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Category Archives: Press Releases

Facility Expansion and First-Of-Its-Kind Balancing Bunker Prepare Centrisys for Next Generation Centrifuge Manufacturing and Service

Note: Information taken from a discussion with Michael Kopper, the CEO and founder of Centrisys and Bill Fairbairn, Vice President and Building Expansion Manager at the company.  

Expanded Building Area

Centrisys/CNP, Kenosha, Wisconsin today announced the completion of a 34,000 square-foot building expansion, including an upgrade of its balancing equipment with a first-of-its-kind centrifuge balancing bunker in the interior of the building.

The Centrisys/CNP Manufacturing and Service Campus, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, consists of three buildings totaling 13,000 square feet. In 2016, it became apparent that the capital equipment manufacturing building was running out of workable space and needed an expansion. According to Kopper, “As the decision-making for the extension evolved, the addition of a next-generation balancing machine and bunker was logical. The safety of our employees, along with the assurance that every centrifuge we build and service is balanced correctly, was well worth the added expense.”

Because the balancing bunker is a first-of-its-kind solution, aimed at creating higher safety standards and increasing manufacturing productivity as well as efficiencies, a company committee was formed to design and build the bunker space and determine what equipment would work best.

According to Kopper, “We’ve been doing this type of work for a long time; centrifuge manufacturing and service have been our focus since the beginning.  We had a thorough understanding of what we wanted and what the industry needed. Having enough workspace in a shop is important to eliminate errors during the manufacturing process. No one likes to work in a space that’s too crowded.”  He added, “Underestimating the power of accurate balancing for a centrifuge is a big mistake. There is a tremendous cost to customers when a centrifuge is not in balance. High vibrations cause premature damage and wear to the centrifuge parts and structural components, creating higher repair costs and unnecessary process downtime.”

Centrisys partnered with Schenck USA Corp. and chose the HM7U for the upgrade. According to Fairbairn, “It has stronger supports and higher dynamic load capabilities; we can balance over- operating speed on machines with a diameter of 44” or greater. We can handle larger and heavier rotors, so this is the natural next step for manufacturing and servicing next generation centrifuges.”

The HM7U has a full range of safety features for all protection classes. The bunker isolates the operator in a protected control area and includes video monitoring to see into the balancing areas without the employee needing to be in proximity to the running equipment. Cranes are installed overhead to place parts and components in the balancing cradles.  Fairbairn concluded, “This set- up is something in which our team takes great pride, as it is world-class.”

Commenting on the future of Centrisys, Fairbairn said that the expansion changes were necessary and that the company’s growth “…has allowed us to build larger and greater numbers of centrifuges, along with different types of environmental process equipment.  As the only US manufacturer of decanter centrifuges in all environmental dewatering and thickening applications, Kopper stated, “I believe we’ve set the bar high for improved safety, productivity and efficiency. These are all essential to the higher standards we’ve established in our industry.” He added, “I won’t compromise on any of these factors at a Centrisys facility. Our customers shouldn’t ever be required to compromise, either.”

For more information, please contact:

9586 58th Place
Kenosha, WI 53144
Michele Whitfield or Jessie Jones

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Grieve 797 Clean Room Cabinet

260°F Clean Room Cabinet Oven from Grieve

Grieve 797 Clean Room CabinetNo. 797 is a 260°F (127°C), clean room cabinet oven from Grieve, currently used for drying coating on printed circuit boards at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 36” W x 36” D x 39” H. 20 KW installed in Incoloy sheathed tubular heating elements, while a 1000 CFM, 1-1/2 HP recirculating blower provides horizontal airflow to the workload.

This Grieve clean room cabinet oven features 4” insulated walls, Type 304, 2B finish stainless steel interior with continuously backwelded seams and exterior finished with white epoxy paint. Oven features include #4 brushed stainless steel door cover and control panel face. Additional features include safety equipment for handling flammable solvent including explosion venting door hardware and 30” x 24” x 6” thick stainless steel high temperature HEPA recirculating filter.

