Fabricating and Metalworking http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com The Business of Metal Manufacturing Fri, 29 Jul 2016 22:15:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Deburring, Edge Blending and Surface Finishing of Hard Materials http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/deburring-edge-blending-surface-finishing-hard-materials/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/deburring-edge-blending-surface-finishing-hard-materials/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 21:47:49 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96735 Diamond Flex-Hone Tools from Brush Manufacturing Research use resin bond diamond crystals with high friability that creates self-sharpening edges to provide a quick cut-rate and optimal finish.

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In Booth N-7163, Brush Research Manufacturing Co. Inc. (BRM; Los Angeles, CA) will show how Diamond Flex-Hone® Tools are designed primarily for deburring, edge blending and surface finishing in hard materials like carbide, ceramic and aerospace steel alloys. These engineered tools use resin bond diamond crystals that have high friability. A crystal with high friability creates self-sharpening edges that result in a free cutting tool that will provide a quick cut-rate and optimal finish. All of these diamond tools are made with premium nickel-coated abrasive that helps with heat dissipation and improves the bond retention. Sizes from 4 mm to 20 mm are standard in three different mesh sizes. Other sizes and mesh selections are available on special order.

Shops can always count on BRM to develop innovative surface finishing and deburring solutions for applications include carbide wear parts, guide and drill bushings, ceramic cylinders, heat treated steel, high nickel stainless steel, MMX aluminum alloys, chromed and plated bores, aerospace components, medical parts and ED recast layer.

Also on display will be the high performance abrasive nylon disc brush line, which has expanded to include a selection of small diameter tools. The new brushes are available in 50 mm, 60 mm and 80 mm diameters in both the Dot and Turbine style configuration. A new specialty flow-through tool holder with a 16 mm shank is also available to accommodate these smaller diameter tools. Nampower brushes are made of a combination of ceramic and silicon carbide abrasive nylon mounted to a thermoplastic base. These smaller diameter disc brushes will offer greater versatility into harder to reach areas, smaller applications and planetary head mountings and create reliable, consistent and cost effective results. Nampower Disc Brushes easily integrate into automated machinery, CNC machining centers, transfer lines and robotic cells. The best just got better.

Brush Research Mfg. Co. Inc., 4642 Floral Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90022, 323-261-2193, Fax: 323-268-6587, sales@brushresearch.com, www.brushresearch.com.

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Innovative Compact, Versatile, Economic Saw For Everyday Operations http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/innovative-compact-versatile-economic-saw-everyday-operations/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/innovative-compact-versatile-economic-saw-everyday-operations/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:45:16 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96730 The HBE Dynamic Series Horizontal Bandsaw from Behringer Saws has a servo-driven precision downfeed control that automatically adjusts blade pressure, creating an optimal balance of feed rate and pressure for improved quality and cutting rates while extending blade life.

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In Booth N-6844, Behringer Saws, Inc. (Morgantown, PA), a manufacturer of high quality bandsaw, circular and plate sawing solutions, will showcase their HBE Dynamic Series Horizontal Bandsaw, a versatile, compact automatic saw that features an array of leading-edge features designed to improve performance and precision while maximizing user convenience and safety. “Ideal for a wide range of application environments from production cutting steel service centers to metalworking job shops, we have positioned the HBE Dynamic as our affordable “everyday” bandsaw with a full complement of innovative, performance enhancing features,” said Richard Klipp, the president of Behringer Saws.

Among the innovative range of features on the HBE saw is a servo-driven precision downfeed control that automatically adjusts blade pressure, creating an optimal balance of feed rate and pressure for improved quality and cutting rates while extending blade life. An electrically-powered ball screw driven material feed gripper eliminates backlash and ensures precise material positioning for improved accuracy. HBE Series saws also feature an optional automatic feed control (AFC) that automatically adjusts cutting parameters such as blade speed and downfeed rate to the material grade and shape. This permits operators to create flexible material programs that leverage cutting data based on specific material grade. Additionally, a fault/ alert history may be viewed at any time by the operator. The detailed information displayed in plain text is useful for both planning and analysis of past projects.

