faulty molds.
For machine shops in a competitive global marketplace, keeping spindles running and making product is the only way to stay in business. Still, adding a new piece of equipment, even with the promise of improving the efficiency of your existing ones, may be a difficult sell to management.
In the heart of the Great Lakes region, the Van Dam family business is carrying on the timeless tradition of wooden boatbuilding, incorporating the latest techniques for manufacturing attractive and functional metal fixtures and components.
I’ve been covering the manufacturing industry as a journalist for more years than I’d like to admit, so when someone tells me about something new in the industry, my usual thought is, “We’ll see.” Of course, there is a lot of new technology and things change in manufacturing, but I can’t usually say “Wow, that really surprised me.”
Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering
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.
Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
When manufacturers envision the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for their own operations, they’re likely to focus on its potential within the walls of their own factories. And they’re not wrong.
John Bruno - Vice President, Product Management, Elastic Path Software Inc.
Laser welding is a superior technology for repairing defects in tooling, plastic injection molds, stamping dies, blow molds, turbine blades, and nearly any tooling component made of stainless steel, aluminum, copper alloy, cast iron, and all tool steels.
BIG Kaiser’s “Breakfast and Learn” event, hosted at its Hoffman Estates, Illinois, headquarters, is by now is an annual event not to be missed for a great breakfast and technical presentations on the latest developments in precision tooling.
When it comes to the production of high-precision parts for industries ranging from aerospace to medical, grinding remains the best, most cost-effective approach to obtaining fine surface finishes and tight tolerances.
Larry Marchand - Vice President, Sales Profile Division, United Grinding North America Inc.
Today, I am a mechanical engineering student who dreams of working in the aerospace industry. Today, I know where my passion lies, where my future may take me and the kinds of problems I may be solving.
Simulation technology must keep pace with rapid advances in manufacturing so that users can learn to use and protect new equipment. Recent advances in Vericut include support for additive manufacturing and hybrid methods, robotic welding, laser sintering, and grinding while dressing to change the shape of the grinding wheel.
Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media
The Charlotte, N.C., region has been successful in attracting internationally owned manufacturing concerns. Officials have also used a German-style apprenticeship program as a way to increase worker skill levels.
Well into the 21st century, the medical industry faces a host of intriguing challenges, from aging populations to a growing range of personalized and at-home diagnostic and care devices—all set against a backdrop of increasing digital collection, transfer and storage of sensitive patient data.
Geoff Giordano - Contributing Editor, SME Media