The cleaning equipment division of CDF Industries in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, has been acquired by Vollrath Co. LLC. The acquisition will add innovative cleaning equipment designs and processes to the company’s existing portfolio of industrial cleaning solutions from Stoelting Cleaning Equipment. CDF’s operations for vibratory deburring and centrifugal disc finishing will continue to operate under the CDF Industries name.Design and manufacture of CDF Industries’ cleaning equipment products will be relocated to Stoelting’s manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin. www.stoeltingcleaning.com; www.vollrath.com
Medgate acquires IQS, expands into quality management software
Risk-management software company Medgate Inc. has acquired IQS Inc., a quality management software provider that helps organizations streamline, standardize, and centralize quality and compliance data and processes. The purchase rounds out Medgate’s offering, addressing environmental, health, safety, and quality (EHSQ).
The deal comes just weeks after Medgate’s purchase of environmental compliance management provider regAction.
Factory Link now NSK America’s Midwest manufacturer’s representative
Officials from NSK America Corp., Hoffman Estates, Illinois, announce that Factory Link will be the manufacturer’s representative for the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Western Pennsylvania. www.factorylink.com; www.nskamericacorp.com
Cleaning Technologies Group promotes Chris Whittaker to VP
Chris Whittaker has been promoted to vice president business development & marketing at Cleaning Technologies Group (CTG). In this role, Whittaker will be responsible for global business growth of the Ransohoff Division of products and services and will retain the global marketing responsibilities for all CTG divisions. www.ctgclean.com
Fanuc America: 35 years manufacturing robots in US
Fanuc America marks the 35th anniversary of manufacturing its line of painting robots at the company’s Rochester Hills, Michigan headquarters, where they design, assemble, and integrate in the U.S. and export to customers around the world.
In 1982, Fanuc America produced its first NC Painter using key components from parent company Fanuc Corp. Today, Fanuc America is globally responsible for all paint robots and door openers in the lineup, which are sold to a range of industries including medical devices, automotive, aerospace, agricultural products, recreational vehicles, boats, furniture, and appliance. www.fanucamerica.com
Manufacturing represents 12.5% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so any improvement to a manufacturing operation can have a significant impact on overall economic competitiveness. However, to remain competitive, advanced, smart manufacturing technologies must continue to be developed, and barriers to implementation need to be addressed.
Smart manufacturing encompasses more than a machine tool with its spindle turning and chips flying. Manufacturers need software, hardware, robots, conveyers, sensors, quality/inspection equipment, and data collection – all working in harmony for efficient production and to make clear when things aren’t going as planned.
However, a recent economic analysis brief from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finds six gaps in smart manufacturing capabilities:
- Managing digital data streams through models
- Enhanced sensing and monitoring
- Seamless transmission of digital information
- Advances in analyzing data and trends
- Efficiently communicating information to decision makers
- Required action and implementing action
These barriers to innovation increase the cost of smart manufacturing research & development (R&D), weaken private investment incentives, and magnify the role of public institutions. In turn, if these gaps are addressed it could save manufacturing companies $57.4 billion annually.
The NIST brief goes on to note that, “investments in public-private manufacturing research consortia and technology extension services may be required to develop and disseminate smart manufacturing technology infrastructure.”
Federal research funding cuts will hinder advancements in U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, such as the $4 million, National Science Foundation-supported project led by University of Michigan (UofM) engineering researchers collaborating with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Cornell University, (Ithaca, New York). The Software-Defined Control project looks at increasing factory productivity and competitiveness and how by making a computer model of a physical system, operators can better detect and address anomalies, adapting quickly to manufacturing changes with minimal disruption to operations or production. UofM researchers say the same algorithms can also be used to redefine the production routes when a new part is introduced, or the desired production volume is changed, to maximize the security and profitability of the manufacturing operation.
As the cost to implement technology decreases and is more accessible, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be better positioned to adopt advanced technologies to become smarter manufacturers. Their return on investment (ROI) will be increased productivity, less downtime, deeper operation insights, and improved product quality, delivering positive financial impact on companies, and in turn consumers.
So, while many manufacturers have been supportive of the administration’s efforts to ease regulations and lower taxes, proposed cuts shouldn’t be ignored.
How much support for R&D can be eliminated without it causing manufacturers to lose their competitiveness?~Elizabeth
As a custom plastics molder and contract manufacturer serving the medical, industrial, transportation, energy/environment, computer/business, and consumer markets, Mack Molding’s customers are varied, and so are their needs. To meet these diverse requirements, Mack has vertically integrated services including designing, prototyping, supply chain management, machining, sheet metal fabrication, molding, painting, assembly, testing, and fulfillment. With this diversity of services, it is interesting to note some of the most significant variation in customer requirements comes from the resin selection process.
Material properties, processability, and cost all play key roles determining a resin’s suitability for an application. With thousands of grades to choose from, and new ones being developed to fill market niches, customers often turn to a contract manufacturer to help navigate the resin selection process.
Here are some considerations when choosing a resin.
Mechanical requirements – Parts that have specific strength requirements need to be considered when choosing a resin as different classes have various mechanical properties, including tensile strength, elastic modulus, and heat deflection. Thermoplastic resins offer a variety of strength properties that can often be modified with fillers such as glass or carbon fiber.
