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Universities and technical schools trying to keep up with advances in digital manufacturing often find themselves behind industry. However, I was privileged to visit one university, the University South Carolina, which will now be an important exception. Founded in 1801, USC is one of the oldest universities in the US with a history of creating the most innovative learning programs dating back to its first curriculum obtained from Oxford University. Today, USC is establishing a one of a kind Digital Factory Lab that combines technology and coolness to inspire and educate its students.
This past week, Siemens announced a partnership to help the University of South Carolina to accomplish this goal with an in-kind grant of hardware and software. “Welcome to Brain Power USA! Siemens is investing $628 million in high tech training for 4th industrial revolution jobs in South Carolina,” said Henry McMaster, South Carolina Governor. By providing students with this hands-on experience on software and hardware across USC’s engineering curriculum and in research programs, Siemens is helping prepare a highly-skilled STEM workforce for the advanced manufacturing industry, including the aerospace industry, which has experienced an 11.4% employment growth rate in South Carolina since 2010.
Ramy Harik is one of the professors at USC and he told me that these new resources will be put to good use. Already his students have been involved in working with composites, designing new ways of analyzing data for the helicopter AH-64 Apache airframe and developing insights into that aircraft’s mechanical operation for the Army. More innovations are sure to come. For instance, beginning this fall students will also be able to pursue a major in aerospace engineering.
In recent years, the state of South Carolina has become a magnet for sophisticated manufacturing particularly in aerospace, automotive and tire. As a result of working with these companies to deploy high-tech manufacturing and by supporting vocational learning in the state through USC’s College of Engineering and Computing and the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, USC has grown into a major research university. Specifically, the McNAIR Center is aligned with two dozen educational and government partners, and a group of industry partners that include The Boeing Company, Fokker Aerostructures, KUKA Robotics, Ingersoll Machine Tools, Gulfstream and more.
The recent gift by Siemens to University of South Carolina will contribute to the state’s overall goal to become the smartest manufacturing state in the United States. I know this is not only important to the Governor of South Carolina, but also to the USC President Harris Pastides who said, “We’re proud that our researchers and students at the College of Engineering and Computing, McNAIR Aerospace Center and the entire USC system, will play a role in discovering new manufacturing technologies and will be better prepared to take on the jobs of tomorrow in South Carolina and beyond.”
To date, South Carolina’s business, education and state government partnerships have created jobs for more than 55,000 South Carolinians in the larger aerospace industry. As Raj Batra, President, Siemens Digital Factory Division, U.S., said, “Aerospace companies throughout South Carolina are heavily reliant on automation and digitalization as well as well-trained employees. Our partnership with the University of South Carolina will provide valuable experiential training with both software and hardware, providing the next generation workforce with the skills they need to be successful.”
Far from lagging, educators in South Carolina are working hard to stay out front. While I was at dinner, USC’s Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, told me “We are going to work very hard to make this the best investment that Siemens has ever made.” I am proud to be part of a company that will match that enthusiasm and make this a program known for enabling students to be competitive for jobs throughout the world.
Governor Henry McMaster, we are ready to help you build the workforce of tomorrow.
Siemens Industry, Inc.
About Siemens USA
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Bartlett, IL (Chicago) – Effective immediately, Jeff Tanner has been appointed the new Midwest Sales Director for REP Corporation, the world leader in rubber and TPE injection molding presses. This announcement was made by Tim Graham, President of REP Corporation, at the company’s headquarters in Bartlett, IL, near Chicago.
Tanner comes to REP with 29 years of experience in the rubber industry, having previously worked at a major OEM supplier to the automotive NVH sector. He has a thorough technical background in rubber injection molding, tooling and adhesion processes, as well as new product development.
Jeff will be based in Cadillac, Michigan and cover the Midwest region for REP. He can be reached at 847-514-8160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
His interest includes fishing, hunting and camping.
REP is the largest builder of rubber and TPE injection presses in the world, with global affiliates and multi-national manufacturing locations.
