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Zimmermann FZ40c is cutting and spraying away extra metal shavings

Zimmermann partners with two moldmakers to help them go “big”

Four large FZ40c portal millings machines providing significant changes to business strategy at Commercial Tool & Die and Franchino Mold & Engineering in Michigan

Zimmermann FZ40c milling machines enabled both moldmakers to grow their business in their home markets of automotive injection molds and die cast diework, in a unique partnership for each moldmaker

It began in 2017, when Commercial Tool & Die (CTD), a division of Commercial Tool Group in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, contacted Zimmermann at a mold show and IMTS.  This 68-year-old company, founded by the grandfather of the current president, JD Bouwman, was heavily leveraged in automotive and off-highway injection moldmaking, but was seeking to grow into new markets with larger machining capacity.  Meanwhile, over in Lansing, Michigan, Franchino Tool & Engineering was prospering in automotive molds and die cast diework but was seeking to increase their 5-axis machining capability, travel and speed.  The short version of this story is that CTD ended up with three new Zimmermann machines, while Franchino bought the first CTD stock machine from Zimmermann, as it fit their needs quite well, according to Franchino President Mike Heatherington.  

Commercial Tool & Die Looking To Grow

As Plant Manager Darin Hall explains, “We had reached out to Cornelius Kiesel, president of Zimmermann Inc. in Wixom, Michigan, at a mold show and then again at IMTS.  We were impressed with their large CNC 5-axis machines.  CTD had four goals we were seeking to accomplish with our new machine capability.  Namely, we wanted reliability, efficiency to run unattended, rigidity to hold accuracies across a long travel and surface quality to meet our very high standards for automotive products.”  He notes the FZ compact line of Zimmermann appeared to have the essentials they sought at CTD, though some modifications would be needed. 

Company President JD Bouwman elaborates.  “We found in Zimmermann the combination of a great machine with a flexible team who was willing to expand their horizons and ours.  Although the basic version of the FZ40c is an excellent machine, in the end, we made 31 changes that were specific to CTG’s needs, including increased ram, with a goal to purchase three machines for our increased production.”  Bouwman further comments how this enhanced capability would allow CTD to move into new markets and increase share in their home market of automotive.  Today, that process has already yielded positive results, as the company is producing injection molds of much larger size than in the past, thereby opening new segment of automotive, off-highway and commercial building products. 

After the initial investigation, the decision was made to lease an FZ40c to trial the machine.  This portal mill has a work envelope of 197” W x 118” D x 59” H with a feed rate to 2362 ipm.  As the trials proceeded over the one-year lease agreement, according to Darin Hall, “We quickly saw that the machine was very solid and would allow us to strategize differently in our approach to production.”  Concurrently, CTD was realizing their market and manufacturing needs would require some significant changes to the machine, especially the ram height, for use on molds in the off-highway, construction equipment and building products market segments CTD was seeking to penetrate. 

He continues, “We also realized we had a great partner in Cornelius and the team at Zimmermann, both in Wixom and in Germany, where we visited a number of times, as they did here.  These folks were open to our suggestions and worked diligently to affect them.”  Hall notes this lease arrangement was the first in the 68-year history of the company.  “I guess you could say we knew where we wanted to go but weren’t quite sure of the machine design that would get us there.”  The CTD and Zimmermann teams thus began a collaboration that would run nearly three years, culminating in today with three FZ40c gantry mills on the floor at CTD, each with an enhanced rigidity and cast mono-block fork head with unique process cooling for high precision machining, especially on models and molds.  The FZ40c has a base x-axis of 236”, giving CTD the additional size they needed.  Among the changes made to the machine design was an increased ram.

In the end, JD Bouwman concludes, “We had a big machine concept in mind to get us to our goal and the three modified FZU machines were the answer.  Day to day, the machines give us much higher unattended machining numbers, a real testimony to the quality.  Zimmermann has allowed CTD to quote new projects, bigger workpieces and enter new markets, exactly where we wanted to go.”  He expressed a “big thank-you” to Cornelius Kiesel and the Zimmermann team, citing the dedication on both sides over a three-year period resulted in machines “…that simply allowed us to go to a new level as a company and that’s very exciting.”  A future goal between the companies is to build an even bigger machine with increased capacities to reach even higher levels of market participation. 

“Our relationship with Zimmermann is based on true collaboration and we’re mutually assisting the other to accomplish our goals.  That’s as good as a business partnership can be,” concludes Bouwman. 

One additional change to the FZ40c as requested, according to Cornelius Kiesel, and it presented a unique challenge to Zimmermann, he jokes.  “The CTD company color is gold and they requested we paint the machine heads that color for them.  We are machine tool engineers and builders but we took up the challenge and found the right paint for this challenging application.  Looks nice, doesn’t it?” 

