You don’t have to look too far to find tooling presetters that fit the machining requirements of just about any size shop. The value of off-line tool presetting—rather than stopping machine spindles to touch off tools as machines sit idle—continues to prove itself invaluable, especially to the smallest first-time user shops.
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When first introduced in the late 1970s, cutting tool coatings—especially titanium nitride (TiN)—were embraced by tool manufacturers for their ability to extend tool life. As workforce materials have expanded from conventional ferrous and nonferrous metals to exotic alloys, composites, ceramics, and others, coatings have likewise progressed and, thanks to new formulations and deposition methods, are extending cutting tool capabilities as well as tool life.
Secure, accurate workholding sets the stage for consistent machining productivity. Depending on the parts and processes involved, workholding can be as simple and temporary as a plain vise or clamp or as complex and permanent as a machined and fabricated fixture that is custom-designed to hold a unique part.
Manufacturing Engineering asked thought leaders at five companies for their views on challenges and trends facing the metalworking industry.
Digital tool management systems, and the digital tool libraries that support them, are changing the way cutting tools, toolholders and workholding are assembled into tooling setups and used to machine parts
Advanced tool grinding technology, more capable and precise than ever, has meant new ground-breaking cutting tools, such as a variable geometry designs. Just as importantly, other machine tool providers need to offer automation and advanced in-process sensing to make proven tool grinding operations even more efficient.
At Jaktool LLC (Cranbury, NJ), a team of young inquisitive engineers is investing the time to explore the full potential of its manufacturing software and machines to take on the complex jobs no one else wants. Using Mastercam CAD/CAM programming software from CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT), Jaktool is able to save setup times and tooling costs, and reduce cycle times, while delivering exceptional customer service to a diverse cross section of industries.
Although laser welding is a well-established manufacturing solution, many sheetmetal fabricators have been hesitant to implement the process at their shop.
The auto industry’s constraint in introducing new models because of a labor shortage to make dies, molds, jigs, fixtures and other tooling will be the focus of a conference next month.
In preparation for mass customization, for starters, Japanese and German tech research officials today committed to expanding their joint work to establish a “social-technical or maybe ‘cyber-social’ environment where ‘digital companions’ and production lines communicate with humans” working in manufacturing, Andreas Dengel said in an interview with Smart Manufacturing magazine here at the CeBIT (Centrum der Büroautomation und Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation) fair.