Controls on the No. 797 include a digital indicating, programming temperature controller and SCR power controller.

For more information, please contact:
500 Hart Road
Round Lake, Illinois 60073-2835
Phone: (847) 546-8225
Fax: (847) 546-9210
Web: www.grievecorp.com
Email: sales@grievecorp.com
Attention: Frank Calabrese

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Jim Wirtz Named President at REP Corporation

Promises “evolution not revolution” at market leader in rubber molding presses

Jim Wirtz President REP Corporation

Jim Wirtz
REP Corporation

Kodak, Tennessee-Effective immediately, James P. Wirtz II has been named President of REP Corporation, the longtime leader in rubber molding presses and related equipment for the North American market. REP Corporation is a subsidiary of REP International, based in Lyon, France.

Jim Wirtz came to REP in 2014, when he was named Service Manager for the company. His appointment follows the recent announcement by previous president Tim Graham, wherein Graham decided to take a reduced role at the company.

Jim observes, “REP is committed to making this change as more of an evolution not a revolution, at the company. The old maxim in business says if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While we will continue to develop new molding machines for the rubber and TPE business in North America, plus enhance our offering with recently introduced devulcanization equipment as well as REP Pack 4.0 production management software modules, I can assure our many customers and associates in the industry that some things will never change. Those include our commitment to advancing molding technology, providing the best overall solutions to parts manufacturers and, most importantly, supporting our machines with a training and service business model, second to none in the industry. That aspect of REP will be our benchmark, going forward, as we seek to remain in our market leading position.” Since its beginning in 1970, REP Corporation has grown to be the acknowledged top supplier of molding machinery in the North American market.

Wirtz brings nearly a lifetime of experience in the rubber molding industry to his new post at REP, as his family owned and operated Wirtz Manufacturing, likewise a longtime leader in injection molding, based in Michigan, where Jim learned the business from all aspects of mold design and contract production. When the family business redirected itself into battery manufacturing in the mid-1990’s, Jim’s passion for the rubber molding industry continued, as he helped design and construct various manufacturing facilities across the United States, in the rubber industry. “My entire working life has been centered around the rubber injection and extrusion business. It is an honor to lead REP Corporation and be a part of the REP International global network, staying in the industry where my grandfather, father and I have all spent our careers. It’s where I belong,” Jim notes.

Wirtz will be responsible for the management and corporate direction of REP Corporation, a leading supplier of injection, compression and transfer molding presses, plus tire making and devulcanization equipment. He will be based at the new company headquarters, recently opened in Kodak, Tennessee, near Knoxville. Other announcements regarding this new facility will be forthcoming, according to company sources.

For more information on this announcement, please contact:

REP Corporation
310 Katom Drive
Kodak, TN 37764
Phone: 847-697-7210
Jim Wirtz, President

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For Almost 45 Years Anca Has Been on the Journey to Help Our Customers Move Towards a Smart Factory Solution

Visit ANCA at EASTEC at booth 1244 to learn more about how our world-first technology developments have helped reduce production costs by 50% through lights out manufacturing

From 3D simulation software to LaserPlus, an in-process measurement system, to RoboTeach, which makes robotic loaders accessible and easy to program – ANCA has been building a tool box of technology for our customers to reap the benefits of automation and Industry 4.0.

Visit us at Booth 1244 and learn more about how ANCA is enabling manufacturers to run ‘lights out’ and download our practical guide on how to build a Factory of the Future.

Thomson Mathew, Software Product Manager says: “Get a live demo of the soon to be released ToolRoom RN34 software and learn how it specializes in complex cutting tool geometries for the aerospace, die mould and power generation industry.”

ANCA’s latest ToolRoom RN 34 software release focuses on manufacturing the most complex tool geometries with a perfect balance. Visitors can get a demo of the endmill cycles for ballnose and corner radius, tool balancing and next generation fluting cycles.

