Look where you’re going: Automated vision machines measure parts quickly and accurately

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Quality and Metrology

If you have a handful of parts to check, you’ll probably pick up a micrometer. If you’re going to measure a truckload of them, however, only an automated solution will do. But measurement systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and offer more options than a new car. Deciding which one is best […]

Riding the carousel: Rotomolded spas offer high-end quality at an affordable price.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Consumer Products

Rotational molding was invented in the mid-1800s as a means of producing hollow objects with consistent wall thicknesses. Since then, the process has been used to make everything from playground equipment to artillery shells. Today’s molds are filled with polyethylene powder the consistency of granulated sugar (the stuff plastic soda bottles are made of), then […]

Trending Toward Productivity

Posted Leave a commentPosted in CAD/CAM/FMEA, Machining

The U.S. economy appears to be on the mend. In January, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation gave a tentative thumbs up to sustained business expansion through the first half of 2013. And the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose again in January, painting an optimistic picture. Maybe it’s time to buy that […]

Micro-Endmills – not the same old grind

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling

Endmilling is a mainstay of micromachining. And while micro and macro milling operations share certain similarities, there are several key differences—and surprises. One eye opener when shopping for micro-endmills is their cost—as the size goes down, the price goes up. Sometimes way up. Where a commodity 1/8” endmill might cost $6, a micro version 1/10th that […]

Finding a 5-axis Solution

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling

Tim St. Martin knew there had to be a better way of fixturing parts on his company’s 5-axis machine tools. “We’d visited some of our suppliers and saw how they were holding parts on their 5-axis machines,” said the senior manager of manufacturing engineering for Carlsbad, Calif.-based orthopedic implant manufacturer Alphatec Spine Inc. “They were […]