As with all Behringer bandsaws, the cast iron dual column construction of the HBE saw frame provides exceptional rigidity that eliminates stress, reduces vibration and enhances blade tension. Two linear ways and four guides facilitate precise and accurate vertical movement of the blade. Cutting accuracy is further enhanced by the horizontal band arrangement and hydraulically tensioned blade and double roller bearings for the blade guiding. HBE saws utilize a high torque, state-of-the-art frequency-controlled blade drive that requires low power consumption yet produces the blade power and speed needed for fast cutting and peak throughput rates. The enclosed HBE design promotes safe operator use, stays clean and minimizes noise while providing a large observation window. And an intuitive NC control system enables user-friendly operation.

The HBE Dynamic saw is available in four models: 261A, 321A, 411A and 511A. The HBE cutting range is from 10.2 in to 20.0 in diameter for round stock and from 11.8 in x 10.2 in up to 20.0 in x 20.0 in for flat stock. Stroke length is 25.6 in and blade speed ranges from 50 fpm to 350 fpm.

Behringer Saws, Inc., 721 Hemlock Road, Morgantown, PA 19543, 888-234-7464, www.behringersaws.com.

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Next Generation Safety Certified Robot Monitoring Software http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/next-generation-safety-certified-robot-monitoring-software/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/next-generation-safety-certified-robot-monitoring-software/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:06:06 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96715 SafeMove2 from ABB Robotics is their latest generation of monitoring systems, offering cutting edge commissioning tools for greater productivity at a lower total investment cost.

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ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI), is pleased to announce the launch of SafeMove2, the latest generation of their safety certified robot monitoring software. It delivers greater flexibility, space savings and cutting edge commissioning tools for greater productivity at a lower total investment cost. This, combined with unsurpassed safety, enables closer collaboration between robots and factory workers.

Like the original SafeMove, first introduced in 2008, it includes a host of cutting-edge safety functions, including safe speed limits, safe standstill monitoring, safe axis ranges and position and orientation supervision.  The new generation functionality encourages the development of innovative robot applications by integrating safety features directly into the robot controller.

“To be efficient, robots must be able to move at speeds suited to the given application. At high speeds this can present a potential hazard for people working in the immediate vicinity. Historically, fences or cages have been used to separate man from machine in an effort to keep them out of harm’s way,” stated Dr. Hui Zhang, the head of product management at ABB Robotics. “SafeMove2 allows robots and operators to work more closely together by restricting robot motion to precisely what is needed for a specific application.”

The software allows for the creation of more efficient and flexible production scenarios, and provides tools that speed the commissioning workflow for faster setup and validation. It also integrates safety fieldbus connectivity into ABB’s IRC5 robot controller family as well as the IRC5 single, compact and paint controllers.

With SafeMove2 the tools to facilitate collaboration between man and machine are a reality. For example, if an operator needs to interact with the robot system, safety sensors can be incorporated into the robot cell to detect the person’s presence. After detected, it will either supervise the robot’s speed or monitor it while it is standing still. Once the person clears the zone, the robot can resume operation. The end result is less down time and increased productivity.

The efficiency and flexibility gained from these enhanced collaboration solutions contribute to the integrated ecosystem which ABB calls the Internet of Things, services and people.

ABB Robotics, is a leading supplier of industrial robots – also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. The company has installed more than 250,000 robots worldwide.

ABB Robotics – North America, 1250 Brown Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326-1507, 248-391-9000, www.abb.com/robotics.  

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New Dimensions in Flexible Manufacturing Systems http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/new-dimensions-flexible-manufacturing-systems/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/new-dimensions-flexible-manufacturing-systems/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 18:34:01 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96698 In today’s demanding environment, this shop proves how automation has never had so much potential to transform a business.

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Today, customers do less annual forecasting. They reduce inventory in favor of just-in-time (JIT) delivery. They do not combine shipments and they want all of their parts in small batches. This makes the need for quick turnaround urgent, with continued pressure to keep pricing low. In this environment, automation has never had so much potential to transform a business: it puts shops in the driver’s seat to lower their costs, increase throughput and improve quality as market conditions continue to change. New Dimensions Precision Machining, Inc. (Union, LI) knows that flexibility is the key to handling this sort of environment, and they’ve discovered how to efficiently meet these demands by moving toward a fully automated production operation.