Also at the show will be ANCA’s Management Suite, which either on the premise or in the cloud is a game changer for the CNC grinding industry. It provides customers the technology to monitor the performance of their machines no matter where they are in the world. The new software also enables companies to run smart factories by providing live production information to make data-based decisions on operational improvements. Also launching soon is a new USB WiFi dongle that will add seamless connectivity to machine users.

Email us at marketing@anca.com to book a free demo at EASTEC 2019 to see ANCA’s latest ToolRoom version or our Management Suite software.

Ideal for light manufacturing, regrinding and full production – see the FX7 Linear at EASTEC

For customers that require increased flexibility or more spindle power, or increased automation capacity that a robot can provide, the FX7 Linear offers these. The FX7 Linear offers a wide range of options for those looking to increase productivity and accuracy. Available as an option is the AR300 robot loader to increase efficiency by automating repetitive manual tasks.

Features include:

  • Linear motors on X and Y axes
  • AM5000 control system for faster processing
  • HSK40 taper provides increased rigidity and accuracy for improved tool surface finish results

Embrace automation with ANCA’s AR300 loader

With over 70% of ANCA customers buying machines with robotic functionality, it’s fair to say the age of the robots has come. Far from a nice-to-have add on, many CNC machines now come with operator panels that provide in-built control over both the grinding software and the robotics function, opening the door to greater automation efficiencies.

At ANCA we provide a complete solution to our customers, designing and manufacturing almost all our technology in-house. As part of this we developed our own low-cost solution for tool loading.

The 3-axes ANCA robot has a capacity of 380 tools and accommodates tool sizes up to Ø20mm (Ø3/4”) x 150mm (6”) long. The AR300 loader is contained within the compact FX Linear machine footprint, so there is no need for extra floorspace. In addition, there is no need to change gripper fingers between batches, which further maximizes productivity.

Utilizing the latest control technology from ANCA Motion, the AR300 loader is an excellent value-for-money auto tool loading solution for the FX5 Linear and FX7 Linear two-wheel changer machines. The loader provides quick tool loading, as the tool is passed directly from the pallet to the collet in a single gripping action.

For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

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Exact Metrology Participates in Career Fairs at Various Universities

Exact Metrology was present at two career events, one at Northern Kentucky University and the other at Cincinnati State University.

On Wednesday, February 27, Northern Kentucky University held its 2019 Career Expo from 2 to 5 pm. There were 140 employers meeting with students and alumni for internships, co-ops and full-time positions. Employers present came from fields such as: accounting/finance, athletic training and exercise science, math/science/EGT, business, computer science, etc.

Cincinnati State University also held its Career/Co-Op job fair on Thursday, February 28, from 1 to 3 pm. Approximately 40 companies and organizations participated.

Both events were attended by Matt Martin, the company’s branch manager and an application engineer at Exact Metrology.  At these two events, Exact Metrology featured the Artec Eva 3D handheld scanner, from Artec 3D, a world-renowned developer and manufacturer of professional 3D scanners and software.  Artec Eva is a handheld scanner ideal for quick, textured and accurate scans. Artec Eva doesn’t require markers or calibration and the scanner captures 16 frames per second. These frames are automatically aligned in real time, making scanning easy and fast. The aim was to foster relationships with these universities, recruit interested students and offer additional tools and information about the company.

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati and Milwaukee and affiliated offices throughout the Midwest, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings.   The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.  

Artec 3D is an international company, headquartered in Luxembourg, with subsidiaries in the United States (Santa Clara, California) and Russia (Moscow). Artec develops and produces innovative 3D solutions and products. Artec has a team of professional experts in the collection and processing of 3D surfaces as well as biometric facial recognition. Artec’s products and services can be used in many industries, such as in engineering, medicine, media and design, entertainment, fashion, historic preservation, security technology and more.  

