Engineering & Design: Custom Manufacturing

Custom Manufacturing

Wharton Professor: Don't Blame Worker Shortfall on Skills Gap

There is no skills gap. That is the contention of Peter Cappelli, professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He says manufacturers seeking qualified workers need to stop wishing for employees that meet all of their requirements and take a proactive, aggressive approach to finding suitable workers and training them....

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Custom Manufacturing

Sunnen Tightens Bore Control in Single-Stroke Process

A process that achieves tight tolerances while boring cast iron hydraulic valve bodies and fabricated parts of other materials is being offered by Sunnen Products Co., based in St. Louis. The process, High-Precision Single-Stroke Honing, reportedly achieves cylindricity in cast iron valves of 2 microns or smaller when used for small-diameter bores with length-to-diameter (L/D) ratios of 10:1....

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Custom Manufacturing

CO2 Versus Fiber: Considerations for Laser Cutting Choices

Laser cutting is a mainstay technology in industrial and metal manufacturing applications. The computerized and therefore highly accurate method works by focusing the output of the laser at the material to be cut, melting, burning, vaporizing, and blowing it away (by a jet of gas) to leave a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are typically employed in the cutting of structural,...

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Custom Manufacturing

Ontario Shop Takes Up Efforts to Produce Skilled Workers

Many machine shops in the United States and Canada are working to remedy a shortage of skilled workers. For some, the efforts include linking up with local technical colleges and universities, establishment of apprenticeship programs, and outreach to high schools to encourage students to consider manufacturing as a viable career choice. For most, however, strategies for finding and employing...

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Custom Manufacturing

Machining System and Laser Encoders Team Up for Accurate Large Composite Parts

As large composite structures become mainstays of aerospace design, part fabricators are turning to innovative machining systems to fine-tune the dimensions of these parts for assembly. One such system, from Flow International Corp., in Kent, Wash., is the Composites Machining Center, or CMC, a modular unit equipped with a 5-axis water jet and a 5-axis high-speed router that handles monolithic...

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Custom Manufacturing

A Machine Maker Invests to Close the Skills Gap

Does a skills gap exist in North American manufacturing? The answer appears to depend on perspective. Those who analyze manufacturing are skeptical, saying that, except in extraordinary cases, low-growth data on jobs and wages do not signal a crisis, much less a reason to be concerned about workforce skills. Manufacturers say there is one, explaining that they have a difficult time finding...

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Custom Manufacturing

Innovative Contouring-Head Machine Gains Traction

During the last International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), in October 2012, machinery maker Fives Giddings & Lewis (FG&L) discussed with customers the idea of developing an integrated contouring head for use on its horizontal boring mills and horizontal machining centers (HMCs). The system would be "unique" in several ways, Helene Nimmer, director of proposals and technical sales,...

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Custom Manufacturing

High-Pressure Water Shapes Finely Detailed Metal Parts

A technology being marketed as "something completely new and different in metal forming" is attracting attention in North America, as it has in Europe. Called fluid-forming, the technology applies up to 60,000 psi of water pressure to metal blanks in a specially designed machine to form what Paul Benny describes as highly-detailed, close-tolerance parts on a repeatable basis. Benny is CEO of...

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Custom Manufacturing

Secondary Machining of Powder Metal Components

Manufacturing parts using powder metal solves many of the issues that plague more conventional machining and fabrication methods, including parts with complex shapes or features. In powder metal manufacturing, a very fine metal powder is mixed with a binder and then compacted into the desired shape and sintered, evaporating the binder and resulting in the hardened metal part. The powder metal...

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Custom Manufacturing

Lightweight Metals Innovation Hub Could Be Boon to Machining

The latest initiative to emerge from the Obama administration's efforts to assist the progress of U.S. advance manufacturing is the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or ALMMII. The institute is also being referred to as the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or LM3I, by the White House. It is designed to develop the technology of...

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