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Sawing by the Numbers

An AMSAW S100SI carbide sawing machine with automated bar measuring systems is shown here cutting cylinder liners for automotive applications. The stumbling block for many buyers is the upfront cost for a carbide saw, which is two to three times more than for a band saw. But this study shows that just three carbide saws can handle the same volume of work that requires 18 band sawing machines.
On a cost per square foot of cutting basis, circular carbide saws come out on top.

Trends in Robotic Welding Guns

The through-arm style robot and through-arm robotic MIG gun make it easier to minimize downtime associated with cable management and reduce costs for cable replacement by dictating the length of the robotic MIG gun cable and accommodating increases in welding speed.
Robotic MIG guns may seem like a small part of the whole automated system, but the evolution of their design and functionality is having a significant impact on the cost, productivity and quality of an application.

What Lies Ahead in Real Time

The MERLIN system from Memex Automation is a manufacturing execution system (MES) that monitors a Mazak Slant Turn Nexus 600 big-bore turning center. The display screen at left shows real time data such as OEE, availability, performance and quality. (Photo courtesy of Mazak Corporation)
The Holy Grail in manufacturing automation lies in machine tool monitoring and the growing impact of network communications on equipment effectiveness for manufacturers.

Using Adaptive Grippers as Flexible Fixturing For Robotic Welding

The goal was to use a 3-Finger Adaptive Gripper as flexible fixturing instead of traditional jigs inside a complete robotic welding cell. Several tests were conducted to position a piece on a structure at ± 1 mm accuracy and weld it. Each step had to be reproduced numerous times with the same accuracy.
Using a traditional jig for every type of piece and assembly is complicated and expensive when welding small volumes or high mixes of parts. Why not use a robot with an adaptive gripper to feed a welding robot? This could replace most of the templates currently used by adapting to any part size and shape and holding them firmly while welding.

Never Too Dense

With full CT automation, click and measure capability and dual tube technology, the Phoenix v|tome|x m system can perform analyses on an extremely wide range of samples, from high-resolution nano CT of low-absorbing samples to the high-power micro CT applications, such as engine turbine blades.
Advanced scanning technology can now perform 3D analysis of a scanned turbine blade, automatic pour porosity volume analysis on an aluminum casting, 3D measurements with nominal-actual CAD comparisons on a machined aluminum cylinder head – and more.

Machines That Can Feel

Strain gauges are now being placed into the bottom of the grooves inside the machine tool components themselves, where stresses are highest and where stress gauges can make the most precise measurements. (Photo courtesy of Springside Industries)
Structural components of a machine tool now contain gauges that allow the machine itself to measure process stress and vibration. Here’s a review of this and other new developments in conditioning monitoring and predictive maintenance systems.

Control Plant Safety Functions from a PC

You configure the virtual I/O in the usual manner in the software tool, PNOZmulti Configurator. Instead of wiring, you simply configure your safety circuit on a PC. 
The PNOZmulti 2 open configurable control system from Pilz can be used for stand-alone or modular expansion of multiple safety functions throughout the plant, on machine tools and other equipment.

The Truth About Electric Lift Trucks

Using modern AC motor technology, electric lift trucks can perform as well as ICE units in acceleration, run speed, lifting ability/capacity, ramp incline speed and climbing capabilities under most operating circumstances.
Though electric lift trucks are not suitable for every application, economic and environmental changes are advancing their opportunities. This review of those changes analyzes the impact they might have when considering an electric lift truck for your shop.