Franchino — right place at the right time

That’s an old expression but it’s true in this case.  About an hour east of CTD sits Franchino Mold & Engineering in Lansing, Michigan.  According to company President Mike Hetherington, “Our business is currently about half in automotive injection molds and half in die cast diework for a variety of industries, including construction, stormwater and septic management.  During this recent period in business, with all its challenges, we’ve been flexible in seeking new jobs in various industries and it’s paid off, resulting in a sizable increase in our sales volume.” 

The connection between Franchino and CTD requires a bit of explanation, as Hetherington notes.  “We were on a business trip to Germany, seeking new machine concepts.  We had occasion to tour the Zimmermann factory and, while there, we saw the FZ40C portal milling machine being built for Commercial.  We were looking for that type of machine and had our checklist.  The FZ40C began to check off the boxes and we knew it was the machine for us.  As it happened, we learned the machine was being leased to Commercial down the road from us in the Grand Rapids area and we’d known them for years.  We don’t often directly compete, so we made some contacts and decided to wait for their lease to expire, then we purchased their machine and it was shipped to our facility in Lansing.”  He also mentions several particulars.  The machine needed to work both steel and aluminum molds, be a true 5-axis mill, be able to efficiently rough, semi and finish all in one setup, have an HSK spindle, run 1400 ipm and be up for two shifts reliably.  The FZ40c was found suitable on all these points, according to Hetherington. 

On one job, he notes with a smile, the shop took a roughing cycle from 16 hours to 3 hours, due to the machine’s rigidity, speed and accuracy.  As a bonus, the Heidenhain CNC onboard the Zimmermann machine provided a monitoring capability that enabled the Franchino Machining Supervisor, Chris Cook, to learn the status of the machine remotely. 

Cook cites another example of the company’s use of the Zimmermann FZ40c.  “We run molds for huge septic tanks and the Zimmermann is currently at 3000 hours of run time at 2000 ipm with no issues.”

Hetherington adds the machine purchased from CTD recently ran for two months solid at 90% capacity.  “Looking back, I’d say we were definitely in the right place at the right time, discovering this machine on our trip to Germany.  It’s been a very valuable investment for Franchino, providing reliable production on big workpieces.  It will open up more opportunities for our company in various existing and new markets.”  Hetherington has been president at the company since December, 2020, having gone, as he says, “…from mowing the lawn as a school kid to coming to work here with my engineering degree to engineering manager to VP of operations and now president.”

Franchino Mold & Engineering was founded in Lansing in 1955 by Richard Franchino, whose son and recently retired president Bob began as the first employee, sweeping the floor for $0.25 an hour.  Mike Hetherington is currently working on the construction of an additional 60,000-square foot facility with an 80-ton overhead crane to handle the massive workpieces produced at this shop, which produces molds & dies plus does considerable repair work for its customers nationwide. 


About the company

Zimmermann is based in Swabia (Germany) and is a leading global high-tech supplier of portal milling machines. These are characterized by huge workspaces, substantial machining dynamics and cutting performance. The company, founded in 1933 by Friedrich Zimmermann, now has over 200 employees worldwide. With its product range, our innovative company has one goal above all: to offer the right solution for our customers and thus to be able to guarantee high economic efficiency. “Quality made in Germany and supported locally” is our motto. The company’s special machines are used worldwide in the automotive, aerospace, moldmaking and mechanical engineering sectors.  The company has its North American headquarters in Wixom, Michigan, near Detroit, where it operates a full tech center offering engineering assistance, commissioning, parts and retrofit services, as well as multiple machines for demonstration purposes.  Zimmermann Inc. is headed by President Cornelius Kiesel. 

For more information, please contact:

ZIMMERMANN INC. 
30587 Century Drive
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone:  248-956-8511
www.zimmermann-inc.com
Ms. Lena Kiesel, Marketing Manager
lena@zimmermann-inc.com

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It supplies the blanks for the servo press line in the Smart Press Shop with an output of 20 strokes per minute. © Schuler

Lasers cutting blanks for the Smart Press Shop

In addition to a servo press line, Porsche and Schuler operate a fully-connected press shop which features a state-of-the-art blanking line

Göppingen/Halle, 07/27/2021 – At the beginning of June, Porsche and Schuler began the operation of a fully-connected press shop in East German Halle (Saale). In addition to a servo press line with an output of up to 20 strokes per minute, the Smart Press Shop also features a state-of-the-art blanking line; a Laser Blanking Line 2.18 equipped with two cutting heads for processing strip material with a width of up to 1,880 mm.

