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SME Technical Papers

Our top 30 individual tech papers of manufacturing knowledge. Find papers on best practices, advancements and industry trends.

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Understanding and Implementing Total Productive Maintenance

The development of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) means little without a master plan for implementation and strategic use. Building a master plan is essential in planning resources, securing management buy-in, and establishing aggressive, yet reachable goals for the manufacturing organization. The ultimate goal of TPM is to first establish stability in your manufacturing operation and then to increase plant capacity without capital investment. If TPM is understood and implemented properly, it can increase quality, reduce costs and decrease lead times for any manufacturing operation. Author: Charles J. Robinson, Total Systems Development, Inc., Shorewood, MN.

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Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the philosophy and methodology of six sigma and lean manufacturing. Many practitioners say that six sigma is a new buzzword for lean manufacturing. This paper presents six sigma tools and a body of knowledge for six-sigma black-belt training. The finding is that lean manufacturing can be treated as a component of six sigma or a necessary condition for six sigma. Author: Elzbieta Trybus (California State University)

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Setup-Time Reduction and Equipment Maintenance

This paper provides an outline of approaches to setup time reduction and equipment maintenance. It considers the benefits of setup reduction, setup reduction methods and techniques, maintaining and improving equipment, equipment effectiveness, preventive maintenance and total productive maintenance (TPM). In addition, this work considers implementation issues in TPM. Authors: T. Page, G. Thorsteinsson (Loughborough University)

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Looking to the Future in Rapid and Additive Manufacturing

This trends and developments update from the SME Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) Technical Community discusses advancements in 3D imaging, medical applications, direct digital manufacturing, materials, and Web-based content. Among the key observations are that there will be continued industry consolidation, rapidly expanding technology capabilities, exponential numbers of new companies, niche business models, substantial application discovery, and market displacements.

The Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community’s focus is on the technologies and processes that help conceive, test, improve, and manufacture new products to bring them to market faster and most cost effectively.

Presented at: SME Annual Conference, June 2-4, 2013, Baltimore, MD.

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Financial Justification of Capital Projects

Justification of capital asset expenditures can be attempted using numerous approaches. Obtaining meaningful results is essential if a company is to invest wisely in the future. This paper presents overview of four industry accepted techniques: Return On Investment (ROI), Accountant Rate of Return (ARR), Net Present Value (NPV), and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). The advantages, disadvantages and technique limitations are discussed. Risk is associated with investment opportunities and also must be considered in evaluations. Approaches of sensitivity and risk analysis are discussed.

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Utilizing 'Time' to Drive Meaningful Lean Implementation

Time is of the essence! Unfortunately, this is not well understood in too many lean implementations and business transformations. This paper will explore how to use time-based performance measures and lean techniques to drive lean investment and activities toward improvements that will drop results to the bottom line. Author: J. Sipes (Lean Operations Consultant)

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Valuing Lean Manufacturing Initiatives

Companies have adopted Lean Manufacturing as a way to reduce costs, better satisfy customers, and increase profitability. In the process of becoming lean, companies must identify and prioritize the initiatives and projects they will undertake to become lean. This report outlines a discipline for identifying and planning Lean Manufacturing initiatives, including the selection of metrics by which to evaluate and track the results of the projects. It offers a methodology for linking the goals and metrics of a project or initiative to a company's strategic goals and metrics and provides the basis for tracking the effectiveness of implementation of lean initiatives. Authors: James A. Jordan, Jr., Frederick J. Michel, NGM Knowledge Systems, Cupertino, CA.

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Beyond the Lean Factory: Lean Leaders for Lean Times

By now, the concept of lean thinking and its benefits to manufacturers and consumers have been well documented. Elimination of batch flow, drastic reduction of inventory, conservation of space and eradication of waste have created an improved ability to meet demand. It is reasonable to conclude that higher productivity figures reported monthly by the U.S. government must be attributed in some part to the adoption of lean principles. Author: Linford E. Stiles, Stiles Associates, New London, NH.

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The Machining of Gamma-TiAl Intermetallic Alloys

Titanium intermetallic materials are likely to play a significant role in the production of future aeroengines. The paper details the machinabilty of a range of gamma titanium aluminide (gamma-TiAl) intermetallic alloys when turning, grinding, HSM, drilling, EDM and ECM. Comprehensive literature review data are augmented with experimental results for turning, turn-milling and temperature measurement when high- speed milling. Despite the ability to produce crack-free surfaces when grinding and HSM, turning and drilling remain problematic. Turned surfaces are in general characterized by workpiece smearing, numerous arc-shaped cracks, subsurface lamellae deformation and significant strain hardening, although the use of PCD tooling and ultrasonic assisted cutting has been shown to minimize these effects. Annals of the CIRP Vol. 54/2/2005. Authors: D.K. Aspinwall, R.C. Dewes (University of Birmingham), A.L. Mantle (Rolls-Royce plc)

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The New Standardization: Controlling Work in a Lean Environment

This paper explores a balanced system of standardization and system control that can be seen as "the new standardization." It creates an interlocking system of measures and standards that will move a company toward a profitable future. By implementing this system, a company will be able to: successfully implement lean on a daily basis, use standards to control performance at all levels of the organization, create a foundation for all training, and prepare for continuous improvement. Author: Tom Fabrizio, Lean Manufacturing Tools, Portland, OR.

