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EDM Expands into New Territories

The use of electrical discharge machining, or EDM, is spreading as manufacturers need more precisely cut workpieces, often made from tough to machine materials.

Use-based maintenance beats alternatives hands down

Unplanned downtime and production loss due to equipment failure is one of the leading losses for manufacturers. Most shops perform maintenance on a fixed schedule or on failure. This means a machine will be maintained regardless of how often it is used and unexpected breakdowns will stop production.

More US funds needed to address workforce skills gap

A strong manufacturing ecosystem that includes manufacturing engineering education is critical to ensuring the future vitality and innovation of manufacturing initiatives in the US. So it was welcome news to learn that the DOD is developing a new manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program, authorized by Congress with initial funding of $10 million for fiscal 2017.

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?

ERP Software for Small Shops

Modernizing the smaller shop with the latest digital tools available from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developers

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.

Narrowing the Skills Gap

Technological gains, young ambassadors, apprenticeships help. But manufacturers’ training investment remains a problem.