The energy industry is often at the forefront of our minds as we watch fuel prices climb and then celebrate when they come down. We continually find ways to be as energy efficient as possible in our homes and workplaces. Media outlets keep us constantly informed of this often-volatile industry’s ups and downs.
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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.
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).
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.
In our May webinar titled “Lasers in Manufacturing: State of the Art in 2018,” we noted the emergence of some novel technologies to produce the “holy grail” of laser welding: spatter-free joins with no porosity and, when required, highly aesthetic outcomes.
From cutting various thicknesses of sheet metal and metal plate or different widths of tubing to navigating intricate materials or process issues, some of the laser industry’s leading suppliers have weighed in with tips and insights into their novel solutions.
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.
The Fabricating & Lasers pavilion of IMTS shows how makers of machine tools have to keep improving their product lineup. For one thing, customer expectations continue to rise.
Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.