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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Custom Manufacturing

Machining Curved Surfaces with Accuracy and Speed

When it comes to curved surfaces, smooth finishes are critical. Super-NURBS is a programming functionality for CNC machining that meets high-accuracy finish requirements while speeding up cycle times. The result is drastically reduced hand-finishing time to achieve high-quality parts quickly. Users can deliver parts out the door faster, with better finish quality and accuracy. Super-NURBS is...

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Custom Manufacturing

Job Flexibility Is Focus of Multipurpose Machining Center

Makino is looking at the big picture when it comes to developing machining systems. The Mason, Ohio, company recently added the T1 5-axis horizontal machining center (HMC) to its line, a unit that meets the needs of multiple markets, including titanium parts in aerospace. "The T1 is designed to appeal to a lot of industries," David Ward, horizontal line product manager at Makino, told ThomasNet...

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Custom Manufacturing

USMTO Explained: Why Track Machinery Orders Instead of Shipments?

The monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders -- aka USMTO -- report is a compilation of survey data provided by U.S. manufacturing technology builders and distributors, and it provides the most up-to-date picture of the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian manufacturing technology market. The first USMTO report was issued in March 1996 (as a report of January 1996 data), and at that time was named the...

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Custom Manufacturing

Machinery Orders Reach 2013 Peak in December, but Cutting Tool Shipments Fall Again

U.S. machine tool orders in December closed 2013 on a high note with a monthly volume of $492 million, but cutting tool consumption fell 11.7 percent to $138 million and for the second straight month. The data were reported by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing through its U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report and the Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) it jointly publishes with...

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Custom Manufacturing

Designing Effectively for Large-Scale Metal Fabrications

For job shops that do fabrication and machining, effectively designing a large-scale fabrication project requires some highly detailed planning and not just engineering. Installation and transport are critical factors that, if not assessed correctly, can drive up cost well beyond the quoted price and cut into profits. These factors are well known to most engineers faced with large projects, but...

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Custom Manufacturing

Multi-Tasking Machines Turn Up Possibilities on Big Gear-Set Jobs

Many manufacturing shops increasingly incorporate full 5-axis multi-tasking machine tool technology. It allows them to handle basically any kind of part that comes through the door and do so with one type of machine in single setups, thereby increasing productivity. But rarely, if ever, do these shops realize that large spiral bevel gear sets are among that wide mix of part-processing capability....

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Custom Manufacturing

High-Precision Sinker EDM Means Zero Margin for Error

Extremely high-precision sinker-style electrical discharge machining (EDM) is an unforgiving process, and every aspect of it -- from producing electrodes, to workpiece set up, to maintaining consistent machine temperature -- must be as close to perfect as possible. Because when part tolerances run as tight as two microns or less, even the slightest of inaccuracies at any stage are magnified and...

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