Whether the process is cylindrical or profile grinding, automation, which can increase cycle time, throughput, consistency of part quality and taking real-time in-process measurements, is once again in demand. The reasons can be found in the benefits found in typical applications and the innovative and effective forms of automation available from machine builders like United Grinding Technologies Inc. (UGT; Miamisburg, OH), and their automation integrator of choice, Matrix Design Inc. (Elgin, IL).
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New retrofit systems make it possible to quickly, easily and cost effectively transform the standard external-coolant live tooling heads on turning machine turrets into those with through-tool-coolant capability. And shops that have done the retrofit are experiencing longer tool life, more efficient chip control and less heat generation.
Investing in factory automation for the first time is a big decision for many CNC machine shops. For Loveridge Machine (Salt Lake City, UT), owner Dennis Loveridge thoroughly researched his options before making a decision for his high tech job shop.
The landscape is changing and one estimate says all new passenger cars sold in Europe will be electric or hybrid by 2025. For the companies supplying the global automotive market, this fact and others will require an immediate and ongoing assessment of technologies and machinery.
Supplying the 700 level-one trauma centers in the US is an intensively competitive business. Not only must suppliers like Smith & Nephew Orthopedics Inc. (Memphis, TN) produce very fine surface finishes on implantable devices and surgical instruments made from difficult-to-machine materials, but they also must deliver quality products, as surgeons need them.
New coatings are going the boutique route, using multiple layers and new materials to optimize for a particular application
When GE decided that additive manufacturing was the way to go for making metal fuel nozzles for its new LEAP engine, the company touched off interest in other shops to move 3D printers from the design studio to the factory floor. It also stepped up the focus on safety standards for metal AM.
The simple proposition that no two automation solutions using robotics are alike because no two manufacturing processes are identical presented a major challenge to Daniel Drennen of Deshazo LLC (Alabaster, AL).
The use of electrical discharge machining, or EDM, is spreading as manufacturers need more precisely cut workpieces, often made from tough to machine materials.
VMCs have had a productive past, present and the future looks promising