“Several years ago, we did a lot of what I like to call ‘highway driving’ production,” recalled Brian Halwix, the director of team development at New Dimensions. “We had vertical machining centers continuously run large batches that allowed us to coast for miles without changing gears. That has all changed. Now we do ‘city driving’ production, with many starts and stops. We only go a few blocks before hitting another traffic light. It no longer makes sense to spend a half hour setting up a VMC that only runs one hour of production. To remain competitive, we must get better city mileage. Our flexible manufacturing systems and high performance machine tools put us directly behind the wheel. We can be efficient no matter what the road conditions are or where that road takes us.”

For the last decade, his shop has followed an aggressive plan to add this type of flexibility. They started by replacing their VMCs with high-performance horizontal machining centers. Then they began to automate by purchasing four a61 horizontal machining centers and an MMC2 automated pallet handling system from Makino Inc. (Mason, OH) that linked the HMCs, cell control software and pallet loaders. The success of this flexible manufacturing system led the shop to add two a61nx machines to that cell. Now they have three MMC2 cells on the shop floor: In addition to that first system, another one was created with four a51 HMCs and two a51nx machines. A third cell features six a51nx machines. All six machines within each of the three flexible manufacturing systems run parallel processes, with five jobs in production at a time that are prioritized and coordinated by an MAS-A5 cell controller.

IF YOU DO SOMETHING, DO IT RIGHT
Founded as a small job shop in 1987, New Dimensions specializes in producing precision hydraulic manifolds. They have grown into a world-class organization, but still remain very much a family business. Four of the owner’s sons work alongside other family members and many employees with over 20 years at the company. The company excels in the fluid power market through a strong backbone of automated technologies that enable them to handle most any job, from small job shop projects to larger production orders, where 70 percent of the parts are aluminum and the rest are composed of iron and carbon steels.

According to Brian and Martin Halwix IV, their director of business development, the philosophy since their father started the business has always been, “if you are going to do something, do it right.” This is why they have always invested in high performance machines that produce premium parts, following a road to flexibility that evolved from 3-axis vertical machines to the three large, flexible cells that represent a substantial investment in automation. Brian pointed out that success with automation requires an internal commitment to work through any initial challenges related to the learning curve of the new technology. Their own personnel traveled to the Makino facility in Mason for training on macros and probes because they had not used them before. Now, with the right tooling and training, they produce up to 300 percent more parts per spindle than their previous stand-alone machines did – and the new equipment has many options to customize jobs and continually dial-in additional parameters that further optimize efficiency.

“These cells with the software-driven MAS-A5 system make producing parts on demand a reality,” stated Martin. “With this flexibility, we can quickly run 50 pieces while charging per-piece prices comparable to what we quoted back when we ran 500 to 1,000 parts. The larger pallet capacity and large tool capacity provide that changeability. We store up to 300 registered programs in each cell for active orders that can be accessed at any time without doing any setup at all in the machines.” Eliminating setups smooths the flow of smaller runs. Each MMC2 cell uses a 218-tool magazine, high pressure coolant, over 100 pallet storage locations and five different workset stations to efficiently manage a high-mix, low-volume flow of work over 24 hours a day, six days a week.

This flexibility supports their long-standing tradition of customer responsiveness, no matter what it takes. “When our customers are in a jam, they know we won’t let their urgent job sit on the bottom of a queue of work. We always move production schedules around to get those jobs on a machine as soon as possible, often the same day it is ordered,” said Marco Alejandre, the general manager of New Dimensions.

That’s not all. Besides large and small production orders, the shop also machines many prototype parts that may go through several revisions before moving into production. Some of these never make it into production. But instead of making prototypes on stand-alone machines that won’t interrupt the automated cells, the shop instead uses a custom pallet pool with an MAS-A5 system that links the machine doing prototypes to the three MMC2 cells via the company’s internal network.

The prototype machine is designed to accommodate larger tool capacities and additional fixtures so that its capabilities pair identically with the setups and processing methods used inside the cells. Each cell uses detailed tool and fixture drawings for the jobs it produces. This information is shared between the prototype machine and the MMC2 cells via the MAS-A5 to keep all processes standardized, enabling the shop to quickly and easily transition prototypes into full production orders. The programming and tooling on the prototype machine are connected to the MAS-A5 system so that its part data can be sent directly into the cells if a prototype goes into production. When a prototype is approved and sent into production on one of the cells, all of its programs, fixtures and tooling data transmit over too, because they are identical to those found in the cells.