For more information, please contact:

Steve Young
Exact Metrology, Inc.
11575 Goldcoast Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Phone: 614-264-8587
Local: 513-831-6620

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Centrisys Earns Acclaim from Frost & Sullivan For Increasing the Efficiency of the THP Process In Sludge Treatment

The PONDUS TCHP helps wastewater and sludge treatment facilities pursue a more sustainable future through a waste-to-value strategy 

Centrisys PONDUS TCHPCentrisys/CNP, Kenosha, Wisconsin announced that it has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan with its 2019 North American Product Leadership Award for its PONDUS thermal hydrolysis process (THP).  With this product, Centrisys allows the North American sludge treatment industry to not only accelerate the sustainability of anaerobic digestion but also to significantly enhance THP.

“Centrisys/CNP, through its licensing agreement to distribute PONDUS TCHP in North America, offers the market a more productive process alternative by replacing steam with safe caustic soda. The simplified system uses only a heat efficiency exchanger, progressive cavity pumps and a reactor with no moving parts,” said Seth Cutler, Frost & Sullivan’s principal consultant.  “Through chemical reaction, the caustic soda breaks down cell membranes in the sludge as effective as steam. As a result, PONDUS TCHP offers operational simplicity avoids further personnel training and decreases the process carbon footprint.” ‘

TCHP reduces the volume of solids. This boosts the availability of digester capacity and the quality of outputs in biogas and solids. Biogas can be turned into heat, while the cake solids can be turned into fertilizer, soil amendments or nutrients. Thus, the product increases economic gains, economic care and offers a better future for communities.

“It is an honor that Frost & Sullivan gave us an award for PONDUS,” said Gerhard Fortner, CNP President. “The PONDUS process is a technology that just makes sense.  It is simple to operate, cost-effective and safe for all sized plants.”

PONDUS originated in Germany and is currently used in six installations in Europe and one in China. Centrisys introduced PONDUS in North America through an agreement in 2015. The PONDUS process was integrated into the facility and fully functional in just 15 months.

Cutler  further noted that this product can decrease the viscosity of thickened sludge up to 80%.  This is important, as it permits 50% reductions in volume for anaerobic digesters and frees up more space.  In addition, he pointed out that the produced sludge in the digesters is enhanced and can generate 30% more biogas, increasing value resource recovery. In addition, dewatering can result in improvements up to 5% in processing, while polymer consumption can shrink by 20% and eliminate foul odors in the facility.

The outstanding production and cost effectiveness gives Centrisys a huge advantage over traditional sludge treatment companies and position it for further growth.

Each year, Frost &Sullivan presents this award to a company that develops a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid market acceptance. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.

Centrisys/CNP will be at the WEF/IWA Residuals and Biosolids Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from May 8-9 at booth 609. Zhongtian Li, CNP Technical Manager will give a presentation about PONDUS on May 9 at 2:30 pm.

About Centrisys/CNP
Centrisys/CNP supports global sustainability through its resource intensification portfolio with water and wastewater equipment and processes. Our systems are simple. They are designed to use less energy, less chemicals and less space. Centrisys is a U.S.A. manufacturer of dewatering centrifuges, sludge thickeners and also provides global service, repair and parts for all centrifuge brands. CNP, a division of Centrisys, designs and supplies nutrient recovery and biosolids treatment optimization systems.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. 

For more information, please contact:

9586 58th Place
Kenosha, WI 53144

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Schuler TechDay about E-Mobility

Systems supplier presents its new blanking press EV 3.8 and other solutions for the efficient production of electric motors and batteries

Schuler MachineThe need for greater energy efficiency and the search for alternative energy sources and motors are among the key innovation drivers in industry. Schuler offers various solutions to produce electrical motors and battery cases. At its headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, the systems supplier recently presented its new high-speed blanking press Smartline EV 3.8 for the production of interlocked motor cores, which will be delivered to the German company Waasner, and other solutions for the era of e-mobility. More than 50 people took part in the Schuler TechDay.