Blanking lines with lasers do not require expensive and heavy blanking dies, which is why they are particularly suitable for the production of new parts or small batch sizes with frequent product changes. The continuously moving coil material is processed into blanks at high cutting speeds. Thanks to tooling-free scrap separation, a high output is also achieved. A gentle transport of sensitive materials, such as aluminum, is ensured, too.

The Laser Blanking Line is the ideal solution for the “Smart Press Shop” in Halle, which focuses on the production of aluminum outer skin parts in small batch sizes. By recording various measured values of the system as well as the coil material and by smart marking of the blank, the line which supplies the blanks for the servo press line forms the point of departure for a “Track and Trace” system.


www.schulergroup.com/laserblanking
www.smartpress.shop

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

Kevin McAllister, President, North America
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Kevin.McAllister@schulergroup.com

About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customized first-rate technology in all areas of forming – from the networked press to press shop planning. In addition to press, our product includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Our customers include automotive manufacturers and suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Press from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. When it comes to the digital transformation of the forming technology, we support our customers worldwide as a supplier of innovative system solutions. Founded in 1839 with headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, Schuler AG has about 5,000 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America, as well as service companies in more than 40 countries. The company is part of the international technology group ANDRITZ.

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Scanning with the Leica RTC360

Exact Metrology Showcases Its Long Range Scanning Capabilities

Company highlights equipment and tools used, applications and the Leica RTC360

Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, offers a variety of long range (20 feet to entire facilities) high-definition technologies.  The company uses high quality equipment from Leica, a Hexagon Metrology company, and Surphaser®.

The tool of choice for long range scanning is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanners. It’s a remote sensing method used to detect objects in 3D space similar to the technology used in autonomous self-driving vehicles. A highly accurate and effective surveying method, it uses light in the form of a pulsated laser to measure variable distances.

Leica RTC360

Long range scanners are typically set up in multiple locations to collect very large data sets. The data set from each location generates a point cloud and each of the point clouds are stitched together to create a 3D space. The stitched point cloud data is then sent directly to the customer or 3D models of the areas are generated to work in any CAD environment. The ability to implement CAD modeling allows tasks to be completed in a fraction of the time as opposed to manual drafting. It also eliminates the need to revisit the area to get that dreaded forgotten measurement or extra detail.

Generally, the CAD models are used for factory/shop floor layout plans, power plant equipment change outs, proof dimensioning and much more. The same data set can also be reused for multiple purposes.  It is ideal for large scale interior or exterior buildings, statues and historic architecture preservation.

In addition to the 3D model, full spherical HDR imagining is attached directly to the point cloud giving a photo realistic effect of the data and allowing for virtual walkthroughs of the areas, shareable markups, geo-referencing and meta-tagging. This data can be shared with an unlimited user base via a freeware software.

The Leica RTC360 3D reality capture solution can be controlled through the Leica Cyclone FIELD 360, app, allowing a real time visual of all the customer’s setups and the ability to optimize links of each  individual scan to all the setups.

Known for its unsurpassed accuracy and scan quality, long range scanning is ideal for use in reverse engineering, dimensional control, historical preservation, architecture and forensics.


Exact Metrology is ISO, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

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

For more information, please contact:

EXACT METROLOGY, INC. 
Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53045
Local: 262-533-0800
www.exactmetrology.com
deans@exactmetrology.com

EXACT METROLOGY, INC. 
Steve Young
11575 Goldcoast Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Local: 513.831.6620
Toll Free: 866.722.2600
www.exactmetrology.com
stevey@exactmetrology.com

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2021 ANCA Tool of the Year winners announced live at EMO Milano

#ANCATooloftheYear2021 offers thousands in prize money and global recognition; celebrating the magic of the cutting tool and the experts who create them

ANCA Tool of the Year Contest

ANCA’s industry-first competition is back with the 2021 winners to be announced live at EMO, Milano; a major global trade fair that recognizes the magic world of metalworking. Last year the industry welcomed the opportunity to show off their skills with almost 30 entries received from across the world being seen by over 80,000 fans generating over 200,000 engagement on social media.

Patrick Boland, Co-Founder at ANCA comments: “Our industry thrives thanks to grinders’ expertise. Much of what people use and enjoy in everyday life is due to the hard work and ever increasing technical acumen of these cutting tool makers and as a result we are seeing the complexity of cutting tools increase, improving productivity, tool life and functionality.”

“Now in its fourth year, ANCA Tool of the Year has gained significant coverage – raising the profile of cutting tools and those companies who make them. I encourage all cutting tool makers to enter our competition and be recognized on a global stage for your craftmanship and contributions to our industry,” he concluded.

Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director at Cerin SpA and first time Judge said: “Continuous developments in tool technology have shown us that standard products have become easier and easier to make and the challenge is to create something new, putting creativity into the grinding process. Grinding technology can still be surprising for expert people who work in the field every day given turning new ideas into reality is enhanced by an open, flexible software such as ANCA’s iGrind.” Cerin SpA began operating in 1971 and is one of the most reputable Italian manufacturers of carbide precision tools.

ANCA will also showcase the much anticipated AutoMarkX for the first time at EMO. AutoMarkX is an automatic stand-alone laser marking station replacing manual and labor-intensive processes. Find out more about what is at ANCA’s stand on our EMO​ page.

ANCA Tool of the Year 2020 Award

ANCA Tool of the Year 2021 – Complexity through simplicity: ANCA makes it simple to design and grind complex tools

To find the Tool of the Year customers can submit their favorite tool with the winners being judged and announced live at EMO. There will be two competition categories to recognize both the functionality and creativity of cutting tool manufacturers.

  • The main prize goes to #MadeonANCA tools and entrants will be judged on the form and performance of their cutting tool.
  • The second category is for virtual tools as the “Most innovative tool design – 2021.” Entrants are encouraged to be creative and use ANCA tool design software to push ideas to their limits. 

The winner of #MadeonANCA receives $10,000 AUD worth of ANCA innovations for parts, accessories or software that fit your grinding needs and the winner of the most innovative virtual tool will receive the full CIM software package.

Submissions open from 15th June – 15th August.

2020’s #MadeonANCA competition winner, ARCH Cutting Tools’ entry demonstrated excellent use of multiple iGrind operations with several complex profiles. Jeff Cederstrom, President of ARCH Cutting Tools said: “It is a humbling experience to be involved in a friendly competition with some of the world’s most innovative and technically advanced cutting tool manufacturers. We will use the recognition to further motivate us to push the limits of cutting tool design to meet our ultimate goal of meeting our customers’ needs and the challenges they have in their applications every day.” 

Patrick Boland continued: “For the winners of Virtual Tool Category, JG Group from Poland took a creative approach using an Australian theme of the Sydney Opera House reproduced in a profile tool, looking as impressive as a tool as it does in real life. (Joint virtual winner) Turcar’s tool amazed me in how they achieved their tool design. I had no idea our software could produce something as beautiful and as well executed as their entry.”

The competition will be based on the passion and the craft of tool making and celebrate our highly skilled tool grinding community. 

Judging panel

  • Pat Boland, Co-Founder and Managing Director at ANCA
  • Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director at Cerin SpA, Italy
  • Thomson Mathew, Product Manager at ANCA
  • Zoller – measure profile and diameter 

At EMO the top five finalist tools will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Best surface finish in Ra (roughness average) value on the flute or gash surface
  • The tool the that is closest to the nominal tolerance as stated on the drawing in terms of diameter and profile (i.e. if the tolerance on diameter is +/- 0.010mm and the tool is measured to 0.005 then this will rank favourably)
  • Tool that has been ground to the tightest tolerance as per the drawing (i.e. the tool with the lowest tolerance will rank favourably)
  • Level of complexity (i.e. in terms of the number of steps, profiles will rank favourably)

For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group Strategy and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

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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A curious company, Mictu is always experimenting with materials to find the best cutting tool solutions

Established in 1986 Mictu’s core business is the eyewear industry. As the company has grown they expanded into aerospace, automotive, dental, and mechanical. Boasting a team of 15 people and producing more than 200,000 tools per year, Mictu exports tools to China, Hong Kong, North and South America, Switzerland and Germany, as well as servicing their local Italian market.

Andrea Colavo, the son of the founder of Mictu said, “There has been significant growth in our company since its beginning. We have a big body of knowledge as the eyewear industry gave us the opportunity to test our tools in many different materials giving experience in working with many kinds of plastics and metals.”

Servicing the changeable eyewear industry

The eyewear industry is different from other kinds of industries, mostly because it’s fashion. Eyewear trends are constantly changing and customers require different tools to machine different shapes.

The industry also uses very small tools and Mictu have produced tools with a 0.2 millimeter diameter mill. For example, a hinge requires very tight tolerance — in fact drawings often specify plus or minus one hundredth of a millimeter.

Understanding different materials is fundamental

Andrea continues, “We are a curious team who understand the value of trying new approaches and materials. If a customer is asking to use a material we have no experience in, we ask them how this material reacts to machining and describe the chips of this material. This helps us build a picture of how the material reacts to cutting. We make a sample tool and analyze its performance — is the tool working correctly or does it require adjustments? In the ANCA 3D simulator we can make these adjustments to produce a second batch and try again at the customers.”