For more information, please contact:
Tim Graham, President
8N470 Tameling Court
Bartlett, IL 60103
Getting started with live tools…
When any metalworking manufacturing facility, whether captive or job shop, makes the substantial investment in a new lathe, they are often looking for ways to streamline the manufacturing process. The smarter you are when choosing the live tools for your job, the more efficient the machine becomes. Finding a supplier of live tools who offers high-quality, high-performance products that will allow you more flexibility on the first big job and into the future in your operation is the key.
The first tool feature to consider is the output needed. Standard ER output or quick-change? Do you need coolant through the tool capabilities? Does the tool meet your requirements for precision and performance, including the necessary torque output to complement the machine? Are the tools designed according to the specifications of the lathe manufacturer?
When you look at an ER output, does it give you enough flexibility or do you need a more flexible machining system that will allow you to use the same tool for different applications. If more flexibility is required, then you may want to consider tooling with a system that features adapters for a variety of tools without the cost of new complete toolholder assemblies for each tool needed. However, when you look at such systems, be sure they feature a rigid polygon drive system design to prevent power transmission and alignment issues. Such systems seem appealing, because the live tool stays in place and only the adapter and collet get changed out with each new tool. However, less sophisticated though inexpensive systems will compromise the accuracy of your work. At that point, the few dollars saved will mean very little, compared to the scrap and downtime resulting.
If changeover time is critical, such as when working on a “family of parts,” the option of a true “quick- change system” might be more
beneficial. Adapters can be set offline and ready to go for minimal changeover time.
When coolant-thru tools are selected, it is imperative you first check the machine specifications to be sure your tool is capable of handling the coolant pressure of the machine. In general, your internal coolant live tools should be able to handle 1000 psi or more.
If your live tool is constructed with large, high accuracy bearings, the tool will have excellent rigidity and premium cutting performance, with minimal runout. (0.0002” or 0.006mm is a desirable goal.) The bearings, combined with ground, paired and high accuracy gears, make for tools that are consistent and long lasting. Bore tolerance is absolutely key in maintaining proper bearing load and this factor should never be compromised.
In addition, you should consider the many applications that can be accomplished with the proper live tool. You can purchase speed increasers for higher rpm, gear reducers for added torque, adjustable angle tools for compound angles, multiple-spindle tools for additional capacity, or gear hobbing tools for spline or gear cutting. Most of those items are standard catalog devices, but one more piece of advice: never shy away from the custom tool, when appropriate and justified by the job you have in-shop today, as well as the ones you might have tomorrow. A good tooling supplier will work with you to produce custom tools at reasonable prices, but the supplier must be very reliable, so look for one with grinding, finishing and perhaps even heat treating in-house or very closely monitored, to do such work. Additionally, be certain the supplier has local support and tools can be repaired or reworked quickly and correctly.
The workpiece materials are always a driver. Those of you doing medical machining know this well. Buying a less expensive or lower featured tool to work cobalt chromium and titanium is a really bad idea, to be blunt.
On a practical level, always check the supplier for inventory and source of supply. Today, when your customers are demanding faster response times and more cost off-loading, you can expect the same from your tooling supplier. Likewise, application and engineering assistance should be available from local sources to support your tool choices.
The bottom line is the bottom line for most of us today. However, always consider the future jobs when purchasing tooling systems for your new and existing lathes. What might seem a bargain might not be, after the first big job is completed.
DIN and ABEC standards are the norm in industry and your supplier should be willing to supply all necessary documentation on request. Shortcuts on quality are never, repeat never, worth the short-term savings.
I hope this short primer on tooling will assist you in equipping your next machines.
For addition information or inquiries, please contact:
Heimatec is an international tooling manufacturer, based in Renchen, Germany. Its experienced staff is dedicated to providing customers the most innovative tooling technology possible. In 2010, the company opened Heimatec Inc. in Prospect Heights, IL, near Chicago, to serve its growing North American customer base with sales and service, plus an extensive inventory of products. Heimatec serves the auto, aero, medical, off-highway, rail, energy, woodworking, composites and other industries, as well as an ever-increasing number of machine tool OEM’s worldwide.Continue reading
Kimray, Inc., an Oklahoma City-based manufacturer of control valves and related equipment for oil and gas producing companies, reports an 83% increase in their machining efficiency, achieved largely as the result of recently acquired CNC production equipment.