Most of the car drivers in the Western hemisphere have probably never heard of the three most successful electric cars in China, — the BAIC EU260 EV, the BAIC EV200 or the SAIC Roewe 550 PHEV. A study published by fka and Roland Berger says that China will manufacture 6.8 million electric cars by 2021, as Schuler’s Rainer Berkefeld pointed out at the company’s TechDay E-Mobility. This is more than the U.S. (3.1), Germany (2.2) and Japan (1.0) combined.

One of the reasons why the rest of the world seems to be so far behind the People’s Republic is that China already has a quota for electric vehicles (EV) of 8% since last year; a long-term goal of 100% is being discussed. Yet, there is a global government push: Germany, the Netherlands and Norway think about a 100% quota by 2030, and France wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. “By this time, 35% of cars sold globally will be electric,” Berkefeld said.

Lamination geometrics more and more complex

E-mobility is growing everywhere, his colleague Simon Schmidt agreed, and has also become a top issue for the car manufacturers. In order to increase the efficiency of the motors, the geometrics of the electric motor lamination have become more and more complex, and as a consequence the dies are getting longer and longer: “Especially because two-row-dies are nowadays state of the art. This is why the table of Schuler’s new high speed blanking press Smartline EV 3.8 now has a length of 3.7 instead of 2.7 meters and can process a strip width of up to 630 mm.”

At the same time, the material thickness has been reduced down to 0.35 mm or even 0.2 mm. “Analyzing the new requests of the automotive industry with regards to e-mobility, the lamination thickness is currently defined at a range of 0.25 mm up to 0.275 mm. Therefore, we as a press supplier have to ensure a perfect positioning and levelling of the slide and table.” Considering this challenge, already 15 years ago Schuler has developed a penetration depth control (PDC) to provide a perfect positioning as well as repeat accuracy of the slide. “This way, we can warrant a perfect punch into the material, whereas we achieve an interlock exactly at the penetration depth. In detail, the Schuler Smartline series is capable of adjusting the PDC at a deviation of 0.01 mm through the entire stroke range.”

Regarding the extended dimensions of the Smartline EV3.8, Schuler was additionally challenged with the physical properties of a 3.7 meter slide. “With the smaller types of the Smartline series, we used to measure with a laser how deep the slide is going down, and the machine corrected the penetration depth, if necessary, within every single stroke automatically. Now, with a 3.7 m slide, there is deflection we have to consider.” For the advanced PDC, Schuler has put a strain gauge into the kiss blocks of the die which substitutes the laser: “Thus, the press force can be kept constant and the deflection of the slide can be controlled. No matter what your laminations look like, you will always get the perfect rotor and stator stacks.”

Schuler’s target was to offer its customers a machine that is reliable, rigid and precise while using the knowledge of building presses for 180 years.

“We can run the full speed of 250 strokes per minute with the full press force of 3,150 kN and the maximum upper die weight of up to six tons,” Schmidt elaborated. The press is harmonized so well there is no need for a special foundation: Customers only have to take care that the foundation can carry the static weight of 110 metric tons. “Thanks to the perfect interaction between static and dynamic counter balance, there is a vertical movement of the press at full speed of less than 1 mm.” As a result, there are no wear parts in the slide guiding, pressure points, connection rods and main bearings, which minimizes the service costs.

Schuler Tech Day

More than 50 people took part in the Schuler TechDay

Although the press is relatively heavy and big, Schuler only uses two instead of three pressure points: “We want to know which press force is exactly on which pressure point, to make sure they are detected to carry this force. With three pressure points, there will always be a small deviation, and it is only a matter of time until you have wear and problems. With two pressure points, the press is physically harmonized because of a predefined press force flow, and the wear is minimized. Another effect is a levelled slide: We can guarantee a parallelism from left to right of 0.04 mm per meter.”

Thanks to the advantages of the new Schuler Smartline EV 3.8 – such as the advanced PDC, a use of two pressure points, four pretensioned slide guidings as well as a perfect interaction of the static and dynamic counter balance – the die lifetime can be increased by up to 30%.