Mictu has developed many different tools for many different materials. The most common plastics are nylon or polycarbonate and metals are titanium, stainless steel or cast iron.

Designing the best tool takes trial and error

“I think that anyone can make a tool, especially now that we have more intuitive software. However experience is still key. Cutting tool makers should consider the dynamics of the grinding wheels and need to know the right speed that will not cook your material as otherwise it will break like glass.”

“Generally we start from a drawing of the finished part and ask our customer how he wants to machine their component. Next we use our ANCA 3D simulator software program to simulate the tool to evaluate the best performing shape for that tool.”

“We start using 3D simulation with an ANCA MGX that we bought in 2002. The 3D simulator has changed the way we make tools, mostly because using this software means we are making less errors.”

“The characteristics that make a tool perform best is choosing the right material.

“A cutting edge must be appropriate for the material you have to machine for example, sometimes a very sharp cutting edge is not the best choice. Very sharp edges are weaker than a rounded edge and can vibrate more. So for soft materials you need a very sharp edge, but for hard to cut materials, you need a stronger cutting edge. “

“I have found it is important to make mistakes. This means you can learn what is not working and that helps you next time you are designing a tool.”

Technology matters – ANCA’s MGX has produced more than 350,000 pieces and is still running

Mictu invested in an MGX in 2002. Andrea recalls, “It’s our first ANCA and is still performing with more than 350,000 pieces manufactured over the years. We found the MGX is a very good machine for producing small to medium batches of very small tools.”

“More recently we purchased two new FX7 Linears because of their flexibility. They are excellent machines for producing tool batches of varied sizes. So far, we have been running them all week, overnight and on the weekend with big batches. During the day we use them to produce smaller batches. On the FX7 we mainly produce drills, step drills and mills and sometimes even end mills with a profile.”

“The FX7 can produce very different tools in the same batch making the machines extremely efficient. Another big advantage of these machines is that we can measure the tool without looking at it. The machine has a laser that measures, and if necessary, corrects during the grinding process. Even if no one is looking at the machine, we know the machine is automatically taking care of the tolerance of our tools and that the end quality will be high. I sleep much better because I know the laser is doing its job checking the diameter of every mill you are producing.”

“We use the iBalance to ensure our wheel packs are balanced, reducing the vibration on our tools. This is fundamental when you’re making very small tools. If you have even a very small vibration, your cutting edge will be hammered and cheap. If you have it balanced well, it will work much more smoothly and have a nicer cutting edge.”

“Personally I also liked the appearance of the machine, I would even say it is good looking! With the new Linear models, we expect a longer machine lifespan and improved surface finish. The small footprint is welcome and its many features help with the repeatability of our tools. In summary, we choose the ANCA FX7 Linear because it is a complete package with a wheel changer, large loader, laser measurement technology and has 3D Simulator software.”

Professional facilities build trust with customers

Mictu recently moved to a new facility and are reaping the benefits of investing in custom design. Andrea continues “The biggest benefits we’ve seen moving to a new facility was starting from a blank sheet. We decided to put all the pipes needed for the oil for the grinders underground to make a clear surface with less stuff that can leak on the floor. The measuring machines have been installed in a separate environment to keep them on a steady temperature. Since moving we have seen improved production, better quality control and overall we are more efficient and have a better environment for our people because it’s clean and fresh.”

“I think it’s really important for a customer to visit your facility so they can assess the working environment. Fortunately, customers are very impressed which helps us build trust in our products and services. Customers choose to work with us because we are very lean and listen to their needs. We have a skilled and experienced team who are able to solve problems.”


For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

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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ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout Now Available at Exact Metrology

Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, has recently installed a ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout, formally known as a GOM CT, scanner at their facility in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Considered the powerhouse of resolution for CT inspection and metrology, the METROTOM 6 scout digitizes complex parts including the internal geometries at the finest level of detail. Users obtain a complete 3D image for GD&T analysis or nominal-actual comparisons. The metrology CT excels in digitizing small plastic parts.

The combination of a 3k detector and 225 kV X-ray enables ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout to provide high contrast, high-resolution measurement results and exceptional sharpness of detail. As a result, even the smallest defects in the part become visible and can be analyzed to the last detail.

To showcase the ability of Exact Metrology’s CT scanning services, powered by the METROTOM 6 scout, a scan was done on a medical stent. This medical stent, with a diameter of only 1 millimeter, was measured within a 5 Micron resolution. Thus, Exact Metrology inspectors were able to evaluate critical features with amazing precision.