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The Sustaining Lean Test: Many Try but Few Succeed

Few companies have tapped into the full potential of lean. The sustaining lean test is a method to assess how well a facility can sustain their lean implementation efforts or any implementation initiative. The primary feature of the test is the 10 keys that will be examined by an assessment team. If a facility can sustain these 10 keys, they are likely to sustain lean. Author: Tom Fabrizio, Lean Manufacturing Tools, Portland, OR.

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MIM (Metal Injection Molding) - The Frontier in Small, Complex Metal Parts

In the next decade, machine shops will purchase metal injection molding (MIM) technology and imbed MIM as an integral part of their machining services. The need to continually reduce cost will be the driving force. Machining companies can use MIM as a supplemental process for small, complex metal parts. Net-shape or near-net-shape components can be fabricated inexpensively in-house. The capital cost to begin MIM fabrication in-house is much less than the cost of a new CNC machine. MIM feedstocks can be purchased under licenses for reasonable costs, including process training. Author: Lance B. Johnson, MIMflow Technologies LLC, Euclid, OH.

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Lean in Product Development

Fierce competitive conditions are driving companies to adopt lean strategies to improve corporate financial performance. Eliminating risk in execution as new products are brought to market to fuel growth is an imperative to achieving success. Lean strategies are increasingly being extended to include groups outside of operations, most notably product development. To date, very few companies have successfully implemented lean in the product development process. Author: M. Lind (Aras Corporation).

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Components of Lean Production

This paper provides a review of the key elements of lean production and just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. It considers small-lot, batch and mass production, set-up time reduction, maintaining and improving equipment, pull production systems, focused factories and group technologies, workcells and cellular manufacturing. Author: T. Page (Loughborough University)

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Facility Design and Layout for Lean Manufacturing

Getting the layout right is the most important aspect of lean manufacturing. You can create the optimal facilities plan by minimizing transportation and lost motion so that productivity is greatly improved. By involving and training employees, you facilitate the lean culture at the same time. Creating flexibility in the layout will allow for future growth and product expansion. Finally, using monuments and constraints to your advantage is possible and necessary. Technical Change Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

Presented at: FABTECH® 2012, Nov. 12-14, 2012, Las Vegas, NV.

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Minimizing Distortion by Accounting for Residual Stresses

Distortion during machining can result in high scrap rates and increased manufacturing costs. Distortion results from either the introduction or elimination of residual stresses during manufacture. Residual stresses which are induced in the surface by machining and grinding, or throughout the body by welding or heat treatment, can generally be measured and controlled. Distortion caused by re-equilibration after removal of stressed material during machining is more difficult to avoid and is the primary cause of scrap in precision components. Examples of the residual stress distributions typically seen in heat treated components and the development of finite element models to minimize distortion are presented. Authors: Douglas J. Hornbach, Paul S. Prevey, Lambda Research, Cincinnati, OH.

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Process Capability Analysis for Production Tolerance Assignment

Tolerance control is critical in assuring product quality in discrete part manufacturing. This paper deals with an important aspect of tolerance control, namely, the assignment of production tolerance and determination of working dimensions. The guiding principle is that tolerance is used to account for the inevitable errors in manufacturing, which are collectively reflected in process capability. Therefore, a methodology based on process capability analysis is proposed. It assumes the use of existing production equipment where historical data is available. Algorithms are developed and their use is illustrated using a simplified actual part. Authors: Anshum Jain, Nuo Xu, Samuel H. Huang (University of Cincinnati, OH), Y. Kevin Rong (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA).

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Backbone of the Lean Enterprise

The manufacturing enterprise pursuing lean will need a backbone of enabling processes. This has been a subject of interest among SME members, as demonstrated by the philosophy that produced the CASA/SME Manufacturing Enterprise Wheel. Members of the Supply Chain Council also provide ideas for adaptation to any company. Tomorrow's lean enterprises will have a solid structure for project implementation and will be experts at applying the correct lean tools to solve business problems. A checklist at the end of the paper provides a way to quickly assess an organization's readiness for lean implementation. Author: James B. Ayers, CGR Management Consultants, Playa del Rey, CA.

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Automation--Its Effect on Jigs and Fixtures

The relationship of jigs and fixtures to metal removal processes and material holding devices is explored. Jigs and fixtures are defined, and changing styles and standardization of fixtures are considered. Automatic gaging, materials, cost control, safety, scrap, and new personnel requirements are reviewed. The author concludes that the fixture or jig is the key to successful processing. (Formerly 24T31)

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Grinding Techniques for Advanced Materials

A detailed discourse on the grinding of the newer metals and non-metals. Factors in the grinding process are discussed. Wheel selection is covered. Grinding recommendations for silicon carbide, alumina and zirconium are given. Thermo-spray coatings and their grinding are discussed. Wet and dry grinding methods are considered. Grindability is discussed. (Formerly 138)

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You Can Write Good Letters

If you have anything worth saying to a business associate then you can write a good letter that says it. In the hard cold light of our business world today, a good letter is a letter from which the receiver gets the sense of the message sent by the writer and in which he gets it with a minimum effort on his part as the reader. You do not need a flair with words to get sense through to your reader. A knowledge of elemental language, plus a few simple techniques are sufficient. There are three ingredients to a good business letter: organization, clarity, and friendliness. They can be learned and mastered in a short time with a good common sense approach to the processes of written communication.

