Industry News for 03/2020

The ramifications from the coronavirus seem likely to loom for the coming weeks or months as the pandemic widens its grip around the world. Rather than bemoan the shelter-in-place orders designed to keep us safe, we at Cutting Tool Engineering are committed to overcoming the obstacles and limitations we now face.
Horizontal-arm CMM inspects next-generation automotive fixtures
Materialise Group spin-off RapidFit has deployed a horizontal-arm coordinate measuring machine manufactured by LK Metrology in Derbyshire, U.K., to check the accuracy of bespoke gaging and holding fixtures produced for the automotive industry.
Are grinding machine safety guards overdesigned?
Guards on grinding machines are particularly important for ensuring operator safety. Grinding wheels seldom burst, but when they do, there is a great risk of serious injury to the machine operator. Recent studies suggest, however, that the enclosures commonly used in gear grinding machines, for example, could be overdesigned at present. Investigations conducted by the VDW (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken – German Machine Tool Builders' Association) and the Institute of Machine Tools and Factory Management (IWF) at TU Berlin reveal that it is possible to use safety guards which are up to 70% thinner, depending on the width of the grinding wheel. These findings are leading to changes in ISO standardization.
No one can predict the future of manufacturing, but those who supply tooling, software or equipment are closer to the ins and outs of the manufacturing industry than most. This gives them an almost prescient ability to forecast what’s coming down the pipe, offer recommendations on what manufacturers need to be successful in these turbulent times and help machine shops and fabricators understand which technologies will bring them the greatest bang for the buck.
Overcoming metrology bottlenecks in additive manufacturing
Of unique importance today is the role of post-process metrology to validate the integrity of AM builds. One specific reason for this importance is that many parts produced by AM end up in safety critical applications where end-use functionality is of vital importance. The nature and relative roughness of AM surfaces, whether analyzing individual layers within a build, or the surface of a finished part render conventional metrology solutions somewhat impotent. In this article, I review developments from Zygo including work alongside Richard Leach that allow for hitherto unattainable metrology results, which are being used to enhance the use of AM as a production technology by making validation protocols more efficient.
Burr Oak Tool slashes production time with CAM software
Burr Oak Tool Inc. is a leading producer of dies used to produce two types of fins for window air conditioners. Evaporator fins on the side of the air conditioner inside the window transfer heat from the inside air to the cold refrigerant flowing through the evaporator coil. Compressor fins located on the side of the air conditioner outside the window move heat from the now hot refrigerant to the outside air. Burr Oak Tool dies progressively stretch and reform the fins through a series of metal forming operations that extrude and reduce the thickness of the fins.
Industrial control robotics - the next great leap in manufacturing and automation
The industrial control robotics systems perform, control and monitor a wide range of industrial operations and automated processes. The objective is to improve the overall quality, reliability and precision of these processes.
U.S. Tsubaki Automotive saves big with Eriez portable sump cleaner
U.S. Tsubaki is known for producing precision power transmission parts for some of the best-known OEMs in the automotive industry worldwide. The quest for quality craftsmanship and operating efficiency is standard procedure in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where the company’s Automotive LLC division operates a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Manufacturers aim to improve efficiency, design of cut-to-length line systems
The manufacturing sector is experiencing a major transition worldwide due to major advancements in technology. At present, as Industry 4.0 continues to make inroads across a range of manufacturing facilities worldwide, the digitization trend has set its foot into steel production– a factor that is positively impacting the long rolling space. The demand for cut-to-length line systems is witnessing significant growth, as steel producers continue to rope in significant efforts to fulfill the consumer demand for on-time delivery and product requirements while simultaneously running a lean operation.
Bringing the circular ecomony to the factory floor
How old is your mobile phone? If you’re thinking about your current device, it’s likely that you change it every couple of years following the release of a fancy new upgrade. In reality, mobile telephones as old as the brick-like, antennae inventions of the 1980s probably remain in landfills. With many of our planet’s environmental issues linked to human consumption, it’s time to rethink our "take-make-dispose" economy.
Metalworking fluids market resurgent as regulations mandate safe disposal
The primary focus of metalworking applications revolves around maximizing efficiency of machinery and operations. Thus it is preferable to use metalworking fluids that are multifunctional in nature. Significant growth in metalworking processes worldwide have propelled demand for metalworking fluids. However, metalworking fluids used for machineries have undergone intense regulatory scrutiny in last two decades.