Editors' Blogs

In connection with the article I’m writing about metalworking fluid filtration equipment for our March issue, I spoke with Irvin Kaage, president of Transor Filter USA, Elk Grove Village, Ill. The company provides the One Micron Filtration system, which removes particles larger than 1µm from oil, primarily for grinding.
For our February issue’s Industry Briefs department, I’m writing an article about the Deburring Application Laboratory at Matrix Design LLC. The company designs, builds and installs robotic automation systems for deburring parts, as well as machine tending and material handling.
For those who want to enhance a CNC by adding capabilities, Chris Robson, applications engineer for Minneapolis-headquartered machine tool dealer Concept Machine Tool – (Delafield) Wisconsin, gave a presentation titled “What Else is Inside this Box? Open Architecture CNC.” His seminar took place Oct. 3 at the 15th biennial Wisconsin Manufacturing & Technology Show in the Exhibition Center at the Wisconsin State Fair Park, Milwaukee.
My Nov. 20 blog post titled "Manufacturers favor a digital workplace transformation but hold tight to their wallets" generated an insightful response from Jesse Z. Melton, owner of Harpers Ferry Toolworks.
Although picks, or plectra, for playing musical instruments are commonly plastic injection molded or stamped, some are machined.
Easy, accurate tracking of items through the manufacturing process is becoming more and more important in the quality-conscious 'Smart-Factory' era. RFID tagging has distinct advantages as a tracking method, but barcode scanning has its adherents too.
The mood of MFG Day, the annual celebration of U.S. manufacturing that took place Oct. 6, doesn’t cease after the plant tours and information sessions end and the participating students, parents and educators head home.
The CNC Cookbook blog recently polled its readers regarding their use of CNC control systems. According to the results, the five most-used CNCs are FANUC, Haas, Mazak, Siemens—and Centroid, which jumped up 9 places from last year's poll. The company is less well known that those other four but has a growing niche among "do-it-yourself" manufacturers.
In connection with my canvassing efforts to best focus the boring tools topic scheduled for the January issue of Cutting Tool Engineering, I spoke with Harvey Patterson, product development engineer at Scientific Cutting Tools Inc., Simi Valley, Calif.
One day everything in space will be made in space. That’s the ultimate goal for Made In Space Inc., said Matt Napoli, the company’s vice president of in-space operations, during his Oct. 25 keynote presentation titled “Made in Space: Manufacturing at 17,200mph” at The Quality Show. The trade show took place Oct. 24-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
In a clear echo of the 'Rosie the Riveter' campaign of WWII, manufacturing organizations in 2017 are striving to let women know that their talents are needed, the work is important and rewarding, and unlike in their grandparents' time, the jobs are permanent.
Similar to the parts manufacturers and equipment suppliers we reach, Cutting Tool Engineering strives for continuous improvement. This endeavor includes the feature article, columns and departments, as well as our website, with our most recent efforts focused on the news section.
Earlier this week we shared the conclusions of the McKinsey Report, which concluded that it may be possible for U.S. manufacturing to grow by 20 percent and add more than 2 million jobs by 2025. That was the good news. It can only happen, however, if manufacturers embrace Industry 4.0 technology. The Integr8 conference in Detroit showed how to get started.
In the digitized manufacturing world being born, the product that a job-shop produces is less a piece of engineered metal and more a piece of intellectual property. So said Tom Kelly, the executive director and CEO of Detroit’s Automation Alley. That difference brings risks but also unprecedented opportunities for those who are ready.
I attended ‘Integr8,’ an Industrial Internet of Things conference hosted by Automation Alley at Detroit’s Renaissance Center last month. At numerous breakout sessions, a common question from participants was, “How do I get started with getting my shop floor connected?” This was an event full of experts enthused by the possibilities that IIoT hold for manufacturers, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear many of them reply, in effect: “With moderation.”
Since its founding in 2008, 421 graduates of the nonprofit school Workshops for Warriors, San Diego, have earned 2,500 nationally recognized certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc., the American Welding Society and more. Even more noteworthy is the fact that the educational institution exists to train military veterans for metalworking careers. Manufacturers have lined up to support that mission, with more than 70 corporations each donating $10,000 or more in cash, equipment or materials in 2016 and the first 7 months of 2017 alone. Workshops for Warriors must raise $2.5 million annually just to maintain current operations.
When mass finishing—finishing many parts simultaneously—in a vibratory finishing system, the tendency is to use ceramic or plastic preformed cutting media, said Steven Schneider, technical sales manager at surface finishing company Kramer Industries Inc., Piscataway, N.J. Ceramic tumbling media are made with abrasive filler, much like a grinding wheel. For plastic tumbling media, plastic is mixed with abrasive filler and cast to shape. Ceramic media use aluminum oxide as filler, and plastic media use quartz or silica for cleaner results.
I’m one of those annoying people who stays current on technology. I store my stuff in the cloud, patch my software religiously and have my fifth smartphone in as many years. Despite my geeky tendencies, however, I’m apprehensive about the effect that Industry 4.0 and the industrial internet of things will have on … well, the industry. Call it smart manufacturing if you like, but many shop owners and managers—especially those who grew up with black-and-white TVs and rotary phones—might secretly call it scary manufacturing instead.