At a conference for moldmakers I attended about 20 years ago, the group discussed how to find employees to work the third shift. It seemed that everyone at the meeting was having problems filling their third shifts.
Solid-carbide micro cutting tools about the diameter of human hair or smaller—some producing parts visible only under a microscope—are making a huge impact on manufacturing highly advanced electronics, automotive and aerospace fuel injection systems, and medical instruments and implants.
Manufacturing for the oil and gas markets is in a transition. The oil market has firmed up after prices plunged earlier this decade. That’s helping suppliers of machines used to produce parts for oil and gas exploration and distribution, as well as the companies that make those parts.
The mindset that should accompany decision making about how best to deburr parts should depend on establishing a target for cost per part. That’s the sage advice of LaRoux Gillespie, Dr. Eng, FSME, CMfgE, PE, a past president of SME and author of 13 books on burrs and deburring.
Oak Ridge, TN, may be known as the “Secret City” for the classified research conducted there to develop nuclear weapons in the 1940s, but Tennessee Tool and Engineering, a company founded there in 1972 by Larry Palmer, is well known as a machine shop. Its customers include manufacturers servicing the automotive, commercial equipment, agricultural, medical, and defense industries.
There is no better way to resolve a problem than by eliminating it entirely. At least that’s how KTH Parts Industries Inc. (St. Paris, OH) regarded its decision to automate a manual equipment changeover process for its robotic welding cells.
DMG Mori (Hoffman Estates, IL) delivers manufacturing technologies to aerospace OEMs and production shops supported by a package of CAD/CAM/CNC hardware, software, and engineering services from Siemens Industry Inc. (Elk Grove Village, IL) for aerospace machining. A long-time partner with Siemens, DMG Mori builds a variety of conventional chip-cutting and ultrasonic machining centers.
One theory I came up with years ago, backed by absolutely no evidence, is that automation and robotics will eventually be so extensive that none of us will have to leave our houses. We will eventually sit around all day, grow roots, and evolve back into the plant life we came from millions of years ago.
Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering
When the Italian company JDeal-Form (Oleggio, Italy) started using additive manufacturing to apply a micronized polymer coating to the underwire tips and bra straps it sold to brassiere makers, CTO Davide Ardizzoia grew frustrated with his AM vendor’s constant lateness.
Technology is changing ever more rapidly. Sometimes this means topics learned in engineering or technical school become obsolete. Whole new fields emerge within a few years, so that even those with freshly minted educations suddenly find themselves faced with new challenges.
Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
I’ve been involved with SME for over 19 years—first as a scholarship winner and then as a student member at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Little did I know that I would go on to become even more involved in SME both locally and nationally.
Brock T. Strunk - Chief Structures Engineer, Epic Aircraft SME Member Since 1999
Manufacturing has been a way of life since the first industrial revolution. By the 1980s, advanced factories created products in ways never before imaginable. That same decade, a new form of manufacturing with the promise to revolutionize the way we make things was born—additive manufacturing (AM).
In a rapidly changing world economy, our success is increasingly dependent upon the development of a strong, skilled workforce. To prepare our residents for careers that not only provide jobs today, but will continue to support them and their families for decades to come, a collective effort—spanning government, education and industry—is required.
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.
Larry Maggiano - Senior Systems Analyst, Mitutoyo America Corp.