THE HUMAN SIDE OF IT ALL
These flexible cells and pallet pool were certainly catalysts for change, but what really enhances their performance are the dedicated personnel assigned to each cell: an offline tooling manager and maintenance technician keep things running smoothly in each one. An automated tool management system in place in each cell connects to the MAS-A5 cell controller to directly link that line to the tooling department. This system is notified before a tool expires so that an order can automatically be placed and the new tool sent. It is monitored 24/7 as it feeds tool data into the cell, adjusts machine parameters or prompts a new tooling order.

Another key to uptime are dedicated preventive maintenance personnel that handle the grease, oil, lubrication and filter needs for the machines. They follow regular schedules and have automated inventory systems in place to make sure that all machines are serviced proactively. “While the machines have not needed much maintenance because they stand up to tough environments, we want to get the most out of them,” noted Martin. “So we dedicate a person to preventive maintenance.” With all of this automation, the shop can produce additional parts with the same number of employees. In fact, they more than doubled their production per employee and were able pass the reduction in costs over to their customers – a savings that helps address continued pricing pressures.

More automation has also increased the availability of technical positions at New Dimensions – jobs they are struggling to fill, so they have turned to local high schools to encourage young people to enter manufacturing. “Many parents don’t want their kids to pursue careers in manufacturing because they remember back when workers lifted heavy equipment or handled dangerous chemicals,” said Brian. “That is no longer the case. Modern facilities are clean, safe and filled with high-tech equipment. When we host student tours, we encourage the parents to come so that everyone can understand the types of opportunities that exist.”

He adds that one key to attracting and keeping young people is by using the kinds of technology that appeal to them: “Mobile phones can start and stop our machines. Our younger workers easily adapt to these sort of continual changes in our manufacturing operations. They help us easily keep up with change.” In fact, so many ideas have come from their machine operators that the shop fosters a culture of creativity with problem-solving teams to encourage new solutions. “I believe America’s manufacturing strength lies in creativity and innovation,” noted Brian, who also added that his company has hired several of those high school students.

Keeping employees creatively engaged is crucial to the growth of the company. “People today want to be part of something that is bigger than themselves,” explained Brian. “They want something they can be proud of. When a team loses vision, morale drops, growth stops and there’s a tendency to lose good people. Using high-tech equipment shows our teams that we are committed to and focused on a long-term future. I see continued growth ahead as we figure out how to move jobs from one cell to another, how to respond to our customers’ needs so they can be successful, how to use our flexibility to compete in any market, and how to serve global customers. Machining will continue to be our core competency, not necessarily a specific product.”

Martin agreed. “American manufacturing is all about responsiveness, flexibility and adaptability. This is the road we drive on, and automation keeps us in the driver’s seat.”

New Dimensions Precision Machining, Inc., 6614 South Union Road, Union, IL 60180, 815-923-8300, Fax: 815-923-8304, www.newdims.com.

Makino Inc., 7680 Innovation Way, Mason, OH 45040-8003, 513-573-7200, Fax: 513-573-7360, www.makino.com.

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Six Business Processes Every Shop Should Micromanage http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/six-business-processes-every-shop-micromanage/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/six-business-processes-every-shop-micromanage/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:49:44 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96679 In Industry 4.0, process micromanagement is the new baseline for shop operations, an opportunity to increase your bottom line in every step of your business. It’s a tough feat to accomplish, but the integrated MRP functions found in next generation nesting software can help you make it a reality. Here’s how.

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As we enter Industry 4.0, next generation nesting software is streamlining process micromanagement as the new baseline for shop operations. Micromanaging is effective and more important than ever in the new job shop environment, especially micromanagement via the integrated material requirements planning (MRP) functions of your nesting software, which represents an opportunity to increase your bottom line in every step of your operations by eliminating misquotes and ineffective business procedures, removing mounds of irrelevant paperwork and material waste. The tough feat of developing a truly efficient job shop is not a problem solved overnight, it’s a continued investment that leads to maximized profitability.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Shops that use a customer relationship management (CRM) system that is separate from their nesting software need a more consolidated operating solution because it is essential to have fluid movement when managing diverse job shop projects with customers. Leveraging basic CRM functions to communicate and track jobs throughout their entirety while efficiently completing the fabrication process is a sure way to maintain harmony between your jobs and customers. Next generation nesting software provides a robust MRP solution for this purpose: an integrated business system module that is the graceful connection shops need for optimal business practices. Not only can a shop perform their everyday CRM tasks, but they can also organize campaigns that promote new developments worth publicizing.