Up to 180 million strokes over the die lifetime

“With high speed steel used as active material, you can do approximately five million strokes in a die lifetime,” Daniel Kittig from die manufacturer Aweba continued. “With Powder Metallurgical, we are talking about roughly 30 million strokes and with carbide almost 180 million strokes, depending on process conditions and material properties.” In most cases, Aweba’s die engineers start with an idea or a drawing they receive from their customers. “Based on that, we are creating a design, taking into account part geometry, size, complexity and tolerances.”

The quantity of the laminations the customer is going to produce is decisive for choosing a single, double or multi row dies, but this also depends on the press capacities and capabilities: “Our goal is to provide the customer a maximum of flexibility. This means that he is able to react on deviations and variations due to the process and material issues. Therefore we integrate features like adjustable inserts.”

Each die has an individual design. Usually, pre-cuts are made in the first steps of the die as well as cut outs to reduce tensions of the stripe material. Next, the shape of the rotor is cut out step by step, a process which is separated in two, three or more different, single stations. “The geometry would be too instable to be combined in just one or two stations,” Kittig explained.

In the following station, the separation sheet for the interlocking operation is punched out pneumatically. The embossing for interlocking the laminations can take place either close to the shaft hole, between the shapes or close to the diameter: “But we also use gluing procedures implemented in our designs.”

“Based on the higher and higher quantities the customers are expecting, we also have layouts for double or multi rows like they perfectly fit on Schuler’s EV 3.8 press”, Kittig said. “Here, we have a better material usage.” He concedes that also for Aweba it is a big challenge to create a die in this length and with this precision: “The accuracy comes down to a few microns all over the die.”

Reducing costs for battery cases

However, the main reason why electric vehicles are still more expensive than cars with an internal combustion engine can be found in the batteries. Thanks to economies of scale, this will change by around 2026: By then, statistics published by Bloomberg show that batteries will account for 24% of the overall costs – compared to 42% in 2018 – and, as a consequence, cars with an electric motor will be financially more attractive than with an internal combustion engine.

Schuler Production Line

The production line consists of an impact extrusion press (bottom right), a post-processing press, trimmers, washer and dryer

“In today’s electric cars, there are Li-Ion batteries with an overall capacity of 120 GWH”, Schuler’s Rainer Berkefeld said. “This capacity will increase by 2022 to more than 400 GWH, which corresponds to about one billion cell cases which must be manufactured.” According to fka and Roland Berger, China alone will produce cells with a total capacity of 178 GWH between 2016 and 2021, followed by Korea (98 GWH), Japan (87 GWH), the United States of America (74 GWH) and Germany (18 GWH).

More than half of the cases on the market these days are either cylindrical – like in the electric vehicles produced by Tesla – or prismatic, used by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, BMW, VW, Audi, Chrysler, BYD, Ford and others. While cylindrical cells are cheap and commoditized, they need a sophisticated battery management system. Prismatic cells, on the other hand, offer the best scalability and a high cycle life; however, their production is currently still expensive.

“Schuler has developed a fully automated production line for prismatic cells which is not only five times faster than current solutions, but also saves metal,” Berkefeld said, “with standard machines and proven technology that has been used world-wide in the automotive and packaging industry.” The raw material is made of aluminum slugs, which are formed with an impact extrusion press. While the punch is pressing onto the slug, the material flows against the punch travel direction.

After that, the preforms are scanned from both sides in order to detect any cracks or deformation. Those that are out of specifications are blown off the line to prevent a downtime in the subsequent process. In the next step, the preforms are separated into four lanes and fed into the 4-out die of a 300 ton post-processing press. Apart from wall ironing, additional features like fine stepping or calibration can also be integrated.

Then, the cases are fed upside down into the trimmers. The trimming head is working from inside to outside by means of a wobbling movement in order to avoid an inside burr. After the cans have been cleaned and dried, they are ready to use – if they have passed the final vision inspection, that is. The high-speed line is in operation at a major battery manufacturer and can produce more than 30 million cases per year.

