Industry News for 02/2016

SmartCAMcnc, Springfield, Ore., recently announced the opening of a new instruction center for training CNC programmers to use the SmartCAM Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software family. The new facility is located at the company's corporate headquarters in Springfield.
Source: MAPI
The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation published a report in January about megatrends that are reshaping manufacturing. Titled “Manufacturing Megatrends: The Impact of Megatrends on U.S. Manufacturers,” the report was authored by MAPI Director of Councils and Business Research Jenn Callaway, and is based on surveys conducted with manufacturing executives. 
Inventables committed to donating one of its CNC milling machines to a school in every state. Prices for the Carvey start at $1,999, while basic kits for the company’s first machine, the X-Carve (shown), start at $935. Image courtesy Inventables.
When Zach Kaplan visited the White House last June for a National Week of Making event, he had no idea it would mean giving away 50 of his company’s 3D carvers (tabletop milling machines). The CEO of Inventables Inc. (www.inventables.com), Chicago, Kaplan and 99 other conference attendees were challenged to provide ideas on how they could help President Barack Obama with his “Nation of Makers” initiative. Kaplan’s suggestion? Put an Inventables 3D carver in one school in each of the nation’s 50 states. What’s more, Kaplan wants to have a 3D carver in every school in the U.S. by the end of this decade. 
Each ITAMCO forklift is linked to the company’s ERP system through GPS and an application on forklift-mounted tablets. Image courtesy ITAMCO.
Forklifts—the workhorses of the plant floor—are more valuable than ever at ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Cos.). The Plymouth, Ind.-based manufacturer of gears and other precision components connected its forklifts to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which integrates machine tools and other manufacturing equipment with networked sensors and software. 
Has the reshoring train left the station or not? According to the second annual U.S. Reshoring Index from global management consultants A.T. Kearney, the answer is a resounding “no.” In 2015, the index, at -115, indicates that reshoring of manufacturing activities to the U.S. has not kept up with offshoring. The index measured -30 in 2014. A positive number indicates net reshoring, while a negative value indicates net offshoring.
Machining process targets moldmakers and more
Imagine a machining process that removes material five times faster than milling and 10 times faster than sinker EDMing, machines Inconel and hardened steel with ease, holds tolerances to ±0.0006" and utilizes the same tool to process thousands of parts with virtually no tool wear. Machine builder EMAG LLC USA, Farmington Hills, Mich., calls this process pulsed electrochemical machining (PECM). A subset of electrochemical machining, PECM is far more accurate than the decades-old ECM and has matured into a viable alternative to more-traditional machining processes over the past few years, according to the company. 
Röhm expands service in Mexico
Röhm Products Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V., a subsidiary of Röhm GmbH, recently opened a new office in Monterrey, Mexico, in an effort to expand the company's sales, service and support capabilities to meet increasing demand for high-quality clamping and gripping technology throughout Mexico and Central America, the company reported in a Feb. 22 news release.
San Francisco Chronicle analysis of software and manufacturing industry
An online San Francisco Chronicle report posted Feb. 18—"Hacker ethos comes to the factory floor"—suggests that large and small manufacturers alike "are beginning to think and operate like software companies." And, just for the record, that's a good thing, say the authors: Mark Muro, a senior fellow and the policy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, and Kelly Kline, the economic development director and chief innovation officer of the city of Fremont, Calif.
Solar Atmospheres, Hermitage, Penn., recently announced a collaboration with Pressure Technology Inc. (PTI) that will offer an added-value service to PTI's HIP (Hot Isostatic Press) Facility in Concord, Ohio, according to a Feb. 15 news release. The collaboration is the result of an escalation of components being printed via additive manufacturing as well as the increased production of engine blade manufacturing to support newer more efficient aircraft, according to Solar Atmospheres. Such market forces means that hot isostatic pressing (HIPing) is in more demand for the densification of many materials.
Single Source Technologies (SST), a North American distributor of machinery brands based in Auburn Hills, Mich., recently announced the acquistion of Automation Solutions Inc. (ASI), effective as of Jan. 18, according to a Feb. 9 SST news release.
NTB Interstate University of Technology Buchs, an institute that specializes in engineering informatics, recently announced a new website, gtc-tools.com, which provides information to the public on the Generic Tool Catalog (GTC) cutting tool data exchange format, according to a joint news release issued Feb. 9. The GTC data exchange format was developed through collaboration among machining hardware and software leaders Siemens PLM Software, Sandvik Coromant, Iscar and Kennametal.
MBFZ toolcraft GmbH, Georgensgmünd, Germany, recently announced that it has secured extra site space for future expansion at its Handelsstraße site, according to a Feb. 8 company news release. Toolcraft, which has manufactured precision parts made from metal and plastic for 27 years, said its expansion plans are the result of steadily increasing demand.
The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), Chicago, announced Feb. 10 that it has issued $15 million in national contract research awards that include funding to test and aid compliance with the nation’s cybersecurity standards for digital manufacturing, according to a news release from the group. The money will be distributed among six new projects with 27 DMDII partners in 17 states.
BENZ Inc., Charlotte, N.C., today announced it will be holding a Heavy Metal Sale to commemorate the company’s upcoming expansion and relocation from Charlotte to Hickory, N.C. During the promotional period through Feb. 19, BENZ will offer 25 percent off select live tools, Solidifx Modular Quick Change Systems and angle heads.
CARVEsmart, a division of Bellatex Industries and maker of the original quick-change vise jaw system featuring dovetailed jaw technology, announced a deal giving the Orange Vise Co. an exclusive opportunity to offer CARVEsmart patented features in the Orange Vise Integrated Jaw System (IJS). With CARVEsmart dovetail and clamp features machined directly into the Orange IJS vise, there is no need for master jaws, which is said to save 1.5" of opening, according to a CARVEsmart news release issued Feb. 2.
Laser Mechanisms Inc., Novi, Mich., announced Monday that it has acquired Livonia, Mich.-based Visotek, a provider of Smart Laser Tools™ that are said to simplify the use of lasers in any environment. The acquisition is expected to complement Laser Mechanisms' core business of providing industry-leading laser beam delivery solutions.
PROMOS 2: The modular System with simple Add-On capabilities for monitoring of metal-cutting machines.
With the acquisition of Prometec GmbH, Aachen, Germany, Sandvik Coromant "strengthens its offering in digital manufacturing," according to a Sandvik news release issued Feb. 1. A supplier of advanced solutions for monitoring and controlling of machining processes in production machines, Prometec will be integrated with  Sandvik Coromant, a product area within Sandvik Machining Solutions.
Though up two-tenths of 1 percentage point since December 2015, economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in January for the fourth consecutive month as measured by the Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, which is published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management, Tempe, Ariz.