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Interpreting Process Capability Studies

Guidelines are given for the interpretation of statistical process capability studies based on examples taken from the production of parts for gas turbine engines. When process capability studies should be performed is discussed and the differences between process, machine, and operator capability studies are described. The effect on results due to different machine set-ups, and the usefulness of base line data are analyzed.

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Deep Drawing of Metals

This article relates a short history of Deep Drawing and where it originated. The drawability of various metals and which metals are considered better than others are discussed. It also tells which metals are difficult or impossible to draw. A sequence of operations and how it is developed is explained. Percentages of reductions are laid out as an example. Various types of draw presses are detailed, and the advantages of each are listed. Finally, an explanation is given on how to convert a standard press into a draw press, depending on the skill and imagination of the tool engineer.

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Guidelines for Development of Fixturing for Robotic Arc Welding

Guidelines are provided for the development of fixturing to be used for robotic arc welding. A case study analysis evaluates the performance of various design approaches in actual production installations. The impact of the welding process and other components of robotic welding cells also are evaluated.

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High-Density Storage Systems and their Integration into Manufacturing

The basic principles of storing and handling materials are reviewed with emphasis on the manufacturing and distribution cycle. The equipment available for developing high density storage is discussed and examples of successful installations are presented. Manufacturing and distribution fuctions that depend on material handling are indentified with examples of successful integration of material handling systems which have improved performance in these functional areas.

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The Performance Of Seeded Gel Abrasive In Lab

Seeded gel a high-alumina abrasive, has been evaluated in the research laboratory and on operations in customer plants under both dry and wet conditions. In the lab, 52100 ball bearing steel, M7 tool steel, and INCO 718 were ground using water-based coolants, oil, and a new synthetic washable coolant, used undiluted. Seeded gel (SG) was used alone and blended with conventional abrasives and both products show interesting characteristics. In field tests, hardened gears, 5160 steel, INCO 718, T15, M4Z, and M50 were ground under wet and dry conditions. The advantages for seeded gel over conventional abrasives improve at higher metal removal rates since its submicron particle size resists higher forces much better. Reduced wear, more parts-per-dress, more parts-per-wheel, and higher g-ratios at higher removal rates show the tremendous potential of this new abrasive.

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Manufacturing Medical Devices

Medical devices are critical to the quality of health care provided by health-care professionals. They facilitate or improve the quality of many treatment procedures. Applications range from simple devices such as splints or casts to complex, functional implantable devices that support or sustain life. The biomaterials used to construct medical devices and the requirements for assured quality, including lot-to-lot reproducibility, vary widely with device application and the type of material or materials used in device construction. Preproduction planning and testing, acute and chronic biocompatibility testing, and lot-to-lot control of biological characteristics must also be considered. This paper discusses these and other aspects of manufacturing medical devices.

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The Development Of A Generic Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) System

A generic total productive maintenance (TPM) system for discrete-part manufacturing is presented and a prototype implementation is described. The core of the TPM system is a factory-wide real-time machine monitoring system for preventive and predictive maintenance. A heterarchical architecture has been developed which provides the necessary attributes of flexibility reconfigurability, and system robustness.

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Tool Path Strategies for High Speed Machining

CAD/CAM technology is coming to recognize the specific needs for new tool path strategies and approaches to suit the HSM environment. HSM can be defined as the use of higher spindle speeds and feed rates to remove material faster without a degradation of part accuracy or quality. The goal is clear--finish mill, to net shape, molds and dies to improve surface finish and geometric accuracy so that polishing is reduced or eliminated. This paper discusses the merits of smart machining, knowledge of stock remaining, cornering treatment, side steps, NURBS-based tool paths, trochoidal machining, and plunge roughing as they pertain to high speed machining. Author: Dan Marinac, Cimatron Technologies, Inc., Livonia, MI.

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Material Behavior of Aluminum 7075 and AISI 1045 Steel

In high speed machining, material behaviour is characterized by high deformation and strain rates with occurring high gradients leading to a change in chip formation compared with conventional cutting. Due to the short time contact between tool and workpiece at high cutting speeds in milling, the chip formation during the engagement is difficult to analyze. To determine the occurrences during chip formation, model experiments with single cutting edge engagements not influenced by successive engagements are conducted. The effects on workpiece surface are analyzed. Results of the model experiment can be used to determine optimum cutting conditions in high speed machining. Authors: Sven Siems, Ralph Dollmeier, Gunter Warnecke, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

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