QUOTING
Quoting high prices for jobs based on unsure material and labor costs can take a shop out of the running for valuable new business. If your quote is beaten by another job shop with more efficient quoting practices, you just lost the job. Quoting can be a nightmare and perhaps the hardest part about taking on an order. If a quote is too low, your shop runs the risk of wasting time and money to complete the job. If a quote is too high, you’ve most likely lost the sale.

Next generation nesting software uses integrated quoting functions to estimate jobs consistently and accurately through an excel file interface with the standard shapes library. It imports the CAD files of the job being quoted and calculates accurate production time estimates and weight allocation based on material grade and machine process (laser/plasma/waterjet/oxyfuel). Then it automatically applies costs and modifiers, including size of order (total weight), urgency modifier (e.g. parts needed tomorrow), quality modifier (heat number certificates delivered), etc. Previous quotes can be pulled for repeat jobs or for comparison in seconds. Price fluctuations no longer take hours to figure out, only seconds. No more getting different prices from different sales people.

Accurate pricing can be applied to materials fast enough to get your quote to a prospective customer before the competition and secure the order. Not all jobs are a simple input and output. Some customers want you to go the extra mile with special instructions that may require sub-contracting/RFQ management. But integrated quoting functions make this an easy part of the quote process that still allows you to deliver favorable quotes to your customers quickly.

ORDER ENTRY & SCHEDULING
Your shop won the customer over with the quote. Now it’s time to start the job. Hopefully you are not the only person giving quotes and taking on jobs. The multitude of orders that are constantly being processed can lead to double scheduling and order entry errors. Don’t overbook your machines and cause a missed deadline or under delivery of your customer’s expectations. When entering the order, it’s important to know if all of the required materials and equipment are allocated to accommodate the job. An effective environment for order entry and scheduling is knowing when to run a job and that the shop has what they need to complete it. Integrated MRP uses overload prediction, inventory and storage tracking, purchasing needs and history, and scheduling features to locate materials quickly, use remnants when it makes sense, and look ahead on the shop workload. From taking the order to processing the jobs, integrated MRP takes guessing out of the equation.

SHOP FLOOR DATA
Who does what, when, where, and why? You get the job. You schedule it. But who actually does the work? Don’t scramble to assign priorities to your employees. “From taking the order to outputting the part” is a complex process that requires a harmonious relationship between the tasks of loading, nesting, managing, machine capacity and de-nesting multiple work order sheets that results in less downtime and more efficient output. Integrated MRP can take advantage of new shop floor data capture features that have the capability to automatically handle the logistics of a job via a tablet on the shop floor. The data on your tablet tells your operator what parts to cut and what jobs they belong to. This allows for fluid movement from cutting to sorting the parts.

LOGISTICS & QUALITY ASSURANCE
The parts are cut and sorted. Now it’s time to make sure those parts get from A to B in a timely, effective, and satisfactory manner. It’s important to realize that once those parts are cut and sorted, the job still needs to remain your top priority. Not only must these parts get to your customer, but they need to be exactly what that customer had in mind – the job ends only when the customer has the parts in hand and a smile on their face. Integrated MRP follows through the entire job, not just through production. Track successful delivery of the parts to your customer as integrated MRP takes on the logistics management for you. Not only will the parts get where they need to go on time, but they will also have the proper documentation to prove a successful fabrication process: material traceability, sheet chemical composition, and original paperwork, including instructions, will be at your customer’s fingertips.

PAY DAY
The customer is happy, you’ve shifted your focus onto the next job, and it’s time to get paid. Improper invoicing and the gray area that often surrounds payment terms is not only inconvenient, it can lead to business failure. All transactions and monetary documentation must be tracked. Having cohesive accounting functions will give you the transparency needed to understand your bottom line. Integrated MRP meets this need by performing invoicing, complete accounts receivable functions, and serves as a database for your own transactions as a customer to your suppliers. With integrated MRP, you have easy access to the complete expenditure on your own behalf as a business and for each job. You can see the profit brought in on each job. But that’s not enough. Using integrated MRP, you can use this data for a cost analysis to amend future processes to increase your ROI.

