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Welding with Robots? Why Not? 

From flipping hamburgers to helping Grandma around the house, it’s no secret that robots are getting good at tasks that have long been considered off-limits. Nowhere is this truer than in the manufacturing industry, where a chronic labour shortage is forcing machine shops, plastic injection moulding houses, and sheet metal fabricators to automate like never before.  Machine tending, deburring, assembly, and packaging: these are just a few of the typical manufacturing processes where robots and their collaborative cousins have begun playing a leading role over recent years. And despite its relative difficulty and need for nearly flawless hand-eye coordination, welding is quickly becoming another operation where robots (almost) rule.  Checking… Read More »Welding with Robots? Why Not? 

Electric Vehicles: Machining in a World Made of (High-Strength) Steels

First, the facts: Electric vehicles require only a fraction of the roughly 1,400 machined components used in internal combustion vehicles. And the 200 components that are needed are smaller, lighter and must therefore withstand higher levels of torque. Together, those developments have led to a gradual shift from traditional mild steels and cast irons to stronger alloy steels like 4340 and 8620, as well as increased use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) for chassis and body components. Such metals are a bit tougher, slightly more abrasive, and where machining is concerned, produce longer, stringier chips than their traditional automotive alternatives. Industry specialists at Sandvik Coromant “expect this shift to include a continued increase in… Read More »Electric Vehicles: Machining in a World Made of (High-Strength) Steels

Tilting Tools

Turn mill operators are faced with a bewildering number of tooling choices Tooling up a CNC lathe was once a straightforward exercise. Mount and touch off an 80° diamond for roughing, along with whatever profile of finishing tool you fancy. A groover and threader might be needed, and since most turned parts have holes, a drilling station is called for, along with a boring bar or two to finish the hole. And if the machine has a barfeed, you’d best grab a cutoff tool. Allowing for differences in hole size, groove widths and so on, this basic tool assortment once covered the majority of all turning jobs. Lathe life was… Read More »Tilting Tools

From Coding to Chipmaking

Kitchener software developer tackles high speed machining Imagine running into a problem with your G-code—maybe one of the 3D surfaces on the mould cavity you’ve been programming is a little wonky, or a feature blend isn’t quite right. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could call up the CAD/CAM developer and get them to tweak the code for you? If you’re a machinist at Miltera Machining Research Corp. in Kitchener, ON, that wouldn’t be a problem. That’s because Miltera’s sister company is Truepath CAM developer CAMplete Solutions Inc., and the programmers work right next door. Any machinist with a toolpath problem can pick up the phone or take a short… Read More »From Coding to Chipmaking

Building Bridges

Nova Scotia fabricator reduces processing time with integrated beveling capability The Problem: Additional business calls for higher production efficiencyThe Solution: An investment in five axis plasma cutting technology If your bridge needs fixing, give Cherubini Metal Works Ltd. a call. As a member of the Cherubini group of companies, this Dartmouth, NS, company is well-equipped to fabricate a new double-tee or deck slab, bathtub girder or three plate girders. With 18,000 sq m (200,000 sq ft) of production space, an assembly bay boasting 14 m (47 ft) under the hook, and 420 employees across the Cherubini Group as a whole, there’s little this company can’t handle. Cherubini doesn’t stop at bridges, however.… Read More »Building Bridges

Cutting it down to size

Machining small parts takes big precision and plenty of know-how Without micromachining, we’d still be watching the Red Green Show on tube-style TV sets and calling Aunt Emma on a rotary dialer to discuss the family reunion. Contact lenses wouldn’t exist, smart devices would be dumb, computers would be the size of a house. But what is micromachining, and how does it differ from hogging out a block of 6061-T6 aluminum, or ploughing a hole big enough for a golf ball in a chunk of tool steel? Smaller than smallJohn Bradford, micromachining R&D team leader at Makino Inc., Auburn Hills, MI, defines it in several ways. “The first element is… Read More »Cutting it down to size