Glenn Bridgman describes the difference between his shop’s manual grinders and its newest state-of-the-art CNC ID/OD grinder, a Studer CT960 OD/ID from United Grinding (Miamisburg, OH), as “feel vs. facts.” Bridgman, president of Bridge Tool & Die (Buckley, MI), believes that manual grinding is a somewhat personal operation.
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Materials science has opened new possibilities for designers of cars, planes and other products. Metal alloys are now as precisely engineered as they are machined. The result is longer lasting, stronger parts. But with a wider selection of materials comes risk—how can you be sure that one piece of gray metal stock is different than another? Careful warehousing procedures and paperwork only go so far.
As a result of recent testing under real production conditions, brass proved to machine at extremely high speeds on today’s advanced machine tools with little evidence of tool wear, producing high-quality surface finishes and excellent chip control, reported the Copper Development Association (McLean, VA).
Hats off to tool manufacturers! They make some of the most geometrically complex products out of the toughest materials and with the tightest tolerances. And yet cutting tools represent only 3% of the total cost of the average metalworking process.
Titanium, stainless steel, aluminum and other super-alloys and exotic materials are on the rise for use in component manufacturing in growth industries such as aerospace, medical, and automotive.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in 2016 showed unit sales figures in 2015 up 15% on the year before, reaching an all-time high of 253,748. Since 2010, technical improvements in robots and automation have turbocharged investment, according to the report.
If there is a primary goal for what companies in this sector want to deliver to their customers it is quality. But throughput comes in a fairly close second.
For Dale Mickelson, Yasda product manager at Methods Machine Tools Inc. (Sudbury, MA) and author of several books on hard milling, tackling heat-resistant superalloys (HRSAs) requires the perfect combination of machine, workholding, tooling, tool paths and coolant.
US machine shops are potentially underutilizing the machinability of brass by as much as 85 percent in their part processing operations, reports a recent study from the Copper Development Association Inc. (McLean, VA).
Composite materials have clear benefits for manufactured parts in aerospace, medical, automotive applications and many other industries. Ensuring the highest part accuracy is critical. Force measurement and material testing are essential processes for product designers and manufacturers to gain insightful data to create high-quality composite components.