Schuler also offers machines for the manufacture of battery lids. They can be produced on a stamping press with a progressive die featuring twelve forming stations, including functions like piercing, trimming, embossing and separating.





For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA

About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from networked presses to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of € 1,212 billion. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), has approx. 6,600 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America as well as service companies in over 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

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ECM…New Paths in Part Production

Electro-chemical machining offers manufacturers a smart alternative to conventional processes

Simon Popecki
ECM Applications
Engineer EMAG LLC

To understand electro-chemical machining (ECM) it’s best to start by understanding it’s not electrical discharge machining (EDM).  These technologies for non-contact machining are routinely confused, but there are distinct differences – EDM vaporizes metal and ECM erodes it via electrolysis- which is less violent.  For our purposes here, the key differences are three: While current is passed between an electrode and workpiece in both methods, in ECM there is no spark – ECM uses a conductive electrolyte while EDM uses a dielectric, ECM has virtually no tool wear, and in ECM there is no HAZ (heat affected zone) like there is in EDM. This results in a part with no burrs, and the ECM process has potential for exceptional surface finishes even on extremely hard-to-machine materials, such as those found in medical, aerospace and firearms manufacturing.  Medical, auto, and firearms take advantage of another aspect of ECM which has significant merit: namely, the ability to produce contours and pockets deep inside parts that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible to manufacture with conventional chip cutting methods. The machining force in ECM is just the pressure of the electrolyte which allows ECM to produce features like high aspect ratio holes in conductive materials of any hardness.

As material is dissolved in the electrolyte, it is evacuated from the work area and the tool imprints its geometry upon the workpiece.  ECM can produce tight contours on everything from airfoils to the grooves of a rifle barrel with exceptionally tight tolerances. In the latter, rifle grooves can be cut to a depth of ± 2.5 micrometers.

It was turbine blade production that sparked the development of ECM, in the then Soviet Union after WWII.  Much of the ECM expertise today has roots in aerospace. In the production of turbine blades for example, ECM produces burr free, HAZ-free parts via PECM – an advanced ECM process combining the oscillation of the tool with pulsed current to create a superior surface finish on Inconel and other hard materials.

EMAG Turbine Blade

Turbine Blade


Today, electric mobility is emerging as another ideal application for the ECM technology.  Thin-walled parts, those with many complex features can now be formed very efficiently.  ECM, is commonly thought to be limited to hard aerospace materials but that is not the case.

Since an ECM machine like the EMAG CI platform serves as a base to provide the structure, intelligent power application, and precise electrolyte control to the fixture – sinking, drilling, broaching and deburring can all occur on one machine based on the fixture configuration. By changing the fixture and tooling, the machine can be converted to a completely different machining task. If the part you deburr with ECM today stops selling tomorrow, you can re-fixture the machine for a different part to maximize productivity.

In the production of gun barrels, the traditional methods are cut rifling, buttoning and hammer forging.  ECM has distinct advantages over these methods – particularly output, consistency, precision, low tooling cost, and the elimination of post rifling processes. Stress relieving or straightening can be eliminated with ECM. The ECM process can rifle profiled barrels or blanks, and Inconel barrels are just as easy as ordnance steel.  Unlike buttoning, ECM can quickly rifle a barrel with no distortion during the process. This is valuable in the production of air guns and composite reinforced barrels, for example, where the thin-walled barrel is more susceptible to distortion, which leads to inconsistency and ultimately a compromise in accuracy.

ECM rifling is best suited for high production runs with minimal variation, and here again ECM is showing substantial value.  In competitive shooting, where match grade barrels are the minimum standard, and gain twist and special groove profiles are prominent, the effectiveness of the ECM process is distinguished.  On ECM machines today, a hunting rifle barrel and a military cannon barrel can potentially be rifled on the same machine. Caliber change-overs can be done in minutes.

In the general manufacturing world, ECM is popular for various purposes such as crown gear manufacturing and the process is now finding its place in the booming markets of e-bikes, scooters, hybrids, and electric cars.  When complex geometries and contours are a necessity, the efficiency of the ECM process is a proven winner.