A higher bottom line and ROI are the golden tickets to success, particularly in small businesses like fabrication job shops that are more susceptible to failure that results from inefficient business practices. The integrated MRP functions found in next generation nesting software can take the insecurities out of business operations and move a shop to the cutting edge of competitive advantage.

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Industrial Conveyor Platforms for Aerospace Cleanrooms http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/industrial-conveyor-platforms-receive-cleanroom-certification/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/industrial-conveyor-platforms-receive-cleanroom-certification/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:23:58 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96624 The 3200 Series Modular and Flat Belt conveyors, 2200 Series Precision Move and the SmartFlex conveyor platforms from Dorner all receive cleanroom certification for aerospace manufacturing.

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The 3200 Series Modular and Flat Belt conveyors, the 2200 Series Precision Move and the SmartFlex conveyor platforms from Dorner Mfg. Corp. (Hartland, WI), have received the Ultraclean Products Approval Laboratory certification for use in ISO Standard 14644-1 Class 5, and Federal Standard 209 Class 100 rated cleanrooms. This means the four Dorner conveyors will not contribute to the contamination of aerospace cleanrooms conforming to those standards.

Aerospace manufacturing cleanrooms and other controlled environments provide management of airborne particulate to appropriate levels for accomplishing contamination-sensitive activities.

These four conveyors are ideally suited to operate in cleanroom environments requiring robust material handling, as well as flexibility, automation and accurate part movement over distance and time. The 3200 Series modular and flat belt conveyors are designed to handle medium to heavy sized parts, while the 2200 Series Precision Move conveyor offers the latest advancements in timing belting and drive technology, and is ideal for applications that call for extremely accurate movement of product at specific times, distances and intervals.

The SmartFlex is a flexible table-top chain conveyor that’s engineered for the food, medical, life sciences, industrial automation and packaging industries.

The Ultraclean Products Approval Laboratory certification is a leading national test center for contamination control engineering. Some of the testing and certification services include a variety of cleanroom equipment such as benches, cabinets, fume hoods, material handling systems, and vertical and horizontal flow cleanrooms.

Dorner Manufacturing Corporation, 975 Cottonwood Avenue, PO Box 20, Hartland, WI 53029, 800-397-8664, Fax: 800-369-2440, www.dornerconveyors.com.

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Take Welding to the Next Level http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/take-welding-next-level/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/take-welding-next-level/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:41:01 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96654 The Continuum 350 from Miller Electric provides a competitive edge through exceptional arc performance, unique processes and programs, and standard weld data gathering.

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Miller Electric Mfg. Co. (Appleton, WI) has expanded their Continuum™ advanced industrial MIG welding system offering, adding an additional power source option, new processes and programs, and information management capabilities to improve welding performance. The latest addition to this offering — the Continuum 350 — provides 350 amps of power at 100 percent duty cycle and complements the Continuum 500 system previously introduced that generates 500 amps at the same duty cycle. Both machines are designed to offer exceptional arc starts and arc stability to help welding operators of all skill levels create quality welds on both thick and thin materials.

The Continuum 350 and Continuum 500 both feature two new welding processes. Versa-Pulse™ is a fast, low-heat and low-spatter process that delivers faster travel speeds for semi-automatic and automated welding applications, also resulting in increased productivity. This process is ideal for welding on thin materials (up to 1/4 in), such as sheet metal and tube applications, and offers a greater wire feed speed (WFS) range than short circuit or Regulated Metal Deposition (RMD®) processes.

A High-Deposition MIG process offers higher deposition rates and lower heat input than standard spray transfer, resulting in faster welding, increased productivity and better quality. The process works well for welding thicker materials and on larger welds (6 mm to 8 mm). The systems both continue to offer Accu-Pulse™ pulsed MIG, RMD, MIG and flux-cored (FCAW) welding processes, along with air carbon arc capabilities. Miller has also expanded its weld program library (over 200 available) to allow companies to customize their applications to their exact needs.

The Continuum systems now come standard with Insight Core™, an Internet-based welding information management system that monitors, collects and rapidly transmits actionable data to any Web-connected device. Insight Core helps improve productivity and manage costs by tracking and reporting arc starts, arc-on time and quality performance based on amperage and voltage. Both Continuum systems are also compatible with Insight Centerpoint™, an optional advanced welding information management system that can be integrated into the power sources to provide real-time operator feedback and complete process control to maximize efficiencies in welding and fabrication applications.

