Niigata Machine Techno USA Inc.’s new N. American headquarters is now open in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The facility will support North American manufacturing with a full line of Niigata horizontal machining centers and parts, applications engineering, technical service, and support. Niigata established its U.S. presence in 1980. www.niigatausa.com
ISO certified Komet Service Partners
Komet Service Partner, Countyline Tool has attained ISO 9001:2015 certification. All partners are currently working to obtain the ISO 9001:2015 certification, and Countyline Tool is the eighth partner to have completed the certification. www.kometgroup.com; www.countyline-tool.com
DMG MORI USA’s new president
DMG MORI USA has appointed James V. Nudo president. Nudo has been with the company for more than 14 years, having served as executive officer of DMG MORI USA and executive officer of the international legal department and international human resources department for DMG MORI Co. Ltd. Nudo was part of the team responsible for implementing the DMG MORI joint venture. www.dmgmori.com
VP sales Americas at Mahr
Brett Green has joined Mahr Inc. as vice president sales Americas, including overall management of the American sales region as well as general management of Mahr’s Providence, Rhode Island, headquarters and manufacturing facility. www.mahrexactly.com
Ohio, Indiana regional manager
GROB Systems has added a new position and hired Tiffany Bryson as the regional manager in Ohio and Indiana, supporting companies considering investments in 5-axis CNC machines. www.grobgroup.com
I don’t read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but I came across Murray Leinster’s “Things Pass By,” published in 1945 in the pulp magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories (and republished in 1955), and it looks at the far-off world of 1992. Leinster envisioned a world in which machine tools were obsolete because Dirk Braddick, the main character, developed a method of casting metals with such accuracy that no machining was required. As the story continues, Braddick explains that he developed net-shape casting to eliminate a limitation of machine tools.
“A specialized machine tool will turn out one particular part, and it will produce that part cheaper than any other method can do. But if you try to change the product, the machine is useless. You get efficiency at the cost of flexibility,” Leinster wrote.
“But this constructor is both efficient and flexible. I feed magnetronic plastics – the stuff they make houses and ships of nowadays – into this moving arm. It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.”
So, he missed how CAD/CAM systems would revolutionize subtractive manufacturing and how flexible modern machining centers would become. But, pretty good prognosticating for 1945.
Clearly, today’s machine tools aren’t obsolete – the market is predicted to grow to $88.2 billion by 2020 – and 73 years later 3D printing/additive manufacturing (3D/AM) isn’t building ships or houses start to finish, but it’s advancing. Current forecasts show 3D/AM technologies will impact 35% of all medical devices by 2027, with projections to reach $1.88 billion by 2022.
Released at the end of 2017, U.S. FDA’s 31-page guidance advises medical device manufacturers on the technical aspects of 3D/AM, recommending details manufacturers should include when submitting 3D/AM medical devices, including device design, testing products for function and durability, and quality system requirements. The goal is to help manufacturers bring innovative products to market more efficiently, “making sure our regulatory approach is properly tailored to the unique opportunities and challenges posed by this promising new technology.”
While patients are already benefitting from 3D/AM printed personalized devices, guidance authors note that 3D/AM may introduce variability into the manufacturing process that wouldn’t be present when using other techniques. Helping ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products, the FDA states that it will continue to work toward establishing a framework for applying existing device manufacturing laws and regulations in medical facilities and academic institutions now creating these patient-specific devices.
While Leinster’s sci-fi story may have been a little ahead of his time with the size and speed of 3D/AM technology, what he wrote in 1945 is happening daily in 2018. Has your facility invested in 3D/AM? If so, how is it being used to enhance production?
Elizabeth Engler Modic, Editor
1. How important is the right tooling for medical manufacturers?
GRIP products are for front-turning, back-turning, grooving, parting, and threading processes used frequently in medical machining. Since a majority of this work is done on Swiss machines, products need to be designed for the tight work envelopes of these compact machines. Manufacturing success can’t be achieved simply by shrinking down standard-sized tooling and hoping it works. Since the release of our revolutionary part-off system in 1978, Iscar has continually introduced systems that are simple, free of mechanical clamps and offer molded top-rake geometry to improve productivity and chip evacuation. Since that time, we have taken this approach to the Swiss machining environment addressing ease of use and minimal downtime.
2. How do GRIP products meet the needs of Swiss machining?
One example is SwissCut Innoval, which takes the time-consuming process of removing the screw completely to index the insert and removing the tool from the machine due to screw access. SwissCut Innoval requires only three turns to remove/replace the insert. Machinists can access both front and back clamping mechanisms from either side, allowing them to change an insert without removing the tool, which saves time. This design also eliminates the downtime and frustration of dropping a tiny screw into a pile of chips.