For higher production runs, it is possible to stack multiple workpieces without risking excessive heat transfer or distortion.


For more information, please contact:

38800 Grand River Avenue
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
Attention:  Amanda Bakun, Marketing Manager

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Grieve 879 Shelf Oven

350°F Modified Shelf Oven from Grieve

Grieve 879 Shelf OvenNo. 879 is a 350°F (177°C), modified shelf oven from Grieve, currently used for pre-heating bulk friction material in trays at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 68” W x 30” D x 36” H. A 1000 CFM, 1-HP recirculating blower provides horizontal airflow to the workload.

This Grieve modified shelf oven has 4” insulated walls, an aluminized steel exterior and Type 430 stainless steel interior. Features include two (2) shelf trucks with supports on 9” centers to correspond to wheel supports in oven and two (2) tiers of wheel tray supports to aid in loading trays from oven to trucks. Additional features include 350,000 BTU/HR installed in a modulating natural gas burner.

This Grieve oven includes all safety equipment required by IRI, FM and National Fire Protection Association Standard 86 for gas-heated equipment, including a 325 CFM 1/3-HP powered forced exhauster.

Controls on the No. 879 include adjustable, thermocouple actuated, manual reset excess temperature interlock, electronic flame safeguard protection, exhauster airflow safety switch, recirculating blower airflow safety switch and purge timer.

For more information, please contact:
500 Hart Road
Round Lake, Illinois 60073-2835
Phone: (847) 546-8225
Fax: (847) 546-9210
Web: www.grievecorp.com
Email: sales@grievecorp.com
Attention: Frank Calabrese

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Exact Metrology Educates Middle School Students

On March 28, 2019, Exact Metrology was among several companies who came to Latonia Elementary Career Day. This event was meant to introduce students to a variety of careers in health, law, manufacturing, engineering, technology and other fields. Fifth grade students spent three weeks researching different careers that interested them. They learned information concerning future salary, education and job skills. Then, students had the opportunity to speak with professionals in their chosen fields and ask questions.

Chris Lafferty, a specialist in Artec 3D’s, professional-grade handheld 3D scanners and software, attended on behalf of Exact Metrology. Together with Jason Kleinhenz, marketing manager at Exact Metrology, they met with students to teach them about metrology using the Artec Leo and Geomagic Design X. Artec Leo is the first 3D scanner to offer onboard automatic processing with an integrated touch panel viewer. This frees users from being tied to a computer for data capture. Users can scan the object and see the 3D replica being built in real time on the screen. The 3D model can be rotated to check that all areas have been captured. The final 3D model can be directly exported to Geomagic Design X.

Geomagic Design X is the industry’s most comprehensive reverse engineering software-combining history-based CAD with 3D scan data processing and enables users to create feature-based, editable solid models compatible with existing CAD software. Geomagic Design X provides an easy way to integrate CAD models from a 3D scanner into an existing engineering design workflow. This software permits the re-use of designs without manually updating old drawings or re-measure/rebuild a model in CAD.

Jason Kleinhenz commented, “Exact Metrology was happy to participate in this career event because we are committed to giving back by partnering with schools for educational purposes and career enhancements.”

Exact Metrology, with facilities in Cincinnati and Milwaukee and affiliated offices throughout the Midwest, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements. 

Artec 3D is an international company, headquartered in Luxembourg, with subsidiaries in the United States (Santa Clara, California) and Russia (Moscow). Artec develops and produces innovative 3D solutions and products. Artec has a team of professional experts in the collection and processing of 3D surfaces as well as biometric facial recognition. Artec’s products and services can be used in many industries, such as in engineering, medicine, media and design, entertainment, fashion, historic preservation, security technology and more.

For more information, please contact:

Steve Young
Exact Metrology, Inc.
11575 Goldcost Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Phone: 614-264-8587
Local: 513-831-6620

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