CT scanning provides several benefits including being the only way to get 3D views inside a part and the only way to obtain accurate dimensional data without cutting up and destroying an object. In addition, CT scanning requires very little time to capture data and troubleshoot parts and also offers multiple uses with one scan (void analysis, inspection, volume, porosity, reverse engineering, etc.). In contrast to conventional tactile coordinate measurement techniques, a CT acquires all surface points simultaneously —on even the most complex objects. This includes all hidden features like undercuts which are not accessible using other non-destructive measurement methods.

Due to its ability to see data layer by layer, CT scanning permitted Exact Metrology inspectors the ability to see any possible defects/details on the stent. This is crucial for any medical device, especially something as small and essential as a stent that goes into the human body.


Exact Metrology is ISO, AS9100 Certified as well as FFL and ITAR Registered.

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

For more information, please contact:

EXACT METROLOGY, INC. 
Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53045
Local: 262-533-0800
www.exactmetrology.com
deans@exactmetrology.com

To see optimized part positioning with ZEISS Metrology, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch3JuozfqYU&list=PLvaO705pqbydFVDs_K_f0qrZgm1tQ8F9b

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Reinventing yourself pays off

First Zimmermann portal milling machine of the newly designed FZP machine family with thermosymmetrical design offers significant user benefits

Model, tool and die makers must deliver perfect quality at competitive prices under increasing deadline pressure in order to prevail against strong global competition. Zimmermann is responding to this market condition with the newly developed FZP machine line. These 5-axis portal milling machines are customizable, space-saving  and extremely thermostable. These features are ensured by the new thermosymmetrical design with a center-guided Z-slide. Daniel Demlang, technical director at Zimmermann, explains the advantages for the user.

The completely newly developed FZP32 machine: The 5-axis portal milling machine is compact, very flexible – and highly accurate.

“An evolution is a progressive process.  A revolution, by contrast, is a fundamental and lasting structural change of a system – this is exactly what we have done with the development of our new FZP machine line,” reports Zimmermann Technical Director Daniel Demlang. The demands that model, tool and die makers need to meet today have grown steadily. Their customers demand workpieces with near-perfect surfaces and consistently high dimensional accuracy. The key to achieving this goal is manufacturing equipment that minimizes rework to ensure fast delivery times. “Our customers are burdened by increasing cost pressure and the demand for ever higher quality, while simultaneously increasing delivery deadline pressure for components. Reducing throughput times for workpieces was one of our main goals with the newly developed FZP series in terms of design,” explains Demlang. “Stable process control and high machining quality are decisive factors for the cost-effectiveness of our systems.” However, the customizability of our milling machines was not allowed to decline. Machines of the FZP Series are therefore even more flexible, in terms of set-up and design, with a comprehensive range of additional options.

Customizable – not only in length and width

“With our new FZP line, we primarily want to empower customers to compete successfully in the market for the long term,” says Demlang. The developers have placed particular emphasis on the customizability of the machines. Their structure can be varied in length and width with different vertical slides and gantries, thus adapting to a wide range of workpiece sizes. The “lightest” machine in the FZP line is the new FZP32 with a working range of up to X = 10, Y = 4 and Z = 2.5 meters (393” x 157” x 98”). The user can machine block materials, plastics, as well as CFRP, GFRP and aluminum, among other materials. Due to the large working area, it is also possible to mill components completely without reclamping. “The modular design of the machine offers the possibility to consider different options.  Automation solutions, such as a pallet changing system, a positionable rotary table, dust extraction bells and an individualized tool clamping system are all possible,” explains the technical director.

Thermosymmetrically constructed

The machine can be equipped with automation – shown here are changeover slides on both sides.

It was important to the developers to build the FZP line for maximum dimensional accuracy during workpiece machining. This is because changing temperatures in the user’s facility, as well as long machine running times, inevitably influence the machining quality. For this reason, the Zimmermann developers designed these new portal milling machines thermosymmetrically – a concept that was used successfully for the first time at Zimmermann in 2017 in the compact FZU portal milling machine line and was enthusiastically received by customers.

“The idea of the thermosymmetrical design is based on the fact that inevitable thermal influences can be absorbed to a considerable extent by the design of the machine structure,” explains Demlang. In the portal milling machines of the FZP line, Zimmermann has arranged the milling spindle, guides and other accuracy-determining components in such a way that their heating is either absorbed or can expand in non-critical directions. The gantry’s center-guided Z-slide in double-bridge design, for example, has an octagonal cross-section that makes it particularly stable. “With this design, we achieve very high thermosymmetric stability,” says Demlang. Comparable systems usually use complex cooling or software-based compensation for this purpose.  