Chemical compatibility – Many customers are concerned about how chemicals, including cleaning solvents and process reagents, interact with their resin choice. In these cases, we consult published testing data from resin manufacturers that show a material’s performance with each chemical. At times the data may not exist and testing with specific chemicals will be requested.
Environmental compatibility – Parts that will be exposed to extreme hot or cold conditions need to be made with resins rated accordingly, making the long-term service temperature and heat deflection temperature critical performance metrics. Other conditions to consider include exposure to UV light and high humidity.
Commodity vs. performance – When possible, customer applications are paired with commodity resin grades due to the inherent cost and availability advantages of higher volume raw material production. Some projects call for specific properties – strength, heat resistance – which is where performance resins excel. Though its higher cost makes it most appropriate for low-volume, niche applications.
Amorphous vs. semi-crystalline – Amorphous resins can offer wider processing windows and improved dimensional control due to their random molecular structure. They can be transparent and are compatible with many adhesives. Semi-crystalline materials offer improved mechanical and thermal properties but can be more difficult to process.
Material shrinkage – The amount a resin shrinks during the molding process can have a huge impact on the ease of building a tool or developing a successful molding process. Try to select resins that have lower shrink rates whenever possible.
Once these factors are accounted for the list of suitable resins is typically cut down to a manageable number for consideration. The Mack team uses its knowledge of materials, coupled with supply chain management, to help make the final determination of a grade.
About the author: Scott Rishell is the technical lead on several programs at Mack, developing part designs for production processes. Prior to his current role, Rishell was a program manager in Mack’s medical business, where he gained unique customer experience insights. He has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Rishell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The XM-60 multi-axis calibrator measures six degrees of freedom (6DoF) from a single set-up, in any orientation for linear axes, and captures angular and straightness errors. Incorporating an optical roll measurement and fiber optic launch system, the launch unit is remote from the laser unit, reducing heat effects at the measurement point. It can be mounted directly to the machine on its side, upside down, or on its back. Renishaw will be in booth #745 at PMTS.
Range of Swiss tooling
Shaper Duo tooling is designed for positioning in the back spindle of Swiss machines, and a selection of hexalobular insert bars capable of machining T6 up to T30 socket sizes are available.
The CTWP series cut-off tooling is designed to accept bar stock diameters up to 1.65". Cut Max features rigidity for improved reliability and productivity on high load cut-off applications with shank sizes from 3/4" to 1".
CX 3D molded chip breaker, integrated with CTP inserts, solves common cut-off application issues. Constructed of DM4 grade, the CTP-CX neutral inserts can be used on CTP series tool holders that include a coolant-through selection. NTK Cutting Tools will be in booth #13 at PMTS.
NTK Cutting Tools
Lube internal cooling
The multidec-LUBE tool clamp system allows a repeatable jet flow, even after multiple tool changes, setups, or teardown, and replaces the original equipment gang slide tool clamps provided with Swiss machines. The clamp system eliminates jet nozzle chip collection and avoids bending or repositioning of coolant tubes/nozzles.
Multidec-LUBE will be shown at PMTS in booth #258 along with Louis Belet carbide Expert series tooling packages and GenSwiss’ PCM 4X high speed spindles with a new planetary style gear system. These spindles offer a low-profile configuration that suit Citizen Swiss A, L, M, and the L32 series machines for greater performance of micro drills, end mills, and high-speed, thread-milling tooling.
Genevieve Swiss Industries Inc.
Deburr, texture, clean small parts
MicroBlasting systems debur intricate geometries, texture to a sharp delineation, and remove thin coatings and films all without causing dimensional changes to the underlying part. The system’s micro-scale, consistent feed, and pinpoint accuracy is delivered via small nozzles and a mixture of compressed dry air and abrasive to alter surface finishes and remove unwanted material.
The AccuFlo and ProCenter Plus MicroBlasters will be in Comco’s booth, #1251, at PMTS 2017.
LR Mate 200iD Robots
LR Mate 200iD robots offer versatile solutions for a wide range of manufacturing operations requiring access into small spaces. A very slim arm – about the same size as a human’s arm – and a bottom cable exit option minimize interference with peripheral devices. LR Mate 200iD robots offer upright and invert-mount installations and are available with ISO Class 4 cleanroom variants for healthcare applications. Fanuc will be in booth #1138 at PMTS.
Fanuc America Corp.
Threading inserts, round shank holders
An expansion to the DuoJustCut line includes threading inserts and round shank holders for small part machining. DuoJustCut can line up threading inserts for front and back turning operations, incorporating a highly rigid clamping method to prevent the insert from moving during high-feed machining. One type of threading insert and three types of parting-off inserts are available for use in a single holder.
Tungaloy America Inc.
10-axis Swiss-type automatic lathe
With its B-axis and 8-spindle back-working unit, the 10-axis SR-38 Type B automatic Swiss-type lathe accommodates complex parts production in one operation, handling bar stock up to 1-1/2". Built in main- and sub-spindles and high tool post rigidity ensure accuracy while flexible overlap machining and simultaneously controlled X-1 and X-3 axes deliver high productivity. The motion control system optimizes machining operations and reduces idle machine time. See this lathe at PMTS booth #633.
Star CNC Machine Tool Corp.