Founded in 1948 by Garman Kimmell, Kimray operates a 274,000 sq. ft. facility and employs over 400 people to serve its expanding customer base of oil and gas producing companies. Kimray machines iron, steel and aluminum, as well as thermoplastic materials, to build its comprehensive line of control valves, thermostats, energy-exchange glycol pumps, gas-operated pilots and other process control devices. Their products are used to control vessel and lead line temperatures, liquid level inside pressurized vessels, pressure drops and liquid/gas flow.
The company maintains a turnkey manufacturing facility, including dozens of lathes, grinders, turning, milling, sawing and bore finishing/honing machine tools, nearly all with CNC systems onboard. Originally, two machines were purchased, an Emco Maier EMCOTURN 420 MC PLUS and HYPERTURN 665 MC PLUS Lathes, each equipped with Siemens SINUMERIK 840D CNCs and SIMODRIVE 611D drive packages. As their productivity greatly increased, Kimray decided to purchase two more Emco Maier machines to keep up with increased demand for their products.
The company operates a host system for file storage and back-up on all part production data. As one operator of these lathes observed, “I liked the Fanuc 18i-T CNC we used on other machines in the shop, but, with the SINUMERIK 840D, you can do so much more, such as instant programming and cut and paste operations, while the machine is running or stopped. Each screen allows you to be very detailed about what you’re doing, such as separating your mains from your subs with your part and workpiece programs. I use the Siemens CNC for axis and spindle movements on both machines (Emco Maier 420 Dual Main and Counter spindle Machine and the 665 Main and Counter Spindle Machine). My programs and data can be recessed easily and transferred back to the machines (from the company’s main host system), as needed. I can run my programs out of workpieces and sub-spindles, including milling and stenciling out of the sub-programs. I use the parts program as my way to transfer files and folders to the main system and back again.”
He further commented on the controls, “On a typical set-up, I like the sensitivity of the CNC. Being able to move the axis only a ten thousandth at a time to a hundred thousandth at a time comes in very handy for me. I also like the program test feature, especially on new programs. Each tool has its own geometry page and up to four offsets, making things much less complicated.”
Lastly, regarding the machine builder, this operator noted, “I received lots of good advice and training from the folks at Emco Maier, especially Doug Poling. He’s also assisted me a few times by phone, when needed.”
In the manufacture of its oil and gas production controls, Kimray typically machines bar stock of 303, 304, 310, 316 and 17-4 stainless, as well as D-2 tool steel, 6061-T6 aluminum, brass, Delrin and Teflon. Cast iron, ductile, steel, stainless and aluminum are also machined here. The 83% increase in machining efficiency has been achieved, due to these four Emco Maier machines with Siemens CNCs, according to Kimray sources and company production data.
In determining the increase in overall machining efficiency at Kimray, VP of Operations David Hill commented, “Our commitment to run CNC machine tools has long been in place and the addition of the Emco Maier lathes with Siemens controls onboard are the latest steps in this process. We’ve literally had no problems with these machines, the CNC’s or the drives. When Kimray operators can keep running and producing parts in such a way, the impact on our overall efficiency is immediate and substantial.”
Mike Morris, Kimray’s Plant Engineer, added that “the control is strong and easy for the operators to use”. Over the years, the CNCs have been virtually bulletproof.”
From the builder’s perspective, Emco Maier shares Kimray’s appreciation for the performance of its CNC/drive package supplier.
“Our 420 machine enables simultaneous production of two parts without interruption or collision. The digital drives (Siemens SIMODRIVE 611D) produce dynamic performance in both the main spindle and X/Z axes,” commented the company’s Director of Sales Support Operations for Emco Maier USA. “Plus, programming is just the same as on any CNC lathe. Only one program is generated. The program for the second workpiece is simply transferred to the bottom system by means of a selector switch. No additional programming is necessary. As we like to say, twice as nice.”
The 665 Hyperturn machine enables true 4-axis machining plus full c-axis capability on both the main and counter spindles. The 665 uses some of the same programming features, plus the same digital drive system as the 420, but in a larger package.
For more information on this story, please contact any of the following individuals:
EMCO MAIER CORP.
SIEMENS MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
Manager, Marketing Communications
Siemens Industry, Inc.
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Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.
The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.Continue reading