“Our concept is future-proof, especially when the demands on quality and surface continue to rise,” promises Demlang.  Companies that do not have an air-conditioned machining facility and are therefore particularly exposed to temperature fluctuations in their production will also benefit from this concept. And this is where the new design further scores points, according to Demlang. The design of the structure alone reduces the effects of the influencing variables to a minimum.

Technical Director at Zimmermann, Daniel Demlang: “With our new FZP line, we want, above all, to support customers in being able to compete successfully on the market in the long term.”

VH10: milling head with extraction

The Zimmermann VH10 milling head is used on this new machine line. The fork head is designed in monoblock versions made of cast iron. It is compactly built, has only minimal interference contours, achieves high clamping forces and thus enables stable component machining. Zimmermann optionally equips the VH10 milling head with process cooling via cooling lubricants and minimum quantity lubrication. To reduce throughput times, a powerful spindle with 34 kilowatts (45 HP) at a maximum speed of 24,000 rpm is used as standard in the milling head. “We have now also equipped the VH10 with a dust extraction bell around the milling tool,” Demlang notes. This makes it suitable for abrasive and harmful materials such as GRP or CFRP, which are used in aircraft construction. The dust extraction system captures the dust directly at the point of origin, which greatly reduces contamination of the interior.

Great flexibility by design

Facility conditions are often a challenge for the installation of large milling machines. Free installation space is usually scarce and machine concepts must offer a high degree of flexibility in installation. The Zimmermann developers have applied symmetry not only to the basic structure of the gantry, but also to the complete machine concept. This allows the customer to individually determine specific connections or peripheral attachments. “We can then simply position the peripherals as required by the individual situation without making any major design changes to the new FZP32,” says Demlang. Overall, the ratio of floor space to workspace has been optimized with this new development.

The developers have applied symmetry not only to the basic structure, but also to the complete machine concept.

Zimmermann equips the new machine line with larger tool magazines or even pallet changers on request. This allows users to reduce non-productive time and make their production more automated. Another feature: “Milling-turning applications are increasing, especially in aircraft construction, for example in turbine production,” says Demlang. “For this purpose, we also equip our milling machines with carousel rotary tables on request.”  Regardless of the task the customer needs to perform, Zimmermann’s experts can supply the machines in a customer-specific, optimized way with their modular plant construction kit (MAB).

What’s next?

“We already have the first orders for the FZP32, our ‘light’ entry-level model in the new series,” says Demlang. “Based on the new double-bridge gantry, we will soon launch the new FZP37, a machine in the medium segment, and the FZP42, one in the heavy segment for the mold and die industry.” The heavy-duty FZP42 machine will be in the 1,000 newton-meter (737 ft lb) torque range. “We have taken a forward-looking path with this new machine line,” concludes Daniel Demlang.


About the company

F. Zimmermann GmbH from Neuhausen a.d.F. in Swabia is a leading global high-tech supplier of portal milling machines. These are characterized by huge workspaces, enormous dynamics and cutting performance. The company, founded in 1933 by Friedrich Zimmermann, now has over 200 employees worldwide. With its product range, the innovative company has one goal above all: to offer the right solution for its customers and thus to be able to guarantee high economic efficiency. “Quality made in Germany”. The special machines are used worldwide in the automotive, aerospace and mechanical engineering sectors.  The company has its North America headquarters in Wixom, Michigan, near Detroit, where it operates a full tech center offering engineering assistance, commissioning, parts and retrofit services, as well as multiple machines for demonstration purposes. 

For more information, please contact:

ZIMMERMANN INC. 
30587 Century Drive
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone:  248-956-8511
www.zimmermann-inc.com
Ms. Lena Kiesel, Marketing Manager
lena@zimmermann-inc.com

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Suhner Machining Offers New Video Series

Maintenance tips and assembly procedures on automated tools explained by Division Manager Lee Coleman

Suhner Machining recently filmed a series of maintenance tip and unit assembly videos at the company’s North American Service Center, housed on the campus of corporate headquarters in Rome, Georgia.  The presentation of the procedures was done by Division Manager and longtime Suhner team leader, Lee Coleman.  These “hands on” demonstrations would interest any customer or maintenance personnel currently using or planning to employ Suhner automated tools in their shop or production facility.  According to Coleman, “We made these videos as the first in a series.  Our goal is to help customers and trainers impart the proper procedures for maintenance and assembly of our automated drills, taps and other tools, which are used extensively in automotive and other high-volume production facilities, contract job shops and elsewhere.” 