A new optional accessory — the Continuum Swingarc™ single-wire model boom — is available in 8 ft, 12 ft or 16 ft heights to accommodate work on large weldments and hard-to-reach areas. The Swingarc boom provides 360 deg rotation and a 60 deg lift angle to maximize space by creating 16 ft, 24 ft or 32 ft diameter work areas. A unique counterbalance makes it easy to raise and lower the boom, and it automatically holds its position. In-boom cable routing organizes hoses and cables to prevent damage and to maintain an orderly work cell.

Both Continuum systems continue to feature user-friendly controls and system flexibilities, offering companies the ability to manage challenging jobs, adapt their weld cells to meet the demands of new applications and gain a competitive advantage as their fabrication and manufacturing needs evolve.

Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., 1635 W. Spencer Street, PO Box 1079, Appleton, WI 54912-1079, 920-734-9821, www.millerwelds.com.

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Wire Feeder Delivers High Productivity in Heavy Fabrication Applications http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/wire-feeder-delivers-high-productivity-heavy-fabrication-applications/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/wire-feeder-delivers-high-productivity-heavy-fabrication-applications/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:20:16 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96650 The Flex Feed 84 industrial wire feeder from Lincoln Electric is ideal for heavy and general fabrication, construction, structural and heavy equipment applications and includes a built-in interface for hard automation.

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The Flex Feed® 84 industrial wire feeder from The Lincoln Electric Company (Cleveland, OH) boasts a rugged, reliable design that delivers consistent feeding over long conduit runs with large-diameter wires up to 3/32 in (2.4 mm) or cored wires up to .120 in (3.2 mm). This new feeder offers a flexible, modular design, including single-bench, dual-bench and boom-mount configurations that can be converted as workspace requirements change. It’s ideal for use in heavy and general fabrication, construction, structural and heavy equipment applications and includes a built-in interface for hard automation.

Featuring digital meters with preset voltage and wire-feed speed, the Flex Feed 84 displays actual voltage and current during welding and also offers four user memories to save repeated procedures. The system also allows the welding engineer to set passcode-secured limits and lockouts to control welding procedures.

Its patented advanced MaxTrac® wire drive has a rugged, cast-aluminum feed plate that protects the wire and ensures consistent wire feeding. Patented, tool-less drive rolls allow operators to easily change wire size or type, while tool-less, split wire guides ensure uninterrupted feeding and prevent “birdnesting.”

Brass gun adapters provide superior electrical connections, reducing voltage drops and simplifying connections. A user-selectable, wire-retract function pulls the hot wire back into the nozzle after welding to prevent operator injury. Dual models can be equipped with an optional Power Path™ contactor that electrically isolates the non-active wire drive and gun.

For more information, please click here.

The Lincoln Electric Company, 22801 Saint Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44117-1199, 888-355-3212, www.lincolnelectric.com.

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More Practical and Energy-Efficient Stick Welding http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/practical-energy-efficient-stick-welding/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/practical-energy-efficient-stick-welding/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:47:33 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96642 The TransPocket 150 and 180 systems from Fronius use hand-held welding torches that can utilize electrodes with diameters up to 5/32 in and power sources that are also suitable for TIG welding up to 220 A.

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With TransPocket 150 and TransPocket 180, welding technology specialists Fronius USA LLC (Portage, IN) have launched a new generation of single-phase stick welding machines on the market. This new development has resulted in an impressive mix of outstanding welding results and increased range of functions. A digital resonance inverter also ensures a large number of stick electrode types can be used with perfect welding results. Thanks to their innovative PFC (Power Factor Correction) technology, the devices are very energy-efficient.

The TransPocket 150 and 180 have been designed as replacements for the tried and tested TransPocket 1500. The TransPocket 180 also means that, for the first time ever, a single-phase 180 A stick (SMAW) welding machine is available. The hand-held welding torches are designed primarily for stick welding and can utilize electrodes with diameters up to 5/32 in (4.0 mm). This latest generation of power sources is also suitable for TIG welding up to 220 A, with a new TIG Multi Connector and a welding torch with an Up/Down Function at the user’s disposal  to adjust the welding current directly on the torch. Two-step and four-step TIG welding is possible with the TransPocket, as well as current pulsing.