3. How do Iscar’s GRIP products help reduce inventory and increase productivity in medical part machining?
Users can have multiple inserts for multiple applications in a single tool. The SwissCut Innoval line has inserts that all fit into the same pocket, reducing shop inventory. There is no longer the need to house a range of holders for the required operations. With smaller machines comes limited tool posts, but today’s multi-function tools can take a process that used to require five to six tools down to one – an ID tool is able to function as a boring bar, perform threading for OD and ID work, and be used as a turning tool. Machinists gain flexibility by having more options with fewer tools. Iscar’s PICCO MFT line of tooling is an example of such innovation, which also gives you 5µm repeatability when used with the PICCO ACE holder.
4. What are the first things to look for when increasing a shop’s manufacturing processes?
First would be to see if they have changed over to indexable tooling. If a shop looks like they are running operations 25 years ago, using in-house grinding operations, they are limiting the precision work they can achieve. We often hear in small- to medium-sized shops, “It’s always been done this way.” Those wanting to advance efficiency are the ones asking, “How can you update our approach?” This is where the line of GRIP products answers the need to update, offering an insertable compact design, quick and easy tool maintenance, long tool life, repeatability, suitability for a range of applications, and the ability to be engineered for optimal solutions.
5. Where do cost-savings enter if you switch over inserts and tooling?
The savings come first from not having to spend a lot of money and time on tools. When using the range of GRIP products, as one tool goes dull the machinist unscrews the insert, installs a new one, and resumes the cycle. This delivers increased uptime, a large benefit when compared to shops that spend time grinding out tools. Also eliminated are tool grinder, grinding wheels, and the tool grinder machinist.
Sinumerik CNC software release 4.8 compensates for unwanted axis-nodding movements and protects against machine, tool, and workpiece collisions. Nodding compensation (NoCo) adjusts for dynamic position deviations in one or more linear machine axes caused by acceleration processes. NoCo compensates for the dominant position deviation by initiating a corrective movement in the relevant machine axis, enabling improved machining quality simultaneously with higher jerk and acceleration values. NoCo is available in the Eco variant for dominant acceleration effects in which the compensation axis is combined with one influencing variable, and the Advanced variant for several compensation axes.
Release 4.8 also comes with advanced collision protection. The Eco version enables simple, reliable machine protection by preventing collisions of the machine body with its own components within the work area. The Advanced variant includes full machine, tool, and workpiece protection. Software provided by Sinumerik product partner ModuleWorks runs via an interface integrated on an external PC and works with the Sinumerik CNC in real-time to ensure that the machine, tool, and workpiece can be continuously monitored and are dynamically protected during stock removal. Workpiece and tool data is made available to the system during setup. Collision Avoidance provides a permanent, high level of safety during operation.
Linear drive tool grinder
The TX7 Linear 37kW (49hp) peak power, direct-drive spindle with BigPlus arbor handles 3mm diameter endmills to 400mm long drills or a 300mm diameter face cutter rigidly mounted, for heavy grinding. The unit is equipped with the Anca Motion AMC5 CNC with touchscreen user interface.
Anca LinX linear motors are used for X-, Y-, and Z- axes. Linear scales help achieve a high level of machine precision and performance with no loss of machine accuracy due to wear, and they are not affected by shop temperature variations. The LinX linear motor offers higher axis speed and acceleration and smooth axis motion for reduced cycle times.
Modular line threading, grooving system
Designed for internal threading and grooving applications, the Carmex Modular Line (ML) uses a single boring bar that can be fitted with multiple adapters offering accuracy, easy adjustment, and full repeatability. Coated with abrasive-resistant nickel, the ML adapters can be used with all Carmex standard thread turning inserts sizes 16mm, 22mm, and 27mm. The 16mm grooving inserts fit the MLR-L 16-32 and MLR-L 16-40 adapters.
Benchtop vision system
The HVR100-FLIP delivers accurate field of vision (FOV) measurements up to 90mm (3.65”). The system’s measuring orientation is easily changed from vertical to horizontal and back within minutes. With a 24” LCD touch-screen monitor, a 348mm x 165mm (13.7” x 6.5”) stationary top plate, and 165mm (6.5”) optics travel with a motorized power drive, the FLIP accommodates a range of part sizes.
The main operator interface of the FLIP displays a live video image with software measurement tools and graphical digital reading of measurements. MetLogix M3 software includes 2D geometric functions such as points, lines, circles, arcs, rectangles, distances, slots, angles and skew, and use of the part design DXF/CAD overlay simplifies part inspection.
The L.S. Starrett Co.