The company is planning a number of videos to assist operators and especially maintenance personnel in the proper care and handling of these high-precision automated tools, many of which typically perform thousands of operations in a single shift on the production line. 

These first four new videos cover the following topics on the SPINDLEmaster Max 100:

Proximity Switch Adjustment

Spring Adjustment

General Maintenance

Flag Nut Adjustment


For more information, please contact:

Lee Coleman, Division Manager-Machining
Suhner Industrial Products Corp.
25 Anderson Road SW
Rome, GA 30161 USA
Phone:  706-235-8046
Fax: 706-235-8045
machining.us@suhner.com

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Make New Friends, But Keep The Old…

…for one is silver but the other is gold.  That was a song they sang in my mother’s Girl Scout Days.  She rose up the ranks in Chicago to District Chairman, when I was a kid.  Pioneered Operation Co-Ed, the first joint effort of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, here in Chicago.  I can recall her out in a boat with a megaphone at night, chastizing the two camps who’d sneaked off to the island in the middle of the lake, where the sexes were housed on opposite shores.  Pretty radical for the late 50’s.  And my sister was one of the ring leaders of the secret meet-up!  The event caused controversy but it worked.  A life lesson I learned in my single-digit years.

Change is integral to life, and in our case, to the progress of manufacturing technology and its marketing messages and methods.

In this issue, you’ll read a column from our new social media director, Amie, who lives in Flint, MI and is the first employee I hired sight unseen.  That took some adjustment, but not much, as she’s proving her worth every day.  Social media has gone from a couple hours a week to full-time jobs at our agency.  Another of the seven ways engineers get info to do their jobs and engage their colleagues and the supply chain.

Likewise, you’ll see Stiefelmayer lasers, with their line of machines dedicated solely to the production of motor laminations for the electric vehicle (EV) market, which is changing the landscape of an entire industry rapidly.  We’ve handled several laser manufacturers in the past as clients, so we were a perfect fit for this company, who’s being represented by our “old” friends at GMTA in Ann Arbor.  Get the picture?

New business is the lifeblood of any ad or PR agency (we’re both for most clients) and that’s a given.  In this day of Covid, that’s also a tougher challenge than ever.  One new client reached out to the media covering their world for agency recommendations and our name came up on all the lists.  Kinda proud of that fact and it witnesses our expertise and 46 years as a strictly industrial agency.  

We speak your language, that’s a fact.  

From all of us at Bernard & Company, thanks to our old friends.  Be a new one?

The bottom line, as we said back in the day…what we do works and we can prove it.  That’s also a fact.  

Keep the rally going, 
Tim 

p.s.  Thanks, mom, for showing me that you can change the way two things get done and make them both better.  Later on, I learned the word synergy, something our clients and we have, to the benefit of both!  

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Suhner Offers Economaster Drilling Units for Value-Priced Production Use

All the features and reliability of Suhner technology at an affordable price,

For the OEM or end user…MADE IN AMERICA 

Suhner introduces the ECONOmaster® line of drilling units, affordably priced at under $3000 for the basic unit, in stock for immediate delivery or customizable to suit the particular operation. This economical solution is ideal for multiple materials such as light metal, wood, composite, plastic and foam.  Because these units are entirely produced at the Suhner factory in Rome, Georgia, response times for delivery and customized construction are minimal, according to Division Manager Lee Coleman.  “We recognized the need to bring our global technology to a local level, here in America, and the ECONOmaster® is a key step in that process.”   Suhner is based in Brugg, Switzerland, with plants and distribution centers worldwide. 

The ECONOmaster® drilling unit features low power and air consumption, adjustable motor housing, adjustable total stroke up to 4”, hydraulic feed control cylinder, J33 taper spindle end, 0-1/2” drill chuck, electric front & rear position limit switches, belt tensioner and chrome-plated quill.  Basic unit weight is 45 lbs.  

Other key features include adjustable feed stroke of ½-3”, 400 lb. thrust at 85 psi, operating pressures to 110 psi, TEFC/IP56 protection, standard 230V/460V, concentricity of .002” TIR, speed ranges to 9600 RPM and an air connection retract/advance of ¼” to 27 NPT.  

ECONOmaster® drilling units can be supplied with an adjustable stand, inline vertical configuration and multiple spindle heads for medium-duty production drilling, with many other spindle options and toolholders available.  Please consult the factory in Rome, Georgia.  


For more information, please contact:

Lee Coleman, Division Manager-Machining

Suhner Industrial Products Corp.
25 Anderson Road SW
Rome, GA 30161 USA
Direct: 706-314-2927
Mobile: 706-409-1876
Fax: 706-235-8045
lee.coleman@suhner.com

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