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How Machine Shops Can Benefit from New Automation Technology

As automation technology becomes more effective, cost effective, and easier to implement, job shops are automating more and more of their processes. In this episode, Alan Rooks, editor in chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Michael Gaunce, group manager, stationary workholding for Schunk Inc., about what a small to medium size job shop should consider when starting and exploration into automation; the particular machines or jobs that are easier to automate over others; why high part quantities are not needed in order to automate a job; what types of skills a shop should look for in employees working with automation; and how to define categories for the different styles of automation used in machine tool tending.

Deburring in Forming and Fabricating: Part 1

Deburring can sometimes be overlooked in production planning, but it is a critical part of forming and fabricating processes. In this podcast, part one of two, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Dr. LaRoux Gillespie, a researcher, engineer, manager, consultant, and writer with an extensive knowledge base on deburring and finishing gained from decades of both hands-on manufacturing and academic work. Dr. Gillespie is also a past president of SME. In this episode, the discussion focuses on key issues that create burrs in casting/forging/ molding, blanking and bending operations, and the basics of deburring in three key areas: burr properties, acceptable deburring, and cost effective deburring.

Flexible Automation for Automotive

As the automotive industry’s reawakening continues, less-expensive high-payload robots are gaining traction over more conventional fixed tooling among automakers focused on cutting costs while improving manufacturing productivity and processes.

Tools to Reduce Time and Money

Time is money and reliability is what a company’s reputation is built on. Chris Mahar, Associate Editor of Manufacturing Engineering, speaks with Mike Marr, Applications Technician at Hoffmann Group USA, about their Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC) series and Garant Master Tap line. Discussing how manufacturers can reduce costs, provide process reliability and reduce machining times in both machining threads and 5-axis copy milling.

Optical Comparators Adapt and Grow

Beware predictions of the demise of any technology. If the early 1920s saw the dawn of the optical comparator, there has been much speculation about its sunset. That was especially true when vision systems started hitting their stride a few years ago. Many could see optical comparators were superfluous with the use of vision systems. Many thought the sunset of optical comparators was imminent. Many were wrong. Why?

Extending the Life of Automation Assets

If left on their own, material handling assets will slowly degrade and eventually fail, often at the most inopportune moment. But with a little planning, you can not only extend their useful life, you can also optimize performance.