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Chrysler Implements Flexible Manufacturing

Challenged by an increasingly niche-oriented automotive market, The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) must increase the number of models it offers while decreasing its capital investment. The company plans to offer 50% more models in 2009 compared to 2004, according to John Felice, VP of manufacturing, technology and global enterprise for Chrysler.

Bar Feeders Boost Turning Productivity

One of the most cost-effective ways to obtain the benefits of automation is by adding a bar feeder to a CNC lathe or other bar machine. Costing anywhere from about $10,000 to $40,000 depending on configuration, the devices can add hours of untended operating time for part volumes of a few hundred to tens of thousands.

Machine Tool Control

Shop efficiencies start with the machine tool controller, as today’s CNC equipment offers machine operators myriad tools for improving part surface finishes, allocating machine time, and cutting job cycle times.

Communicating with the Shop Floor

For years, the manufacturing industry has debated the pros and cons of opening up manufacturing networks, but concerns over virus vulnerabilities and the stability of PCs on the network largely limited open-architecture PC controls’ progress and kept entrenched proprietary systems in place.

When Clamps Aren’t the Answer

Workholding techniques using a magnetic field, a vacuum, or an adhesive can be effective alternatives to clamps. When these techniques are used, more part area is available for the cutting tools, thin parts can be held, and initial setup can be fast and simple. Plus, there is a potential for smoother surfaces and a shorter overall production cycle.

CMMs Stake Their Claim

An eternal truth is that manufacturing will always push the limits on cost, performance, and especially quality. “Tolerances never get looser, they always get tighter,” remarked Gene Hancz, product specialist, CMM of Mitutoyo America Corp. (Aurora, IL).

Securing OT in the Energy and Utilities Sector

Convergence-enabled cyberattacks—where criminals exploit traditionally isolated operational technology (OT) devices through their new connections to the IT network—may be motivated by the desire to hijack and demand ransom for services, steal trade secrets through industrial or national cyberespionage, or commit cyberterrorism or engage in cyberwarfare.

Laser Cutting Powers Up

Implementing a comprehensive laser cutting system is not a task for the faint of heart. In addition to the financial outlay, requirements include planning for a complete system, not just the laser, according to Dustin Diehl, laser division product manager, Amada America Inc., Buena Park, Calif.

Modern CNCs Make Easy Work Out of Tough Stuff

It’s the machine tool acronym you never bother to put into words: CNC. And much of the time it’s probably OK to view your “computer numerical control” as a black box doing magic. But if you’re struggling with high-speed machining, need better surface finishes or higher accuracy, have training and retention problems, or want a better handle on your production efficiency, the answer just might be the latest iterations of those three little letters.