Fronius has also further optimized the design of the TransPocket: With its stable and robust plastic housing, the device is suitable for use in all areas of application. The delicate electronics are protected from dust and moisture, thanks partly to a permanent dust filter and improved cooling. These prevent contamination to the sensitive PC board by ensuring the air flow is routed away from it. Ergonomic handles make the power source easy to carry, while the protected seven-segment display is easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions. The user interface is designed to be simple and intuitive, but still provides a variety of setting options. In addition to the protected service interface, which makes it easy to read out system information and update special characteristics, the optimized housing also makes it extremely easy to maintain.

A multivoltage variant of the TransPocket 180 is also available. The ability to handle incoming voltages between 96 volts and 265 volts gives the user flexibility when operating the device. This is a major advantage when the available power changes from job site to job site. With its compact and hard-wearing structure, the TransPocket is also ideal for mobile use on construction sites.

Fronius USA LLC, 6797 Fronius Drive, Portage, IN 46368, 219-734-5701, www.fronius.com.

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Ultra-Precise Double-Disc Grinding Machines http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/precise-double-disc-grinding-machines/ http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2016/07/precise-double-disc-grinding-machines/#respond Wed, 27 Jul 2016 22:08:38 +0000 http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/?p=96502 This cost-efficient, compact double-disc grinding machine from Thielenhaus-Nissei is ideal for large-scale production of flat precision parts.

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For the large-scale production of flat precision components, Thielenhaus Microfinish (Wuppertal, Germany) offers a particularly cost-efficient, compact machining solution from their close collaboration with mechanical engineers at Nissei Corporation (Aichi Prefecture, Japan): an ultraprecision double-disc grinding machine tool characterized by precision, cost-effectiveness, ease of use and compactness.

During production of this machine, any expensive extra that wasn’t necessary for achieving the stipulated goal was foregone. Instead, precision was of paramount importance. The design of the machine focuses on a high degree of rigidity, with closed box frames instead of a C-frame, forged instead of turned tool spindles, clever positioning of spindle tilting mechanisms, and a double-walled frame design for temperature insensitivity. The all-important dressing process requires such rigidity as this to create the appropriate tool geometries.

Other highlights include a spindle sleeve feed system in conjunction with a worm gear, the associated patented pneumatic compensation for thread play, and high-precision ABEC-7 class bearings. Effective standard features include an automatic tool-wear compensation system for the lower grinding disc by means of in-process measurement. This leads to exceptional machining results. For example, parallelism below 3 µm and surface results of Ra 3.2 µm can be achieved on 68 mm diameter steel precision discs in a cycle time of 0.6 seconds. In another application, the machine removed up to 0.6 mm per pass.

Ease of use is a crucial advantage. A patented swivel transport disc bracket allows the operator to easily change the grinding discs through the large front opening just a few seconds after the spindles have come to a stop. With an adaptable tool-changing aid this can be done in just a few minutes. Depending on the tolerances to be achieved, workpieces can be machined using a flow, flow/plunge or oscillation process. For the highest component specifications, the workpieces can also be propelled in the grinding gap with the appropriate transport disc designs.

Nissei has managed to compress this vertical machining solution into a footprint of just  2 m x 2.5 m including the control cabinet, which also makes it suitable for compact production lines. There are various automatic loading options for feeding and removing workpieces, ranging from stack magazines to robots. The vertical double-sided grinding machines are available in eight models with different grinding disc sizes up to a diameter of 760 mm. Depending on the machine model and process, rotationally symmetrical workpieces from a thickness of 0.8 mm and up to a diameter of 220 mm can be machined.

While Nissei is responsible for the construction, installation and running-in of the client’s workpieces, all service aspects, including dealing with enquiries, advice, quotations and sample processing, through to commissioning, training, warranties and after-sales, are provided by Thielenhaus for Europe and North America so that operators have the advantage of a local contact who can be reached quickly throughout the whole life cycle via the 24/7 service hotline. With this support, even small and medium-sized shops are able to purchase and operate a high-quality Japanese machine with a long service life and outstanding cost-effectiveness.

Thielenhaus Technologies GmbH, Postfach 201855, 42218 Wuppertal, Germany, + 49(0)2 02 481-0, Fax: + 49(0)2 02 45 04 45, www.thielenhaus.com.

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